His Excellency Hamley Case accredited Ambassador to Estonia

Guyana’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Frederick Hamley Case was recently accredited Non-Resident Ambassador to the Republic of Estonia.

The High Commissioner handed over his Letters of Credence to President Kersti Kaljulaid.

His Excellency Hamley Case is concurrently accredited High Commissioner to the United Kingdom as well as Ambassador to the Republic of Iceland and the Russian Federation.

Guyana and Estonia continue to work closely in the area of E-Governance and, in 2018, a contract was signed between the National Data Management Authority of Guyana (NDMA) and the E-Governance Academy of Estonia for the facilitation of consultative services.

Guyana and Estonia established diplomatic relations on April 19, 1997.

Statement by the Government of Guyana on the situation in Venezuela

The Government of Guyana is gravely concerned at the deepening of the political crisis in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and supports calls made at both the regional and international levels for immediate dialogue involving all political and social actors, with a view to the preservation of the democratic process and a return to normalcy.

Guyana calls on all parties to desist from actions that might lead to further violence and loss of lives. .

The Government of Guyana remains firmly supportive of efforts to resolve the crisis through peaceful means and with full respect for human rights and the rule of law.

January 24, 2019

Guyana and Portugal discuss collaboration in Language and Culture

BRUSSELS, Belgium – On the occasion of presenting credentials to President of the Portuguese Republic His Excellency Mr. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa as non-resident Ambassador, His Excellency David T.A. Hales paid a courtesy call recently on Mr. Gonçalo Teles Gomes the Vice-President Camões Institute of Cooperation and Language.

Camões Institute is the Agency which the Portuguese Foreign Ministry has delegated responsibilities for international cooperation and the promotion of Portuguese language and culture abroad.

The two exchanged views on projects developed and funded by Camões Institute in areas of Cooperation in Language and Culture.

In relation to cultural exchange, upon being advised by Ambassador Hales about the Caribbean’s Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA), Vice-President Gomes indicated that Portugal would look favourably on an invitation to participate.

Ambassador Hales also inquired about the possibility of the Portuguese assisting in teaching Portuguese as a foreign language in Guyana.   To this end, Vice-President Gomes said the Institute was open to finalising an agreement in the promotion of Portuguese language and culture abroad which could involve a lecturer to teach at the University level and to conduct training for Foreign Service Officers (FSOs).

Green State Development Strategy is more than just another document

Green State Development Strategy is more than just another document

Minister Harmon at SDGs, GSDS Alignment workshop

 

Georgetown, Guyana – (March 15, 2018)

Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, who holds responsibility for the Department of the Environment (DoE), today, said that the Green State Development Strategy (GSDS) is not just another document, but rather, it is the vision and the expression of the ambition of the people of Guyana for a prosperous future in a sustainable environment.

 

Minister Harmon was at the time addressing the ‘Aligning the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Green State Development Strategy Workshop on Multidimensional Approaches for the 2030 Agenda’, which opened this morning at the Marriott Hotel. In the pursuit of a finalised, all-inclusive GSDS, the Government had requested support from the United Nation’s Development System for the integration of the SDGs within the GSDS. The 2030 agenda references the SDGs, which is a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

 

In his remarks, Minister Harmon said that the workshop is another important step in Guyana’s quest to establish a ‘green’ economy and a ‘green’ state as well as the country’s resolve to be meaningfully involved as a significant contributor to the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development including the SDGs. The theme, he noted, is therefore appropriate as it addresses matters that are crucial to the development of Guyana and encapsulates the Government’s vision.

 

“Guyana on the basis of our geographic location and resources has an obligation, which we acknowledge and a commitment that we have made to be meaningfully involved, if not, to take the lead role in this development. The Green State Development Strategy to us is not just a document. It is the expression of the vision and the ambition of the people of Guyana for a prosperous future, which benefits all of its people. We aspire to become a green, inclusive, and prosperous Guyana that provides a good quality of life for all of our citizens, that provides sound education, social protection, ‘green’ and decent jobs, economic opportunities, individual equality, justice and political empowerment. Guyana aspires to transition into a decarbonised and resource efficient economy that values and integrates the multi-ethnicity of our country and enhances the quality of life for all Guyanese. Guyana’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda is unequivocal,” he said.

