Press Releases

ENHANCING THE OPERATIONS OF THE CSM – Commencement of the CSME Application Processing System (CAPS)

The CSME Application Processing System (CAPS) CAPS is a crucial component of the larger initiative to make the rights under the CARICOM Single Market (CSM) more accessible and to ensure a higher level of efficiency and effectiveness in the processing of these rights.

The CAPS is a fully integrated web-based information management system and will facilitate the movement of skilled persons and temporary service providers across the twelve (12) participating Member States, by efficiently processing a significant number of documents which fall under the different processes.

The system was developed in 2014 under the Canadian funded CARICOM Trade and Competitiveness Project and is expected to contribute to the achievement of the full integration of the national markets of Member States of the Community into a single, unified and open market area. In addition to this, the CAPS also responds to mandates as captured in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas which among other things, calls for the modernisation of Governments Bureaucracies. In addition to addressing these specific Treaty mandates, the system will also generate reliable data on movement in the Single Market. This has been a challenge for the Community and Member States which have been grappling with the issue of data collection in the implementation of the CSM.

Since its development there has been extensive training on the CAPS both at the National and Regional Levels and Member States have readied their national operations to facilitate the use of the CAPS. Following discussions on the launch of the CAPS the decision was taken to start the implementation of the CAPS on 1 November 2016.

In light of the above interested persons are invited to start using the online tool and send their electronic application. The website is caps.caricom.org.

For more information on the issuance of the CARICOM Skilled Certificates in Guyana please contact the CARICOM Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on telephone numbers 225-3982 or 226-1606 Ext. 247/226

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
October 31, 2016

Press Release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the visit by His Excellency David Granger to the Republic of Chile

In response to an invitation by Her Excellency Michelle Bachelet, His Excellency David Granger paid an official visit to the Republic of Chile on October 24-25, 2016. During the visit bilateral talks were held between the two presidents on a wide range of issues on the bilateral agenda. These included collaboration in the area of disaster risk management, language training, trade and investment, mining and geological mapping, climate change mitigation and telecommunications.

Two agreements were also signed. One on the Open Skies/ Air Services and the other on the Reciprocal Visa Abolition for holders of ordinary passports.

His Excellency David Granger also met with officials from the mining, telecommunications and maritime sector.

Accompanying the President were Honorable Carl Greenidge, Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Audrey Waddell, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. William Cox, Political Advisor to the President and Miss Sondra Cheong, Foreign Service Officer II.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Guyana
October 25, 2016

Guyana receives over 24 Million Euros from the European Union under the Accompanying Measures Programme for sugar

On Tuesday October 25, 2016, Mr Stefano Manservisi, Director General for International Cooperation and Development of the European Commission and Finance Minister Winston Jordan signed documents triggering the release to Guyana of over 24,424,000 Euros. This sum is related to the Action Programme adopted by Guyana in the context of the Accompanying Measures Programme (AMP) for Sugar established by the European Union. The EU had suspended disbursements to Guyana following the Prorogation of Parliament by former President Donald Ramotar.

The signature took place in the margins of the Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and European Union (CELAC-EU) currently being held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Following the finding by the WTO Dispute Settlement Body in 2004 that the EU Sugar Regime was inconsistent with WTO rules, the EU had established a 1.2 billion Euros fund to assist the ACP sugar exporting countries to reform their sugar sector in order to improve their competitiveness or to diversify out of sugar. In releasing these resources the European Commission has indicated that the Government of Guyana has made remarkable progress and commendable efforts in terms of budget transparency and accountability. Mr Manservisi emphasized the European Union is committed to continue assisting Guyana in its transformation.

In the absence of Foreign Minister Carl B. Greenidge, who had accompanied President Granger on a State Visit to the Republic of Chile, Minister Winston Jordan headed Guyana’s delegation to the CELAC-EU Meeting. The other members of the delegation were David Hales, Ambassador of Guyana to Belgium and the EU and Vonetta Victor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

During the course of the CELAC-EU meeting, Foreign Ministers of CARIFORUM were also expected to hold discussions with Mrs Federicia Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission on October 26, 2016.

Guyana’s National Coordinator to CELAC is Ambassador Audrey Jardine Waddell, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. CELAC and the EU have enjoyed privileged relations since the first bi-regional Summit in 1999 which established a strategic partnership. CELAC-EU relations are structured around biennial summits, Minister of Foreign Affairs meetings and regular Senior Officials meeting as well as specific thematic dialogues and initiatives.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Guyana
October 25, 2016

The 40th Anniversary of the 1976 Terrorist Bombing of Cubana Flight CU – 455

On Wednesday, October 5, 2016, the Embassy of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana in Havana, Cuba, hosted a ceremony in memory of the 73 victims of the Terrorist Bombing of Cubana Flight CU 455.

The ceremony featured the reading of letters sent by two witnesses (courtesy of Ms. Margarita Alarcon) who saw Flight CU 455 fall from the sky off the coast of Barbados. The letter from Ms. Linda Balzan, who was then twenty-five years old, and was on holiday in Barbados with her daughter, Eileen, and her husband – all three of whom were on the beach at the time of the bombing - was read by. Ms. Lou Anne Burns Martinez, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belize to the Republic of Cuba.

The letter from Ms. Eileen Boruch-Balzan, who was six years old at the time, was read by Her Excellency, Ms. Verna Morris, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of St. Kitts and Nevis to the Republic of Cuba.

Statements were made by H. E. Mr. Halim Majeed, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana to the Republic of Cuba, who deemed the tragedy “the first act of aviation terrorism in the Hemisphere.” Ambassador Majeed’s brother-in-law, Mr. Seshnarine Kumar, who was 18 years old at the time, perished in the bombing.

Other Statements were made by H. E. Ms. Donna Forde, Head of Mission of the Embassy of Barbados in the Republic of Cuba; H. E. Mr. Pak Chang Yul, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; Mr. Roberto Cesar Hamilton, Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Cuban Institute for the Friendship of the Peoples (ICAP).

Mr. Otto Marrero, former Senior Functionary of the Department of the Americas, of the Cuban Communist Party, reflected on the impact of that terrorist act on the countries affected.

The Feature Address on this occasion was delivered by H.E. Dr. Ricardo Alarcon de Quesada, former Permanent Representative of the Republic Cuba to the United Nations, President of the Cuban National Assembly and member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. In his address Dr. Alarcon referred to regional context in which that terrorist act occurred and the efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Attending the event were a wide cross section of the Diplomatic Corps resident in Havana, high level representatives of MINREX, MINCEX, the Cuban Chamber of Commerce, the Communist Party of Cuba, the Institute of International Relations of the University of Havana, other Special Invitees and Dignitaries, and members of the media, among others.

The Chairman of the Proceedings was His Excellency, Dr. Lancelot Howie, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Trinidad and Tobago, to the Republic of Cuba.

The final act of the ceremony was the unveiling of a Monument in the compound of the Embassy with the names of the victims who perished that fateful day in October 1976.

The Monument was constructed by Cuban sculptor, Mr. Frank David Perez, and his Team.

Today, Ambassador Halim Majeed will attend a Special Ceremony, hosted by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba at the Lazaro Pena Theatre, in memory of the fallen victims.

