Guyana chairs high-level UN Conference to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

COMMISSIONER and Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GL&SC), Trevor Benn, has been elected to chair a high-level United Nations committee, the Committee of the Whole.

According to a release from the GL&SC, Benn is representing Guyana at the 14thConference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Conference to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in New Delhi, India and he has received the full confidence of more than five thousand delegates attending the high-level meeting, to chair the committee.
The Committee of the Whole is a working group set up by the conference of the parties to facilitate discussions on specific issues. When the committee concludes its work, it turns it over the COP to finalise and adopt during a plenary session. The GL&SC said Benn will chair the high-level committee throughout the duration of the COP: September 2-13, 2019. The committee is sessional and will conclude its work at the end of this 14th session of the COP.
This is the first time Guyana has been elected to chair the committee, the GL&SC said.
Benn expressed appreciation to the delegates representing over one hundred and fifty countries, for the confidence they have placed in him to chair the meeting over the next two weeks.

Commissioner Benn assured the delegates that their confidence will not be taken for granted and promised to work diligently to address the issues under consideration and for which the various delegates have interest.

He informed delegates that they were assembled at a very critical juncture in the history of the UNCCD and that it is no secret that of the three Rio Conventions, the UNCCD has received the least political support, and indeed the least resources; yet, the reliance on their collective work is overwhelming and remains vital to every sphere of life, and in particular, to our livelihood and in the fight to combat desertification, and drought.
“I want to once again thank the delegates for the confidence they have expressed in me and through me, Guyana, to chair this committee. I will not take this election to the chairmanship lightly. I will work along diligently with you, we all share one common cause, and it is important that we work towards achieving that which we set out to achieve,” he said.

Benn reminded the delegates of the need to be willing to demonstrate flexibility in securing outcomes in the interest of the Convention.

The GL&SC said Guyana continues to be recognised for the successful hosting of CRIC17 earlier this year. Benn is accompanied by officials from the GLSC, Office of Climate Change, Environmental Protection Agency and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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