 

The Government, he said, considers the alignment of the United Nation’s SDGs with the GSDS as a crucial policy area. However, the State Minister said that Guyana must also face head on the challenge of moving beyond just mapping the SDGs.  “The principle of integrality calls for balancing the three dimensions of sustainable development; social cohesion, economic growth and environmental potential. The challenge that we face is to move beyond mapping the SDGs and target its reflection in the GSDS. It is to move toward incorporating these new principles in the real plan and implement that strategy as our country’s development programme as well as ensure that the mechanisms are established to monitor and evaluate that process while at the same time utilising unique, clean Guyanese content,” Minister Harmon said.

 

Noting that the contribution of every stakeholder is vital for the successful implementation of the GSDS, Minister Harmon said that the challenge now is to guide the GSDS in a way that is in the spirit of the Agenda 2030, while taking into account the multiple development challenges Guyana faces and the need to institutional strong and effective cross-sectoral coordination.

 

“There must also be a recognition that we will be breaking new ground and would be sometimes sailing in unchartered waters.  The successful way, therefore, has to be uniquely Guyanese taking into account our peculiar circumstances. We must own the process and own our Green State Development Strategy,” he said.

 

Meanwhile, Head of the DoE, Ms. Ndibi Schwiers, in an invited comment said that goal of the workshop is to train participants on multidimensional approaches to mainstream the 2030 Agenda, including the use and application of three important tools; theory of change, systems thinking and the identification of accelerators to prioritise policy interventions with a bigger impact.

 

Noting that the GSDS is currently under elaboration with an expected completion deadline of July 2018, Ms. Schwiers said that the initial timeline has been extended to allow for large-scale consultations to ensure that the document is truly reflective of all stakeholders in the Guyanese society. This consultation process, she said, is unprecedented.

 

Deputy Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Ms. Shabnam Mallick, in brief comments, said that the organisation stands ready to lend its support to Guyana as it embarks on its ‘green’ journey. “This workshop is part of a longer process, where we stand ready, the UNDP and its sister agencies, to support the journey to the achievement of the SDGs,” she said.

 

The two-day workshop is a collaborative effort between the Department of the Environment, Ministry of the Presidency and the Ministry of Finance, along with the Technical support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

Guyana will uphold the principle of people before profits

‘Guyana will uphold the principle of people before profits’

President Granger at High-Level Side Event on Combating Pollution in the Extractive Industries

Georgetown, Guyana – (December 5, 2017) President David Granger, yesterday, addressed the High level Event on Combating Pollution in the Extractive Industries at the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, where he said that the people must come before any profits as the world’s natural resources are the patrimony of all humanity even as he used the opportunity to propose a three pronged approach, which can help primarily small states with their fight against pollution and the protection of the environment.

“People, therefore, must be at the heart of the development of our natural resources. People must come before profits. The pursuit of profits has been accompanied, over the past century, by an exponential increase in extractive industries. This expansion, however, has aggravated environmental damage, which can have a long-lasting and harmful negative impact “…on human dignity and well-being”,” the President said.

The Head of State said that pollution in the extractive industries threatens environmental security and it increases human vulnerability to human-induced environmental degradation and impacts on human security.  While extractive industries have made an inestimable contribution to the economies of low-income and middle-income countries, the President said that these measurable economic benefits are associated with air pollution, biodiversity loss, freshwater and oceanic contamination, greenhouse gas emissions, land degradation and resource depletion. 

“Pollution, within extractive industries, threatens human well-being and life. It can undermine production, impair human health and damage the physical environment. Environmental security, therefore, is a crosscutting concern with economic, political and social implications. Combatting pollution in extractive industries requires a holistic response,” he said.

On this note, the Head of State said that the Guyana is prepared to play its part and is pursuing a holistic approach to the exploitation of its natural resources. “Guyana’s ‘Green State Development Strategy’ will become our blueprint for moving towards becoming a ‘green state.’  The ‘green state’ will exemplify the policy of placing people before profits. The ‘green state’ will demonstrate how our extractive industries – bauxite, diamond and gold mining and logging – can be aligned with the protection of our environment, the preservation of our biodiversity and the promotion of the generation of energy from renewable sources. The ‘green state’ will become a model of environmental stewardship. It will demonstrate the signal role, which a small state can play in protecting the world’s air, water and land from the threat of pollution,” he said.

However, the Head of State, who has been pushing the ‘green’ agenda since his assumption to office, said that Guyana cannot do it alone and requires international cooperation, international organisation and information, education and communication.