Embassy of Guyana
Havana
Cuba
October 6, 2016

Press Release - Presentation of credentials by Guyana's Ambassador to Geneva

At a ceremony at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, the Ambassador of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana to United Nations Organizations (Geneva) Dr. J. R. Deep Ford presented his credentials to Director General Michael Moller. During the brief exchange they discussed Guyana's place in the multilateral framework and its important role in contributing to the ongoing work in critical areas such as climate change and green economies, human rights and responsibilities and inclusive and integrated development.

Prior to his appointment as Ambassador of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana to United Nations Organizations in Geneva and the Government of Switzerland Dr. Ford held several senior positions at the United Nations for sixteen years and more recently as the Director of Caribbean Operations for the Food and Agriculture Organization. Dr. Ford started his professional career as a lecturer at the University of Guyana and also earlier worked for the Commonwealth Secretariat. In the coming weeks the Ambassador of Guyana will present credentials to the Government of Switzerland which will provide support for the establishment and operations of the Guyana Embassy in Geneva.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
October 11, 2016

Press Release on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the Kyrgyz Republic

Guyana and the Kyrgyz Republic established diplomatic relations on Friday, September 23, 2016 with the signature of a Joint Communiqué in the margins of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly. The Communiqué was signed by the Honourable Carl Greenidge, Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, and His Excellency Mr. Erlan Abdyldaev, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic.

The Communiqué now provides a framework for Guyana and the Kyrgyz Republic to begin exploring areas of mutual interest. Minister Greenidge expressed his satisfaction with this step taken by the two countries noting that the Communiqué would allow for more bilateral interaction including economic cooperation. The Foreign Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic in echoing these sentiments said that his Government is interested in having a mutually supportive relationship with Guyana.

The Kyrgyz Republic is located in Central Asia and was part of the Soviet Union before gaining independence in 1991. The country is rich in natural resources and has vast potential for the development of industrial production, hydropower, agriculture and tourism.

The establishment of diplomatic relations with the Kyrgyz Republic is part of the wider thrust of the Government of Guyana to pursue new partnerships with the aim of advancing the country’s economic growth and development.

Permanent Mission of Guyana to the UN
New York

Press Release - High Commissioner David Pollard Accredited to the Republic Of India

On September 21st, 2016, Dr. David Goldwin Pollard, Guyana’s new High Commissioner to India, presented his credentials to President Pranab Mukherjee. Dr. Pollard is Guyana’s sixth High Commissioner to India since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries on May 26th, 1966.

President Mukherjee centred his remarks on the advancement of Guyanese/Indian bilateral relations over the last 50 years. He highlighted the similarities between the two countries that were once colonies of Great Britain that have now become Republics collaborating to increase the development of both their nations and peoples. The President expressed his Government’s intention to foster relations between Guyana and India and in so doing, hopes that Guyana’s new High Commissioner will continue to enhance relations, especially in the areas of trade and investment.

High Commissioner Pollard, in his response, voiced his Government’s intention to focus on economic & commercial diplomacy and to continue to build on the solid and friendly ties that exist between Guyana and India.

The President extended best wishes to H.E. Dr. David Pollard for a successful tenure.

High Commission of Guyana, New Delhi, India, September 21, 2016

Press Release - Ambassador Riyad Insanally Accredited to the United States of America

On Friday, September 16, 2016, Dr. Riyad Insanally, Guyana’s Ambassador to the United States of America, presented his Letter of Credence to His Excellency Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, at the White House.

Both President Obama and Ambassador Insanally pledged to continue working to enhance the bilateral relationship between Guyana and the United States. In keeping with US protocol, the Ambassador presented written remarks to President Obama, in which he took the opportunity to highlight, among other things, that, although facing serious existential challenges, Guyana remains “wedded to the ideal of peace, resolute in its commitment to the rule of law, both domestically and in the international sphere, and supportive of the principles of good governance and sustainable, equitable development.”

Dr. Insanally also underlined the fact that the bonds of friendship and cooperation between the two countries are further cemented by the presence in the United States of what is estimated to be the largest Guyanese immigrant community – a dynamic diaspora community which continues to contribute to the ongoing development of Guyana. Ambassador Insanally is a career diplomat with over 25 years’ experience at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in international organisations. He studied Modern Languages and Latin American Studies and holds an MA and MPhil from the University of Cambridge and a PhD from Harvard University.

Embassy of Guyana, Washington, DC, September 20, 2016

Press Release - Ambassador Michael Ten-Pow accredited as Permanent Representative of Guyana to the United Nations

Ambassador Rudolph Michael Ten-Pow was today accredited as the Permanent Representative and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Guyana to the United Nations. Ambassador Ten-Pow presented his letters of credence to Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, in a ceremony at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Ambassador Ten-Pow began his career in the Foreign Service of Guyana in 1980 as Desk Officer for Venezuela and later Head of the Frontiers Division. He joined the United Nations in 1986 as a Translator from French and Spanish and served for a number of years at the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Santiago, Chile. Upon his return to Headquarters in 1991, he served successively as Reviser, Training Officer, Chief of the English Translation Service and Acting Director of the Documentation Division of the United Nations. During the period from 2013-2015, he joined the World Bank in Washington DC as Senior Programme Manager for Conference Services, returning to the United Nations in 2015 as Acting Director of the Documentation Division and later as Special Adviser to the United Nations Coordinator for Multilingualism.

The new Permanent Representative received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in French, Spanish and Portuguese from the University of Guyana with distinction. He earned Postgraduate Diplomas in Translation and Interpretation from the University of Geneva, Switzerland and a Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration in International Relations from the City University of New York. Ambassador Ten-Pow is married to Bonnie Ten-Pow and the couple has three adult children.

June 11, 2016

Press Release - Response by the Government of Guyana to the statements made by the Government of Venezuela with respect to the shooting incident in the Cuyuni River

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has noted that the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has issued a release that has been carried in the local media denying reports that their troops had fired on Guyanese officials traversing the Cuyuni River on Monday 30th May and suggesting that the Guyana Government fabricated the story.

In the first instance, it is unfortunate that the Government of Guyana was not afforded the courtesy of an official response to the Diplomatic Note which was sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on the matter.

The statement which the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has chosen to release to the media flies in the face of direct reports which the authorities of Guyana received from the victims as well as the explanation which the representatives of Guyana’s military received on May 31st from the Venezuelan Corporal-in-Charge of the six troops who were involved in the incident.

The Venezuelan authorities would have done well to have checked with the troops in question at the Observation Post, La Boca, on Ankoko Island who had furnished Guyana’s investigators with an explanation which the Government of Guyana believes and which it has found to involve unacceptable behavior because it assumed that they had rights of policing the river which is in Guyana’s territory.

In the past such actions led to the loss of lives and it is irresponsible to brush off this incident, an occurrence which the Government of Guyana continues to hold as being completely reprehensible.

The Government of Guyana categorically dismisses the claims by the Venezuelan Government in its release that Guyana’s actions are part of an “international media campaign” and “an international effort to de-stabilize Venezuela”. Such allegations do not even merit a response.

Guyana has been and will continue to be a peaceful and law-abiding neighbour with no interest in any other country’s territory or in destabilizing its administration.

