Joint Press Statement
Meeting between the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, The Honourable Hugh Todd of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Business and International Cooperation of Suriname, His Excellency Albert Ramdin of the Republic of Suriname
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Business and International Cooperation of Suriname, His Excellency Albert Ramdin, paid a working visit to Guyana and met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, The Honourable Hugh Todd, on 15th October 2020. The Ministers were accompanied in the meeting by the Honourable Juan Edghill, Minister of Public Works, the Honourable Frank Anthony, Minister of Health of Guyana and H.E. Riad Nurmohamed, Minister of Public Works and H.E. Amar Ramadhin, Minister of Public Health of Suriname.
The Ministers reaffirmed their Governments commitment to strengthening the bonds of friendship between Guyana and Suriname and deepening and expanding cooperation between their two countries. The Ministers took special note of the efforts at enhancing transportation infrastructure cooperation and integration links between Guyana and Suriname and noted that these are pivotal to the deepening of investment, trade, tourism and cultural relations between the two countries. Both sides expressed great satisfaction at the progress that has been made towards the indepth consideration of the prerequisite activities for the studies, designing, financing and procurement of services for the construction of the Corentyne River Bridge.
They agreed on the principles, strategies and modes by which the foundations for greater and mutually beneficial cooperation could be realized in the fields of agriculture, health, sustainable development, the promotion of binational tourism, joint marketing of goods and agricultural produce and sports and culture. They also discussed ways and means by which there could be capacity building exchanges in the areas of oil and gas.
With regard to the overall cooperation in health, the Ministers applauded the good working relationship between the health sectors of the two countries and pledged to pursue several initiatives that would enhance their collaboration and mutual assistance in the sector.
The two Foreign Ministers agreed on a set of proposals to be submitted to Their Excellencies the President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the President of the Republic of Suriname for the optimal use of the Strategic Dialogue and Cooperation Platform (SDCP) that will be established in November 2020.
In that context, they agreed that the thematic working groups under the SDCP will be directed to pursue realistic action programmes as well as find ways and means of removing several identified impediments to smooth and efficient legal cross border trade; the movement of vehicle transporting persons to and from each country; and seek ways and means of arresting transborder illegal activities.
While both sides of the Guyana and Suriname border remain closed in light of the COVID19 pandemic, the Ministers agreed that the issues affecting the resumption of the MV Canawaima Ferry Service need to be urgently and jointly addressed in anticipation of the resumption of the movement of goods and people between South Drain and Moleson Creek. The Ministers noted the critical role that the Canawaima Ferry Service plays in people-to-people contact, bilateral tourism and trade between Guyana and Suriname. To this end, the bodies responsible for the Canawaima Ferry Service will be directed to immediately commence discussions and activities to ensure that the MV Canawaima is available for operations as soon as the Ministers of Health of Guyana and Suriname declare that it is safe to do so.
The two sides discussed the importance and relevance of exchanging views and positions on matters on the regional, hemispheric and global agendas with the intention of coordinating their positions, interventions, sponsorship of initiatives and resolutions in order to jointly form strategic alliances with other States where possible and mutually beneficial. They took special note of the similarities of the positions of the two countries on matters such as climate change mitigation and compensation for the sustainable use and conservation of their large forests; environmental protection; and the classification of States as Middle Income Countries (MIC) on the basis of limited criteria and its implications for accessing grants and concessional funding to meet developmental needs.
The two sides discussed the impending visit by H.E. President Ali to Suriname to join the celebrations for the 45 anniversary of Suriname’s Independence. H.E. President Ali will be a special guest of H.E. President Santokhi on that occasion and several agreements will be signed during that visit.