“International cooperation should be strengthened to ensure that states, particularly small states, can benefit from transfer of technologies and access to international financing to support programmes to reduce pollution. Guyana looks forward to increased international cooperation between large and small states in combatting pollution. Guyana recognises the need for an international organisation to drive greater international cooperation, collaboration and coordination to ensure a pollution free-planet and Information, education and communication must be extended through a sustained campaign aimed at raising awareness of the urgency of eliminating pollution at the level of citizen, household and community,” he said.

Guyana has already begun taking steps to reduce the level of pollution in its extractive industries. In September that the Head of State travelled to Geneva, Switzerland for the first Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Minamata Convention, where he reassured the international community that Guyana will not only reduce its use of mercury in the mining industry, but will work to eliminate the practice.

Foreign Minister leading Guyana’s delegation to Haiti

Georgetown, Guyana – (February 24, 2018) President David Granger will not be attending the Twenty-Ninth Inter-sessional Meeting of The Conference of Heads of Government of The Caribbean Community (CARICOM).  The Guyanese Head of State regrets his absence at the meeting but has opted to remain in Guyana to focus on domestic issues at this time.

Guyana’s three member delegation to the meeting will be led by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Carl Greenidge, who is also performing the duties of Prime Minister.  The Inter-sessional meeting is being hosted in Haiti from Monday, February 26 to Tuesday, February 27, 2018.

50 years of solid friendship and cooperation between Brazil and Guyana

50 years of solid friendship and cooperation between Brazil and Guyana

collaboration in defence, health and infrastructure

 Georgetown, Guyana – (February 10, 2018) This year will mark 50 years of friendship and strong bilateral ties between the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the Federative Republic of Brazil, which has seen cooperation in the areas of defence, health and public infrastructure programmes. With the visit of Minister of Defence, Mr. Raul Belens Jungmann Pinto and a high-level delegation on February 9, this 50-year-old relationship is set for further strengthened cooperation and collaboration.

 

Infrastructure

The two countries, in December 2017 during President David Grangers State visit to Brazil, inked two Agreements in the form of the Complementary Agreement to the Memorandum of Understanding between the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the Federative Republic of Brazil, which creates the “Guyana-Brazil Joint Commission to Develop Infrastructure Projects” and the Complementary Agreement to the Basic Agreement on Technical Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Guyana and the Federative Republic of Brazil for the Implementation of the Project “Technologies to Reduce the Effects of the Drought in Region Nine of Guyana.”

 

The construction of the long-awaited Linden-Lethem road is one of the key projects expected to be advanced under this agreement.  In an interview at the conclusion of that meeting, President Granger said that for decades both sides envisaged a route through Guyana, which will provide better development prospects for investors to come from the Caribbean into Brazil and from Brazil into the Caribbean. “This is something that has been long discussed and in fact, in some parts of the Rupununi, roads were actually aligned but we never had funding to complete it. The infrastructure agreement we are entering will be focused on fulfilling that obligation to building a road between Lethem and Linden. Brazil has done its part; Brazil has built a bridge under President Luiz DaSilva and the road literally comes right out to the bridge. We need to do our part so that is a very important agreement that was signed,” he said.

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Carl Greenidge explained that in July 2017, he and Minister of Public Infrastructure, Mr. David Patterson met with their respective counterparts to discuss moving the project forward. At that forum, it was agreed that both countries will provide financial resources for the engineering and design of the road.  Minister Greenidge explained at that time that this road link is a critical piece of infrastructure that holds great potential in terms of integrating the two countries and improving trade.

 

In terms of the second agreement, the Brazilian Army will be working closely with the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) to develop its Engineering Corps. This collaboration will see the drilling of artesian wells in Indigenous communities in villages such as Para Bara, Achiwib, Karaudarnau, Aishalton, Awarewanau, Shea and Mururanau.

 

“As we know Rupununi is susceptible to droughts and floods so we want to remove that uncertainty and have a system under which the communities, there are over 50 villages in the Rupununi that could be supplied with fresh water continuously during the year and Brazilian terrain across the border is similar in many respects. So there is not only going to be a supply of physical infrastructure but there’s also going to be a transfer of technology,” President Granger said.

New Embassy

During their visit to Brazil in July 2017, Minister Greenidge and Minister Patterson also turned the sod to mark the construction of a permanent building for the Guyana Embassy in Brazil. This was done in an effort to further solidify the relations between the two nations.