The Government of Guyana reiterates its position that Venezuela must desist from provocative actions on Guyana’s border since such acts could only lead to the destabilization of relations between the two countries.

June 11, 2016

Press Release - Guyana ratifies Paris Agreement on Climate Change

Guyana today deposited its instrument of ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change becoming the 17th country to do so. His Excellency Ambassador George Talbot, Permanent Representative of Guyana to the United Nations, presented the instrument of ratification to Mr. Santiago Villalpando, the Chief of the Treaty Section of the Office of Legal Affairs, in a simple ceremony at the United Nations.

The Paris Agreement which was signed by a record one hundred and seventy-five countries when it was opened for signature on 22 April 2016, will come into force thirty days after at least fifty-five Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change accounting for at least fifty-five per cent of global emissions deposit their instruments of ratification.

The Paris Agreement has been hailed as providing a historic opportunity for the global community to respond to the challenge of climate change in an appropriate manner. Efforts to combat climate change and its impacts are of particular importance for low-lying coastal developing states like Guyana.

The early ratification of the Paris Agreement is consistent with the stated commitment of the Government of Guyana to strong action towards the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change. In keeping with its pursuit of a low carbon and green growth trajectory of sustainable development, Guyana’s contribution will be especially focused on the preservation and sustainable management of its forests and increased reliance on renewable sources of energy.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
May 20, 2016

Press Release - Bilateral Consultations held between officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana and officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia

A Georgian Delegation visited Guyana and held consultations on April 13, 2016 with the Hon. Carl Greenidge, Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs and other officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guyana.

The Georgian Delegation was led by H.E. Mr. David Dondua, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and comprised of H.E. Mr. Otar Berdzenishvili, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to Guyana and the Republic of Suriname (with residence in Brasilia) and Ms. Mariam Shonia, Second Secretary, Division of Latin America and the Caribbean States, Department of the Americas, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.

Among the issues discussed were the deepening of political dialogue on Guyana/Georgia bilateral relations, interagency cooperation and cooperation in the field of trade and investment, education, tourism, culture, crime and security. Standing issues on the United Nations agenda such as terrorism, reform of the UN Security Council, climate change and the 2030 sustainable development agenda were also discussed.

The consultations were very fruitful resulting in Guyana and Georgia in agreeing to strengthen existing bilateral cooperation and explore and establish cooperation in fields identified during the discussions.

Multilateral and Global Affairs Department
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
May 6, 2016

Press Release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana in response to breach of contract claim by former High Commissioner of Guyana to Canada

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has noted the recent press reports (Guyana Chronicle April 9) of a $49mn. breach of contract legal action taken by lawyers, including former Attorney General under the PPP Government, Mr Anil Nandlall, on behalf of the former High Commissioner (H.C.) to Canada, Mr H. N. Nawbatt in the Courts of Guyana.

The Ministry wishes to draw attention to customary practice where a change in administration may result in the termination of services of non-career diplomats who serve as Heads of Missions at the pleasure of the President of the day on a contractual basis. In practice, such Heads of Missions would normally submit their resignations when that administration demits office. Following the results of the General Elections in October 1992, the PPP administration terminated the services not only of non-career Ambassadors and High Commissioners but also of the career diplomats. The only exception was Ambassador Samuel Rudolph Insanally, who was serving at the time as the Permanent Representative of Guyana to the United Nations.

In May 2015 only two career diplomats headed Guyana Missions abroad. Consequent upon the results of the May 11, 2015 elections, the services of all political /non-career officers would have come to an end anyway. Of these political appointees, only Ambassador Bayney Karran, who heads Guyana’s Embassy in Washington, DC and is also Guyana’s Permanent Representative to the Organisation of American States, submitted a letter of resignation. In doing so, he indicated his availability and willingness to serve the new administration if so desired. On the other hand, notwithstanding the protocol of resignation mentioned above, Mr Nawbatt and the other political officers submitted no letters of resignation or expression of willingness to serve. His contract, like those of the other non-career officers, can be said to have been thereby frustrated. It is remarkable therefore, although not surprising given the effrontery of some of those officers, that Mr H. Nawbatt could claim to have been, since May 11, 2015, in a position to give and receive instructions and to discharge duties as a diplomatic representative of Guyana.
In any case, the Ministry wishes to point out that there is no record of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs having any involvement in the settlement of the terms of the contract to which Mr Nawbatt has made reference. The contract on which he is basing his appeal was signed a mere few weeks before the 2015 elections. He and the other persons signing such contracts would have been aware of the risks involved in signing so close to national elections, a document linked to the provision of service to a President and administration whose tenure was the subject of the very elections. The contracts ought to have been extended to May 11th or 12th or end of May as agreed by the Inter-Party Transition Committee.
Finally, the Ministry is also unaware of when Mr Nawbatt left his post in Canada.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the
Cooperative Republic of Guyana
April 13, 2016

Ambassadorial & Consular Appointments

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to announce that approval was received from the respective Governments for the following appointments:

• High Commissioner of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana to South Africa - Dr. Kenrick Hunte;
• Ambassador of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana to the United States of America – Dr. Riyad Insanally;
• Consul General, Barbados – Mrs. Cita Pilgrim;
• Consul General, Boa Vista – Ms. Shirley Melville

The List of Heads of Missions appointed so far will now be as follows:

Embassies and High Commissions
1. Venezuela - Cheryl Miles
2. Suriname - Keith George
3. Brazil - George Talbot
4. Belgium - David Hales
5. London - Hamley Case
6. Canada - Clarissa Rheil
7. Cuba - Halim Majeed
8. China - Bayney Karran
9. South Africa - Dr. Kenrick Hunte
10. USA - Dr. Riyad Insanally

Consulates
1. Nickerie, Suriname - Esther Griffith
2. Boa Vista, Brazil - Shirley Melville
3. Bridgetown, Barbados - Cita Pilgrim


Ministry of Foreign Affairs
April 6, 2016

Appointment of Ambassador George Talbot to the Federative Republic of Brazil

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to announce that Agrément was received from the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil for the appointment of H.E. Mr. George Wilfred Talbot, as the next resident Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana to the Federative Republic of Brazil. Mr. Talbot is a career Diplomat who joined the Foreign Service in 1993. He currently serves as the Permanent Representative of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana to the United Nations, a position he held since January 2012. He is also the current non-resident Ambassador to the State of Israel and non-resident High Commissioner to the Republic of Namibia. Attached hereto is a copy of the Curriculum Vitae of Ambassador George W. Talbot.

Cirrculum Vitae - Ambassador George Wilfred Talbot

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
March 22, 2016

Press Release issued on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Signing of the Geneva Agreement

This year is the 50th Anniversary of Guyana’s Independence. It is not co-incidental that today is also the 50th Anniversary of the Geneva Agreement; for the Geneva Meeting represented the last failed effort from Caracas to prevent Guyana’s Independence.

The Geneva Agreement was concluded between Britain and Venezuela. Guiana only became a full party on attaining Independence. That is what the Agreement was all about – Guyana’s Independence. Until then, Venezuela had indulged in an argument with Britain to maintain the state of colonialism in British Guiana until the boundary with Venezuela was changed. The Geneva Agreement ended that un-Bolivarian argument. Guyana would be free with its borders intact. That is why the Geneva Agreement is worth commemorating. It is part of the founding instruments of Guyana’s freedom.

