Central Time Zone UTC-06:00
Capital City Tegucigalpa
Currency Honduran lempira
National Day 15 September
Biography: His Excellency Mr Ivan Romero-Martinez tells me he and his wife have been enjoying the sunny February weather in London; a relief after the freezing conditions at this time of year at his last posting in New York. Unusual circumstances mean he is Honduras’s Ambassador in London for the second time in his career; the first was ten years ago. Prior to his appointment, this position had been a Charge d’Affaires for a number of years. The President of Honduras hopes Mr Romero-Martinez’s high profile as a political and career diplomat will both highlight his country in the UK, and celebrate London as one of Honduras’s most important postings in the world. He tells me it is a great privilege to be Ambassador to the UK twice. ‘A beautiful city, a great country, I am very happy to represent Honduras here. It is a very important job to us.’
Mr Romero-Martinez, arrived on 28 January, 2008. Prior to his new appointment, he was Ambassador, Permanent Representative to the United Nations. He has served as Honduras’s Ambassador to over 16 countries, including Spain, Egypt, Jamaica, Colombia, Belgium, Sweden and Ireland to name but a few. He also represented his country at the ambassadorial level at the United Nations in Switzerland and at the European Union. At home, he served as Special Advisor to the President of Honduras with the rank of Secretary of State. During this time, in 1998 the country was devastated by Hurricane Mitch. 5,600 people were killed and there were huge financial damages. He describes that time as a huge responsibility, in which he worked with the World Bank to build Honduras back up again.
Nevertheless, Mr Romero-Martinez describes his life as ‘my dream and reality.’ So proud of his career, he is recording his memories of his 36 years in the diplomatic corps in a book. However, one memory that stands out in particular, occurred on 2 October 2007, when as Permanent Representative of Honduras to the United Nations and Vice-President of the sixty-second session of the General Assembly, Mr Romero-Martinez presided over the fourteenth plenary meeting of the General Assembly at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. He said it was quite an experience to see all the member countries of the world in front of him.
While in the UK, Mr Romero-Martinez says ‘the most important thing is to increase co-operation between the UK and Honduras.’ In particular: promoting tourism and attracting visitors to Honduras’ magnificent coral reef; increasing investment and commerce and furthering collaboration in education.
Mr Romero-Martinez’s hobbies have been known to get him into trouble with his wife. An avid collector, (art, religious icons and over 200 walking canes,) Mrs Romero- Martinez says her husband has enough! Although such collections make life difficult travelling from post to post, he still says he would like many more!
Mr Romero-Martinez says he has not only enjoyed his career to date, but also found great friends in diplomatic life. ‘I love my life. I am a career diplomat. I enjoy everything about my job.’