New World Federation of Consuls Logo
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
November 14, 2009 (CUOPM)
St. Kitts and Nevis’ Honorary Consul in Turkey and President of the FICAC Congress, Mr. Aykut Eken will preside over the Ninth World Congress of Consuls this weekend in the Turkish city of Izmir.
Mr. Eken said the Summit, which is three years in the making, will bring together 250 participants, 150 honorary consuls, including 20 from Turkey and 100 career diplomat consuls from around the world.
According to the Hurriyet Daily News, in addition to being the worldwide forum for this group of diplomats, FICAC also holds formal observer status at the United Nations.
Eken, who handles the chairmanship of the congress’s organization has been in the administration of FICAC for nine years, is the organization’s general secretary and treasurer. He said the effort to bring FICAC’s annual meeting to Ãzmir was greatly aided by the head of Turkish Honorary Consuls Association, Turgut KoyuncuoÃ°lu.
He has two expectations for the upcoming congress. First, it will be an effective lobby effort for Turkey’s international relations. This is the diplomatic role honorary consuls and their wives commonly play, now to be conducted on a grand scale.
“Such a meeting provides a way to identify your country and promote relations of friendship,” Eken said. “The congress organizers are doing everything so that the visitors leave with a positive image. The congress is an investment in diplomatic, economic, social and cultural relations.
The honorary consulate system was established under the Vienna Convention in 1963, now nearly 50 years old. The congress will be reviewing the convention now that time has passed to see what has to be changed or removed given changes and globalization. Eken is proposing that the roles and duties of the honorary consulates be reviewed.
Eken believes the congress will help Turkey in many ways. In addition to communication in the realms of the economy and culture, this year will also include discussion of an expansion of FICAC’s existing international student exchange program. He is also seeking to create an international student’s network project with the Ãzmir Economy University and Turkish Airlines.
In addition to his diplomatic and international efforts, Eken runs his own business, the 30-year-old Beta International S.A. involved in stainless steel, tourism, textiles and yachting. He is also active in Turkish civil society organizations including Foreign Relations Council, or DEIK, the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association, or TUSIAD, the Marmara Foundation and the Caribbean and Latin American Trade Organization. He is the chairman of DEIK’s Turkish ““ Brazilian Business Council.