As part of the future, it specifically limited the nature of any ongoing discussion:

First – the only discussion thereafter under the Geneva Agreement would be about Venezuela’s contention that the 1899 Arbitral Award under the Treaty of Washington ‘was null and void’.

Second – that the forum of discussion would be a 4-year Mixed Commission between Guyana and Venezuela and if that failed to find agreement, such other machinery as the Parties agreed upon; and

Thirdly, failing such agreement, Venezuela’s argument about the nullity of the 1899 Award, would be settled by a means chosen by the United Nations Secretary General from processes taken from Article 33 of the UN Charter, ending with judicial settlement.

That is where we are now. The Secretary General is seized of the matter. He is aware of Guyana’s position and has put forward proposals to both parties in the context of his powers under the Geneva Agreement. Guyana is cooperating fully with the Secretary General in the context outlined. What the Geneva Agreement offers Venezuela is the opportunity to establish that the 117 year old Award – accepted, demarcated and respected by Venezuela for over 60 years is a nullity.

Not surprisingly, Venezuela has not been able to do so over the first 50 years of the Geneva Agreement’s life. What they are doing now is to try to change the Geneva Agreement itself. But that is not possible. The Geneva Agreement remains what it always was, the means to bring closure to Venezuela’s baseless contentions.


February 17, 2016

Conclusion of Agreement for the Waiver of Visa Requirements for Mutual Visits of Nationals of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and Nationals of the Russian Federation

The Hon. Carl B. Greenidge, Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and His Excellency Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation signed an Agreement for the waiver of visa requirements for nationals of both countries on September 27, 2015.

The Agreement was signed during a bilateral meeting between the two Foreign Ministers in the margins of the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Under the Agreement, nationals of each State holding an ordinary passport can enter into, stay in or transit the territory of the other party without a visa for a period of ninety days. Persons intending to work or stay beyond 90 days must acquire a visa.

A key topic at the meeting was Guyana’s relation with Venezuela where Foreign Minister Lavrov emphasised the importance of resolving mutual disagreements through diplomatic methods and negotiations. The Ministers also took the opportunity to discuss key issues on the bilateral agenda such as political cooperation, strengthening the legal framework between Guyana and Russia, proactive trade, economic ties and expanded cooperation between law enforcement agencies.

Emphasis was placed on international issues such as collaboration in the United Nations and the promotion of Russia’s cooperation with the integration associations of Latin American and the Caribbean countries.
Guyana and Russia established formal diplomatic relations on December 17, 1970. Both countries enjoy friendly relations. The visa waiver agreement is expected to boost people to people contact thus strengthening the bilateral relations between the two countries.

October 13, 2015

Visit of the Second United Nations Team to Guyana

A six member Team led by the Chef de Cabinet of the Office of the Secretary General of the United Nations Ms Susana Malcorra will be in Guyana on Monday October 12, 2015 to continue discussions relating to the controversy resulting from Venezuela's contention that the 1899 Arbitral Award is null and void.

This is a follow up to the visit paid by a UN Technical Mission in July, 2015 and is in accordance with the programme of activities laid out by the Secretary General following his meeting with the Presidents of Guyana and Venezuela in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly on September 28, 2015.

October 11, 2015

Stop Over By the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon

On Sunday October 11, 2015 the Secretary General of the United Nations, His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon made a brief stop-over in Guyana en route to New York having attended the Peoples World Conference on Climate Change and Defence of Life in Cochabamba, Bolivia on October 10. That Conference was hosted by President Evo Morales. The Secretary General was met on arrival by the Honourable Carl Greenidge, Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs.  They took the opportunity to discuss issues arising out of the Bolivia meeting and related matters on climate change in particular the upcoming Summit to be held in Paris in December. 

The UN Resident Coordinator Ms Khadija Musa was also present to greet the Secretary General.  The Foreign Minister took the opportunity to express the appreciation of the Government for the valuable contribution of the UN Agencies based in Guyana to the national development agenda. 

[The follow up process outlined by the Secretary General at his meeting with the Presidents of Guyana and Venezuela in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly on September 28, 2015 was reiterated].

The Secretary General departed for New York ‎on the Caribbean Airlines flight to New York at 5:25 pm the same day.

October 11, 2015

MEETING CHAIRED BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS WITH THEIR EXCELLENCIES THE PRESIDENTS OF GUYANA AND VENEZUELA 

The Secretary General of the United Nations, His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon, met with Presidents of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela at the headquarters of the United Nations on 27th September, 2015 

This meeting is regarded as representing an important juncture in Guyana’s quest to ensure a final and binding solution to the controversy over Venezuela’s contention that the Arbitral Awards of 1899, which definitively established the land boundary between Guyana and Venezuela, is null and void.  

During that meeting, President David Granger reaffirmed Guyana’s position that the Geneva Agreement does not supersede the Arbitral Award of 1899 as Venezuela seems to contend.  The President pointed out that the Agreement does not contain any provision that changes the established boundary between Guyana and Venezuela. Neither does the Agreement empower Venezuela to approve or object to Guyana’s efforts at development of anything within its borders.  In light of the continued difference of views on the purpose, intent and scope of the Geneva Agreement, President Granger firmly reiterated Guyana’s position that it is time that the issue of whether the Award is null and void be juridically determined since it is a legal matter. 

Guyana welcomed the Secretary General’s reiteration and reaffirmation of his mandate under the Geneva Agreement and noted his commendation of Guyana for the readiness with which the Government of Guyana had received the UN’s Technical Team in August 2015. Venezuela committed itself to receiving the Technical Team at an early time and date convenient to the United Nations since Venezuela had not previously indicated its readiness to receive the Team.  

The visits to both capitals are regarded as critical to the conclusion of the work that the team is conducting which is aimed at making recommendations to the Secretary General on the way forward regarding the selection of a means of solution to controversy. Once those recommendations are made to the Secretary General, he will consult with both Georgetown and Caracas on what future steps are needed to resolve the controversy. 

In response to President Maduro’s call for dialogue, President Granger reaffirmed Guyana’s commitment to dialogue with Venezuela, but noted that the Geneva Agreement prescribes how the controversy should be handled.  He stressed that Guyana had not and will not act contrary to the provisions of that agreement.  The President clarified that bilateral discussions could address any matter between Guyana and Venezuela other than the controversy.  President Maduro’s announcement that the Venezuelan Ambassador will be returned to Georgetown and that agrément will be granted to Guyana’s Ambassador-designate to Caracas was welcomed by the Guyana delegation and by the Secretary General of the United Nations.

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

October 1, 2015 

 

 

Signing of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative Letter of Agreement

The Honourable Carl Greenidge, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and Mr. Bryan Hunt, Charge d'Affaires of the Embassy of the United States of America today signed the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative Letter of Agreement Three Point One.

This document constitutes an amendment to the original Agreement signed between the two countries on April 8, 2011 under the framework of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) and will allow for the continuation of the programmed activities under that Agreement. Through the CBSI, the United States of America and the Caribbean states have agreed to undertake cooperative efforts to reduce illicit trafficking, advance public safety and security as well as promote social justice.

