H.E. Mr. Julian Robert Hunte, President of the fifty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly, is Minister for External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation of Saint Lucia, a Senator and Member of Parliament, a Justice of the Peace and a business executive.
Mr. Hunte, who has extensive experience in the multilateral process, and a keen interest in the issues of regional cooperation and the role of small states within the United Nations, was Saint Lucia's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1998 to 2001. During this time, he served as Chairman of the Special Committee on Decolonisation, formally known as the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. He has participated in various international summits and conferences convened by the United Nations, including the 2000 Millennium Summit, the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development, in Monterrey, for which he served as Vice-President, and the 2002 World Summit for Sustainable Development, in Johannesburg, to which he led his country's delegation.
At the regional level, Mr. Hunte has provided leadership for standing bodies of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). In 2002 and 2003, he served as Chair of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations, responsible for coordinating foreign policy matters among CARICOM member states. In 2001, he was entrusted with carrying out CARICOM's diplomatic initiatives to bring about a resolution to the political and economic challenges facing the Republic of Haiti. He has led several CARICOM missions to Haiti and has also participated in joint CARICOM/Organization of American States (OAS) missions to that country. From 1991 to 1998, Mr. Hunte served as founder and Chairman of the Standing Conference of Popular Democratic Parties of the Eastern Caribbean (SCOPE), an alliance of political parties of Eastern Caribbean States having common aims and ideologies for national political development.
Mr. Hunte's career as a political activist and politician spans more than thirty-five years. Entering Saint Lucia's politics in 1967, he served first as a City Councillor and, from 1970 to 1971, as Mayor of his home city of Castries. Joining the Labour Party in 1978, he became its Vice Chairman and chaired its reorganising committee. In 1984, he became the Party Leader and was elected to Parliament in 1987, serving as Leader of the Opposition until 1996. In 2001, he was appointed to the Senate of Saint Lucia and was invited by the Prime Minister to join the Cabinet that same year.
In the Government of Saint Lucia, Mr. Hunte has held a number of key positions in national development planning and implementation, most notably as Chair of the Saint Lucia National Development Corporation, the country's principal development agency and investors' link to relevant Government ministries. Mr. Hunte has also served as Director of the Saint Lucia Development Bank and the National Commercial Bank of Saint Lucia. Other national development programmes and initiatives to which he has provided leadership and direction include the Saint Lucia Model Farms Limited and Halcyon Days Hotel Limited, managers of a major resort facility owned in part by the Government of Saint Lucia, and he has served as Chairman of the Insurance Advisory Council of Saint Lucia and Director of the Windward Islands Banana Development and Exporting Company.
An advocate of labour rights and fair labour standards, Mr. Hunte has also been active in the trade union movement, serving as President of the National Workers Union, as Treasurer of the Saint Lucia Seamen and Waterfront General Workers Trade Union and as an executive member of the Saint Lucia Civil Service Association.
In his business career, Mr. Hunte is Chairman and Chief Executive of the Julian R. Hunte Group of Companies, with a network of agencies dealing with insurance, real estate and packaging and storage.
In support of culture and the arts, Mr. Hunte co-founded and chaired for two decades the Saint Lucia National Trust, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to identifying and preserving the historical and cultural legacy of Saint Lucia. He has served in various capacities with many other organisations, holding, among others, the post of President of the Saint Lucia Mental Health Association.
An avid sports enthusiast, Mr. Hunte has participated in the game of cricket both as a national player and as an administrator at the national, regional and international levels. He has served as President of the Saint Lucia National Cricket Association and of the Windward Islands Cricket Board of Control, and as Vice-President of the West Indies Cricket Board, which he has represented on the International Cricket Council, the institution responsible for international governance of the game.
Educated in Saint Lucia, Mr. Hunte has undertaken extensive studies in Business Administration and Accounts.
In June 1979, Mr. Hunte was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE), in recognition of his dedicated service to the Government and people of Saint Lucia.
Born on 14 March 1940, in Castries, Mr. Hunte is married to Charlotte Elizabeth Jennifer Hunte (nee Clarke) and has four children.