Defence

The meeting between President Granger, Ministers of Government and members of the Defence Board with the Brazilian delegation on February 9, 2018 at State House, saw a commitment by both countries to review the September, 2012 Joint Communiqué, which followed the official visit to Guyana by Ambassador Celso Amorim, then Minister of Defence of Brazil. The review is intended to update the agreements in that document and bring them in line with present-day realities, as well as, to deepen defence cooperation.

 

In 2012, during a visit to Guyana, Ambassador Celso Amorim the two countries reiterated their desire to intensify bilateral defence cooperation. They reviewed the existing programme of cooperation between Guyana and Brazil in the area of defence and agreed to the implementation of a number of measures aimed at expanding and strengthening collaboration not only at the bilateral but also at the regional level within the context of existing initiatives of the Union of South American Nations.

 

In this regard, they agreed to adopt the decision to create a Guyana/Brazil Bilateral Defence Working Group (BDWG), in order to provide oversight and follow-up to the defence agenda between Guyana and Brazil, through annual meetings of Joint Chiefs-of-Staff level or their equivalent, and three sub-groups dedicated to issues relating to the Army, Navy and Air Force, to increase cooperation in the area of military training and education at Brazilian military institutions, through the provision of additional offers to military personnel from Guyana and to promote the coordination of military operations in their respective border areas, in order to ensure more effective results and to enhance the integration and stability of the respective communities.

 

It was also agreed that the two countries will intensify collaboration in the area of defence procurement through the exchange of information and expertise, promote collaboration with civil society through the development of joint projects in the border areas aimed at the delivery of services to those communities; commence cooperation in the area of geo technology applied to defence and security, through the training of officials from Guyana the SIVAM (Brazilian Amazon Surveillance Integrated System) facility in Manaus, Brazil and send a military mission from Brazil to prepare an assessment of technical expertise that can be provided to advise and/or, work within the Guyana Defence Force to increase expertise in deficient areas.

 

The Guyana Defence Force has benefitted significantly in a number of areas due to the friendly ties and cooperation between the two countries. Chief of Staff, Brigadier Patrick West, in an invited comment, said that the administration of the Force is pleased with the partnership between the Brazilian Government through its Military and the GDF. Numerous officers of the GDF have benefitted from training opportunities in Brazil, some spanning for a year. “We collaborate…where there are gaps, those gaps are likely to be filled with our collaborations with our bilateral partners. Brazil did some work with us and they are still doing…,” he said.

 

In 2014, The Guyana Brazil Workgroup held its inaugural meeting where the General of Brazil’s delegation, Lieutenant Decio Luis Schons said that the Armed Forces of Brazil is looking for a sustained programme of cooperation with Guyana and possibly more far reaching levels of cooperation given the push towards South American integration.

Health

On January 19, 2018 President Granger received a courtesy call from Brazil’s Minister of Health, Dr. Ricardo Jose Magalhᾱes Barros and a delegation from that country to discuss areas in which the two states can strengthen cooperation in the health sector.

 

The visiting Minister’s delegation included the Vice-Governor of Paranά, Ms. Maria Aparecida Borghetti and the Federal Deputy of São Paulo, Ms. Bruna Dias Furlan. During that meeting, the President also noted that while Guyana welcomes cooperation in the health sector, it looks forward to deepening cooperation in other areas such as oil and gas, infrastructure and environmental security.

 

Tourism

In July 2016, a two-day Tourism Conference was held in Boa Vista, Brazil for tour operators who are operating between Guyana and Brazil.  The event was organised by Visit Rupununi (VR) in collaboration with the Department of Tourism, Roraima and Conservation International – Guyana (CI-G). Tour agencies and officials regarded the collaborative effort as a timely and significant step in developing the tourism sectors in Guyana’s Region Nine Rupununi and the Brazilian state of Roraima.

 

Oil and Gas

The Brazilian Petroleum Corporation (Petrobras) has expressed a keen interest in entering Guyana’s burgeoning oil and gas sector as indicated by Brazil’s President last December.  President Granger explained that this is by no means a new offer, since they were engaged with Guyana in the 80s and in the early 2000s, but indicated that Guyana welcomes investments from its neighbour in that sector.

 

“Brazil has a well-established petroleum industry, they have experience, they have expertise and Brazil is an important strategic partner, an economic partner and we extended an invitation to them, we extended an invitation to the entire world to examine the prospects of petroleum exploration and production in Guyana and Brazil certainly is one of those and will be welcomed,” he said.