The Government of Guyana has received a total of US 850,000 under this arrangement since the conclusion of the Agreement in 2011.

The Letter of Agreement signed today will provide funds in the amount of US$50,000 taking the total funding for projects under the CBSI to a grand total of US$900, 000. This sum will be channeled towards the funding of three (3) projects in Guyana, viz, Law Enforcement Professionalization and Support, Strengthening Counter Narcotic Control Capabilities, and the Rule of Law and Anti- Corruption. These projects will target the Security and Judicial sectors in the areas of gender based violence, trafficking in persons, policing techniques, crime scene investigations and interrogation techniques as well as port of entry interrogation and interdiction techniques among others.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
July 13, 2015

 

Statement by the Cooperative Republic of Guyana regarding the issuance of the Presidential Decree by Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has issued a Presidential Decree purporting to annex maritime spaces pertaining to the Cooperative Republic of Guyana under the relevant rules of International Law.

Decree No. 1.787 is a flagrant violation of International Law and is inconsistent with the principle that all States should respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other States, large and small.  The Cooperative Republic of Guyana rejects this illegality which seeks to undermine our efforts at development through the exploitation of our natural resources off-shore.  Guyana will continue, undeterred, to access and develop its resources in accordance with its Constitution and laws in keeping with the principles of International Law.

Guyana denounces this decree which is a violation of international law. It is international law that must reign supreme and not the ambitions of a larger State which wishes to trample upon the rights of a smaller country in order to obstruct the sovereign right of Guyana to develop its natural resources.  The land boundary between Guyana and Venezuela which was defined by the Arbitral Award of 1899, is recognized by all States. Venezuela also recognized its border with Guyana as settled for over sixty years having also participated in the demarcation of this established boundary which was completed in 1905.

The Cooperative Republic of Guyana is concerned that the said decree disregards International Law, constitutes a threat to regional peace and security and breaches the Geneva Agreement of 1966. It is therefore imperative that Venezuela adheres to the principles of International Law in seeking to delineate its maritime boundaries with neighbouring States pending actual delimitations.

The Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana wishes to make it pellucid that Decree No. 1.787 cannot be applicable to any part of Guyana’s territory and any attempt by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to apply that instrument in an extra-territorial manner will be vigorously resisted by the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. In light of this Guyana will spare no effort in bringing to the attention of the international community this aggressive and illegal act by Venezuela.

June 7, 2015

 


 

Government of Guyana Statement on the political framework agreement reached between the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany and the Islamic Republic of Iran

The Government of Guyana welcomes the political framework agreement reached between the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany and the Islamic Republic of Iran as a significant step towards a comprehensive joint plan of action to be achieved by June 2015, aimed at mutually agreeing limits on Iran's nuclear programme, providing assurances that it will remain exclusively peaceful, in exchange for the lifting of sanctions. We urge the parties to build on this achievement in the coming months towards a durable outcome that will contribute to reducing tensions and to promoting peace and stability in the region and the world. As a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), Guyana reaffirms its commitment to nuclear non-proliferation and to the elimination of the threat posed by nuclear weapons.

 

 Ministry of Foreign Affairs

April 8, 2015

 

Message from  His Excellency Donald Ramotar, President of the Republic of Guyana to His Excellency Tony Tan Keng Yam, President of the Republic of Singapore on the passing of the First Prime Minister of Singapore H.E. Lee Kuan Yew

Text begins:

“Excellency

It is with profound sadness that I extend on behalf of the nation of Guyana our sincere condolences to the Government and people of the Republic of Singapore for its great loss on the passing of the First Prime Minister of Singapore H.E. Lee Kuan Yew.

H.E. Lee Kuan Yew has served his native land with distinction, dedication and commitment. The impact of his sterling contribution to the national development of Singapore is renowned. He will be remembered for his several accomplishments including his acclaimed transformative model for development which is highly recognized both nationally and internationally.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the people Republic of Singapore during this period of national mourning.

Donald Ramotar
President of the Republic of Guyana”

Text Ends

25 March 2015

Commonwealth Spokesperson statement on Guyana

The Commonwealth Secretariat Spokesperson today stated that the Secretariat had received an update from Guyana on recent developments concerning the challenge to petroleum exploration within what Guyana maintains to be its exclusive economic zone.

The Spokesperson recalled the Commonwealth’s consistent and unequivocal support for the preservation of Guyana's sovereignty and territorial integrity and said that Guyana's concerns had been brought to the attention of all Commonwealth member states.

The Spokesperson added that the Commonwealth has remained engaged with the issue and looked forward to the settlement of differences bilaterally through dialogue and cooperation.

25 March 2015

Statement Issued after the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela's publication in local media 

The Government of Guyana is extremely perplexed by the fact that the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, while declaring as false Guyana’s statement that Venezuela’s actions are aimed at stymieing Guyana’s development, that same Government seeks to publicize those very objections to Guyana’s development initiatives – by also utilizing Guyana’s local media.
 
While the Communiqué which appeared in the Kaieteur News edition of March 13, 2015 mentions the fact that leaders from both countries have underscored the “necessity of deepening cooperation” between Guyana and Venezuela, it fails to recognize that those efforts have in fact been defeated by Venezuela’s threats and actions against investors wishing to operate and those already operating in Guyana, including by the very Communiqué under reference.
 
The premise of Venezuela’s objections continues to be its spurious and illegal claim to Guyana’s territory.  The land boundary between Guyana and Venezuela was permanently and definitively delimited on October 3, 1899 pursuant to the Treaty of Washington of February 2, 1897.  The view expressed in the Communiqué under reference that there is a territorial dispute “inherited from British colonialism” is therefore patently false.
 
As a sovereign State, empowered under international law to exercise sovereign rights over its continental shelf and exclusive economic zone, the Republic of Guyana has full and unfettered authority to unilaterally explore – with or without partners – and exploit the living and non-living resources within its jurisdiction.  Any act or objection to the exercise of such jurisdiction is contrary to international law – both codified and customary international law.
 
While it is a fact that the delimitation of the maritime boundary between Guyana and Venezuela remains an outstanding matter, it is pellucid that there are maritime spaces that can legitimately belong to only one of the two States.   That is fully recognized under both customary and codified international law.  Venezuela’s vain effort to link its spurious and illegal claim to Guyana’s Essequibo to matters related to the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone of Guyana within the context of the Geneva Agreement of February 17, 1966 therefore has no legal basis.  The fact is that the Geneva Agreement does not relate to a boundary or territorial dispute, but to a unilateral and unsubstantiated claim by Venezuela that the Arbitral Award of 1899 is null and void.  Guyana completely rejects this effort to conflate two separate matters within the context of the Geneva Agreement.
 
The Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Guyana earlier this year elaborated on the reasons why Guyana was in the process of reviewing the options under the Geneva Agreement for bringing the controversy initiated and maintained by Venezuela, to an end.  It should suffice to repeat that the Good Offices Process has been in existence for over twenty-five (25) years, but Venezuela has on many occasions taken actions and issued statements that are inimical to that process even while it was in full operation – this includes both military actions and strident statements by high officials of Venezuela.
 
