Cabinet on Tuesday, July 18, 2017, approved the appointments of Her Excellency Ms. Lilian Chatterjee, High Commissioner of Canada to the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and His Excellency Dr. Alfonso Munera Cavadia, Non- Resident Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Colombia to the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.
Ms. Chatterjee will be replacing H.E. Mr. Pierre Giroux whose tour of duty recently ended. Ms. Chatterjee has had a long career within Global Affairs Canada. She most recently served as Director General of the Strategic Integration, Europe, Middle East and Maghreb Branch. Prior to that Ms. Chatterjee held the position of Director General of the Social Development; Partnerships for Development Innovation Branch. In 2003, Ms. Chatterjee joined the Canadian International Development Agency where she later became the Director General of the Canadian Partnership Branch. Ms. Chatterjee attained both a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism (Honours) and a Master of Arts from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs while studying at Carleton University.
Diplomatic relations between the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and Canada were established on May 26th, 1966 and since then both countries have collaborated at bilateral, regional and international levels.
Canada has extended technical assistance through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for economic and social programmes as well as the electoral process, while Guyana and Canada continue to collaborate at a regional level through the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organization of American States (OAS). Interaction at the level of CARICOM includes the Summit of Heads of CARICOM and Canada and the Canada-CARICOM Technical Assistance: Caribbean Community Strategic Programming Framework for the Period 2007/2008 – 2017/2018.
Canada is the third major destination of exports from Guyana and is a leading foreign investor in Guyana, with investments approximating $600 million. Canadian companies are pursuing investment in the forestry sector, construction, banking and mineral exploration.
Prior to this appointment, Dr. Cavadia served as Resident Ambassador of the Republic of Colombia to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Before that, he held the position of Secretary General of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) and from 1999 to 2003, as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Colombia to Jamaica. He was also Vice Chancellor of Research, Director of the International Institute of Caribbean Studies and Dean of the Faculty of Human Sciences at the University of Cartagena. The Ambassador has written several articles in relation to history, race and geography. Born in Cartagena, Colombia, Ambassador Cavadia studied Law and Political Science at the University of Cartegena and obtained a Master’s and PhD in Latin America and Caribbean History from the University of Connecticut in the United States in 1991 and 1995 respectively.
Diplomatic relations between the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the Republic of Colombia established diplomatic relations on December 18, 1970. Recently an emphasis has been placed on bilateral relations with a focus on sovereignty and territorial integrity among other topics.
Guyana has benefited from a number of programmes through the South-South Bilateral and Regional Cooperation implemented by the Government of Colombia through the exchange of knowledge and expertise; capacity building and technical cooperation in the areas of security, promotion and protection of social culture, sports and education. Currently, Guyana exports calcined bauxite and rice, textile material, tropical wood and alcoholic beverages to Colombia.
An Agreement for the waiver of entry visas for holders of Diplomatic and Official Passports was signed in 1997 and on June 21, 2017, an Agreement for the Mutual Exemption for Visa Requirements for Ordinary Passport Holders was signed within the margins of the 47th General Assembly of the OAS in Cancun, Mexico. The agreement will enter into effect once internal legal procedures are completed by both sides.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
July 20, 2017