Guyana rejects the subtle threat issued in the sixth paragraph of the Communiqué where it is stated that Venezuela “reserves the right to execute all actions in the diplomatic field and in accordance with international law, that might be necessary to defend and safeguard the sovereignty and independence [of Venezuela]”  over Essequibo.  The Government of the Republic of Guyana has had occasion to caution the Government of Venezuela that any such action will be in flagrant violation of the territorial integrity of Guyana, international law and will also constitute a material violation of the Geneva Agreement.  
 
Finally, the Government of Guyana wishes to make it clear that investment approvals by it are done solely in the interest of the people of Guyana.  Guyana therefore utterly rejects the insinuation that its investment operations are or could be inimical to the interests of the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.  Guyana notes that this assertion is without foundation since the Venezuelan Government has also sought to derail other projects in Guyana that are being supported by a mutually friendly State that is fully a part of the “unity of Latin America”
 
The Government of Guyana is convinced and assured that the people of Guyana, and indeed international investors and public opinion, will not be swayed by the falsities and fabrications in the Communiqué issued by the Venezuelan Government on March 13, 2015.  
The Government of Guyana further calls on the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to be respectful of the 1897 Treaty, the Arbitral Award of 1899, the 1905 demarcation of the boundary between Guyana and Venezuela pursuant to the Arbitral Award and other formally ratified documents between our two countries, the principles of general international law and the Charter of the United Nations in the conduct of its relations with the Republic of Guyana and its people.
The Government of Guyana remains committed to a diplomatic solution consistent with international law, however the public pronouncements by Venezuela through various media agencies cannot go unanswered.
 
 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
March 13, 2015 
 
 
Response to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela's communication to Exxon Mobil
 
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform that consequent upon a communication being sent from the Venezuelan Foreign Minister to the Country Manager of Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited objecting to the despatch of a rig to proceed with the exploration of an oil well in the concession granted by the Government of Guyana, the Government of Guyana has despatched a Note Verbale to the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry.
 
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has requested that the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela desist from taking any actions that could only result in the stymying of the development of Guyana and its people and that would be in contravention of international law.
The Ministry has also informed CARICOM, UNASUR, the OAS, the Commonwealth as well as the United Nations Secretary General about this recent action by Venezuela.
 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
February 28, 2015
 
The signing of two Agreements by the Governments of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the Oriental Republic of Uruguay 

The Honourable Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guyana and His Excellency Luis Almagro Lemes, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay signed a Framework Agreement for Cooperation between the two countries and an Agreement for the Abolition of Visa Requirement for the Holders of Ordinary Passports. 

The Framework Agreement would allow for the consolidating and promotion of cooperative relations between the two countries in areas of common interest, including economic, commercial, financial, industrial, agricultural, scientific, technical and cultural fields. The Visa Abolition Agreement, which comes into effect 60 days after its signature, would allow citizens from both countries to enter each other’s territory for a period of ninety (90) days without requiring a Visa.

The Government of Guyana has been actively pursuing the strengthening of relations with countries of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) especially since the Constitutive Treaty was signed in 2008. The two agreements bode well for further integration of which the ability of citizens to move among the different countries of the continent without the hassle of visa restrictions is fundamental. 

The Agreements were signed on February 26, 2015 in the margins of the Twenty-Sixth Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community which is being held in the Bahamas from 26-27 February 2015. The Government of Guyana’s delegation to the Conference of Heads is led by the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs. 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
February 26, 2015




The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to respond to queries following media reports that Mr. Ernie Ross, Honorary Consul General of Guyana to Trinidad and Tobago was involved in a spat of words between former Minister of National Security, Gary Griffith and the current Minister of Trade, Investment and Communications, Vasant Bharat. 

Mr. Ross has provided a complete background to the situation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reposes its confidence in the statement made by him and in his continued ability to responsibly carry out his duties on behalf of the Government of Guyana.

In addition to holding the unpaid position as Guyana's Honorary Consul General to Trinidad and Tobago in Port of Spain, Mr. Ross is also head of the advertising firm, Ross Advertising. As Honorary Consul General, Mr. Ross is permitted to function in other capacities.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs
February 4, 2015


Issue Involving Guyanese Mini Bus Operators Plying the Guyana-Suriname Route 

On the 19th December, 2014, the Embassy of Guyana in Paramaribo was informed by four mini bus operators that the Surinamese authorities had instituted new requirements for buses plying the route from Guyana to Paramaribo. More specifically, they indicated that the new requirement is that they have to transport the identical passengers they brought from Guyana on their return from Suriname. Needless to say this requirement is impractical given that persons have varying lengths of stay and passengers might also be traveling one way only. The Embassy immediately contacted the Surinamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs who promised to speak with their custom authorities and revert with information pertaining to the issue.

Having received no information, on the 24th December 2014, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honorable Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett spoke to her Surinamese counterpart Honorable Winston Lackin explaining that the new requirement has serious implications for free movement between the two countries, especially since tourism and general movement between Guyana and Suriname have been growing. Minister Lackin promised to get more information on the matter and that he will do his best to have it resolved.

 

The Embassy of Guyana also continued to follow up with the Foreign Ministry in Suriname but no formal transmission of the new requirements has been received to date. In the meantime, the Ministry has recently learnt that another requirement instituted by the Surinamese authorities is that Guyanese operators need to apply for a license to operate from Guyana to Paramaribo. This requirement and the one previously mentioned are inconsistent with the Cross Border Protocol of October 22, 1998.

Today, Hon. Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett again spoke with her Surinamese counterpart and they both recognize the good neighborly relations that exist between Guyana and Suriname, which has in part facilitated the increase movement of people between the two countries. They have agreed that the resolution of the matter is urgent and that a Meeting between the two sides must be convened soonest. The necessary arrangements are being made for the meeting to take place.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
15th January 2015

 

Response to comments by the British High Commissioner

Further to pronouncements by the British High Commissioner, H.E Andrew Ayre, that Guyana has breached the Commonwealth Charter and can be reviewed as was done in the case of Fiji, it became necessary for the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honorable Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett to speak to the Commonwealth Secretary General, Mr. Kamalesh Sharma, to clarify whether the Commonwealth has made such a determination as the Government of Guyana received no communication to this effect. The Secretary General confirmed that there has been no discussion about the situation in Guyana with the British Government or its High Commissioner in Georgetown or by any other Commonwealth body for that matter. As such, there has been no conclusion by the Commonwealth that Guyana is in breach of the Commonwealth Charter.

The statement made by the outgoing British High Commissioner is therefore most misleading.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
January 15, 2015

 

The Honourable Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guyana led a delegation to the First Ministerial Meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) - China Forum which is being held in Beijing, China on January 8-9, 2015.

The CELAC-China Forum is a bi-regional mechanism aimed at promoting cooperation between the CELAC Member States and China in a wide range of areas including: training of human resources; transfer of technology; infrastructure development; climate change; energy, natural resources; cultural exchanges and agriculture. The Government of China, in collaboration with regional financial institutions will provide concessional financing for many of the projects developed within the framework of this mechanism.

The decision to develop this bi-regional mechanism was taken by the Heads of State and Government of the region at the 2nd CELAC Summit which was held in Havana, Cuba in January, 2014. Six months later the CELAC - China Forum was officially launched in Brasilia in the margins of the BRICS Summit in July, 2014.

The President of China, Xi Jinping chaired the opening ceremony which was also attended by H.E. Luis Guillermo Solis, the President of Costa Rica and Pro Tempore Chair of CELAC; the Honourable Perry Christie, Prime Minister of the Bahamas and the current CARICOM representative on the CELAC Quartet; H.E. Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador and incoming Pro Tempore Chair of CELAC and; H.E. Nicolas Maduro, President of Venezuela.

The meeting which was held under the theme "New Platform, New Starting Point, New Opportunity - Joint Efforts to Promote China-Latin America and the Caribbean Partnership of Comprehensive Cooperation", adopted three main documents: the Beijing Declaration, the Operating Rules of the Forum, and The 2015-2019 Plan of Action.

Speaking at the historical Forum, Minister Rodrigues-Birkett said "We are encouraged by the potential role of the CELAC-China Forum in promoting increased South-South cooperation between China and the Latin America and Caribbean region. The proposed areas for cooperation cover in large part our common interest and once implemented will redound to the growth and development of our peoples. We in Guyana see great value in the initiatives as outlined in the Cooperation Plan and embrace all opportunities afforded to be part of such collaboration." She also concurred with the Chinese Foreign Minister that the easiest part is completed (the Cooperation Plan) and highlighted the need for the plan to be converted into workable projects which must be implemented with alacrity so that there can be an early harvest.

The Minister also took the opportunity to mention the issue of Climate Change. "Not to underestimate the importance of the other areas listed in the Plan but since it is the greatest challenge of our times, I must refer to the issue of climate change. Guyana, as a low lying coastal developing state together with our Caribbean colleagues are pleased that climate change is given prominence in the Cooperation Plan since we are very vulnerable to the impact of climate change. Indeed several of the most vulnerable countries in the world are found in the Caribbean. The consensus that Caribbean States must be treated differently is therefore welcomed."

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of China, H.E. Mr. Wang Yi also met with the Caribbean Ministers in a special private meeting to discuss issues of interest to the Caribbean countries vis-a-vis the Forum.



Ministry of Foreign Affairs
January 9, 2015

 


Congratulatory message from His Excellency Donald Ramotar to His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena, newly appointed President of Sri Lanka

Excellency,

On behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Guyana and on my own behalf, I wish to extend sincere congratulations to you on your recent appointment to the office of President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

I wish you every success as you undertake this important responsibility and look forward to working with you towards the strengthening of the relations between Guyana and Sri Lanka. 

Please accept, Excellency my best wishes for your personal good health and well being and for the continued progress and prosperity of the people of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

Donald Ramotar
President of the Republic of Guyana




Statement on the Terrorist Attack on the French News Paper

The Government of Guyana joins the international community in strongly condemning the reprehensible terrorist attack launched on the French News Paper “Charlie Hebdo” by a terrorist group. The Government wishes to convey sincere condolences as the people of France mourn the loss of innocent lives on account of this reprehensible act.

The Government of Guyana subscribes to the principle of the full and effective exercise of the freedom of the press, which is an indispensable instrument for the functioning of representative democracy, through which individuals exercise their right to receive, impart and seek information.

In this regard, the Government stands in solidarity with the French Authorities and the rest of the international community in their efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The Government of Guyana reiterates its condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs
January 8, 2015



On January 8, His Excellency President Donald Ramotar addressed the inaugural session of the annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (Indian Diaspora Conference) in Ahmedabad, Gujarat as the Chief Guest. Click here to read the full text of President Ramotar’s address.

Following the inaugural ceremony, President Ramotar had bilateral discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Prime Minister Modi extended a warm welcome to President Ramotar and expressed his appreciation that the President had accepted the invitation to participate in the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas despite his heavy domestic schedule.

President Ramotar said that India was one of the earliest countries to recognize Guyana after its independence and acknowledging the excellent relations which exist between the two countries, he pointed out that there was scope for the further enhancement of those links. In this regard, he encouraged Prime Minister Modi to consider the membership of India in the Inter - American Development Bank and Caribbean Development Bank which would provide access to Indian companies to become involved in projects in Guyana and in the region.

Prime Minister Modi referred to the announcement which he had made at the BRICS Summit held in 2014 in Brasilia regarding the establishment of IT Centres in the region. He said that his Government had taken the decision that Guyana would be the first country in which they would establish an IT Centre and that this would be inaugurated very soon. The Prime Minister also informed President Ramotar that India would grant a line of credit of US$50m for the East Bank Demerara Road expansion as well as funds in the amount of US$8m to assist in the acquisition of an ocean ferry vessel. The Indian Government will also work with the Guyana Government in a pilot project on renewable energy using a rice husk gassifier.

President Ramotar expressed his sincere appreciation for India’s continued support to Guyana and said that the new areas for cooperation identified by Prime Minister Modi were priority areas on the national development agenda.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs
January 8, 2015



On December 18, 2014 H.E. George Talbot, Permanent Representative of Guyana to the United Nations addressed the General Assembly on the United Nations agenda item 15 regarding the resolution on the “Role of the United Nations in promoting a New Global Human Order”.

The resolution which was adopted by consensus received co-sponsorship from forty three countries.

The concept of a New Global Human Order, was first advocated by the late President Dr. Cheddi Jagan, and emanated from a concern with the challenges posed by growing inequality both within and among countries and its implications for the promotion of human development. The initiative is fundamentally concerned with promoting equitable and inclusive improvements in human well-being and establishing a cooperative and integrated global approach to achieving this in a fair and balanced manner.

Read Ambassador Talbot’s statement to the General Assembly and the Resolution which was adopted.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs
December 19, 2014




The Government of Guyana welcomes the decision announced today by President Barrack Obama to normalise diplomatic and economic ties with the Republic of Cuba.

The Government of Guyana views this as a progressive step towards the development of constructive relations between the United States of America and Cuba which will redound to the benefit of these two countries and the hemisphere as whole.

The Government wishes to congratulate President Obama on this brave and just decision and hopes that these actions will lead to an early end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade which the United States of America has pursued for the last 54 years against the Cuban people. It is our hope that the measures announced will be implemented without any hindrance.

We congratulate and salute President Raul Castro on the headways made which were no doubt occasioned by his continued willingness to dialogue with President Barack Obama.

We also wish to acknowledge the critical role played by Pope Francis and the Vatican and the Government of Canada in facilitating the discussions between the United States of America and Cuba which have resulted in this promising end.

The Government of Guyana will continue to stand in solidarity with the Government and people of Cuba in pursuit of the removal of the blockade even as we salute the nation of Cuba for their unwavering strength against this unjust policy.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs
December 17, 2014




Message of Condolence from His Excellency Donald Ramotar, President of the Republic of Guyana to His Excellency, Mamnoon Hussain, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
On the Peshawar School Terrorist Attack – December 16, 2014


Excellency, 

It is with deep sadness that I received the news of the terrorist attack which occurred on December 16, 2014 at a school in Peshawar resulting in the tragic death of 141 persons, the majority of them innocent children. 

Guyana strongly condemns this heinous act of violence which has been perpetrated in your country. We mourn the loss of innocent lives and pray for the mental and physical recovery of those who have survived. 

Terrorist attacks and other crimes committed by extremist organizations particularly on children violate the fundamental human rights of all and must therefore be tackled with determination and necessary zeal. The attack on a school sends a message to the international community that all are vulnerable and therefore we must cooperate to eliminate the shameful and cowardly scourge of terrorism. 

On behalf of the Government and the people of Guyana and on my own behalf, I submit our prayers and sympathies for all those affected by this tragedy. Please convey to the bereaved families, relatives and all the people of Pakistan that Guyana stands with them in their time of sorrow. 

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs
December 17, 2014




The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is pleased to announce that today, December 10, 2014, at the 100th Session of the Council of Ministers of the African, Pacific and Caribbean Group of States (ACP), held at ACP Headquarters in Brussels, Guyana's Ambassador to Belgium and the European Community, His Excellency Dr. Patrick Ignatius Gomes, was selected as the new Secretary-General of the ACP for the period 2015 to 2020. 

Ambassador Gomes will take office in March 2015 in the fortieth year of the ACP. It was in Guyana, 39 years ago in 1975, that the ACP was birthed through the Georgetown Accord.

Ambassador Gomes has served as Guyana’s Ambassador to the ACP Group of States and the European Union with effect from February 2005. He is also the Chairman of the Ambassadors’ Working Group on Future Perspectives of the ACP. For almost a decade, Ambassador Gomes has worked consistently within the ACP to gain beneficial terms of trade and development in the markets of the European Union for ACP’s agricultural commodities and minerals. He has also pursued improved financial support and services for joint ACP-EU institutions such as the Centre for Technical Cooperation in Agriculture and Rural Development and has been instrumental in promoting the potential for capacity development of the ACP through South-South and Triangular Cooperation.

In thanking the ACP Ministers for the confidence they have exhibited in Ambassador Gomes, Minister of Foreign Affairs Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett said "the ACP is at a critical juncture and experience and wise leadership coupled with patience are critical if we are to overcome the challenges. Ambassador Gomes possesses these attributes and together with the support of all of us, I am confident he will not only keep the Georgetown Agreement alive but will make it thrive." Minister Rodrigues-Birkett in congratulating Ambassador Gomes said "Warmest congratulations compatriot, the celebration will be short as you have a lot of work to do. Go now and serve the African, Caribbean and Pacific group with distinction as you have served your own country Guyana."

The Government of Guyana views this appointment as an honour for Guyana, the Caribbean and the ACP Group. 


Ministry of Foreign Affairs
December 10, 2014 




The Government of the Republic of Guyana and the Government of the Republic of Fiji today formally established diplomatic relations with the signing of a Communiqué in New York by Guyana’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador George Talbot, and the Permanent Representative of Fiji to the United Nations, Ambassador Peter Thomson. 

By signing the Communiqué both States have agreed for their diplomatic relations to be guided by the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter and international law particularly on equality among States, respect for national sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, non-interference in the internal affairs of other States, and respect for international treaties.

The Government of Guyana’s decision to establish diplomatic relations with Fiji was taken after democratic elections were held in Fiji on September 17, 2014 following a period of military rule and Fiji’s subsequent readmission into the Commonwealth. The decision is also in keeping with the foreign policy of the Government of Guyana to develop relations with those Member States of the international community with which it shares mutual interests and values. 


Ministry of Foreign Affairs
December 8, 2014




His Excellency President Donald Ramotar attended the Fifth Summit between CARICOM and Cuba held in Havana, Cuba on December 8, 2014.

In his intervention on the discussions relating to CARICOM-Cuba cooperation, President Ramotar expressed his sincere appreciation to His Excellency Raul Castro Ruz, President of the Republic of Cuba for the remarkable contribution which Cuba has been making to the development of the Region. He recognized the important role which Cuba has played in the development of human capital particularly in medicine, engineering and other fields critical to the social and economic progress of the peoples of the Caribbean Community and the Caribbean region as a whole. In this regard, referring to the announcement made by Cuba that the Government will increase the numbers of scholarships for graduate and postgraduate studies, President Ramotar thanked President Castro for this continued assistance.

President Ramotar said that the strong foundation of cooperation had indeed justified the decision taken forty two years ago to establish relations with Cuba – a decision which was the culmination of other related actions, in particular the role of the people of British Guiana as it was then, in breaking the blockade to trade with Cuba. In this regard, President Ramotar recalled the constant advocacy of former President Cheddi Jagan during those times to engage with Cuba and to contribute to the building of the foundation of the relationship with the Caribbean and Cuba.

President Ramotar further paid tribute to the brave and valuable role which Cuba played in the liberation struggle of the African countries.

Touching on future areas of cooperation, President Ramotar said that the existing relationship allows the countries of CARICOM and Cuba to build more regional research centres that would allow them to make independent discoveries in science and technology.

While much work has been done in the social field, another area of collaboration was that of agriculture. Referring to the food import bill of the countries of the Caribbean Community being approximately four billion dollars, if Cuba was added that would increase to more than five billion dollars, it was necessary to pursue together, building on the Jagdeo Initiative for agriculture and using the National Institutes in the Member States and that of Cuba, means to become more independent in terms of food security.

Energy cooperation was also another area proposed by President Ramotar in which CARICOM and Cuba could cooperate towards affordable energy for development.

President Ramotar assured President Castro that Guyana was happy to cooperate with Cuba and the rest of the Member States of the Caribbean Community in the setting up in Guyana of the Regional Centre for the Treatment of Physical Disabilities.

Acknowledging the importance to enhance the trading relations among the countries of CARICOM and Cuba, President Ramotar committed to working with the rest of CARICOM and Cuba for the signing and early implementation of the Second Additional Protocol to the Agreement for Trade and Economic Cooperation.

Noting that the sugar industry plays a central role in the history of the countries of the Caribbean and recalling Cuba’s offer to assist the countries of CARICOM in this sector, President Ramotar recognized the vast experience of Cuba in the development of its sugar industry and its successful innovations; in this regard he offered Guyana’s willingness to benefit from Cuba’s expertise in the development of Guyana’s sugar industry.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs
December 8, 2014



The Government of Guyana has taken a decision to accept the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol which was adopted by States Parties to the Protocol on December 8, 2012. The Doha Amendment is considered a valuable part of the momentum for global climate action leading up to 2020 for reduced emission of greenhouse gases. Among other things, it includes new commitments for Parties to the Kyoto Protocol who agreed to take on commitments in a second commitment period from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2020, and a revised list of greenhouse gases (GHG) to be reported on by Parties in the second commitment period. 

Guyana’s acceptance of the Doha Amendment will not legally bind the country to take any action relating to reduced emissionssince the Amendment commits Annex I states, of which Guyana is not a Member, to further reduce their CO2 emissions by 18 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. Guyana’s acceptance, however, will exemplify the commitment of the Government to fighting climate change by adding to the number of acceptances needed to bring the Amendment into force. Nineteen states have accepted the Doha Amendment to date but Instruments of Acceptance must be received by the United Nations Secretary General from at least three fourths of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, that is, 144 acceptances must be received before the Doha Amendment can come into force. Accepting the protocol will also pave the way for further access by Guyana to funds under the Clean Development Mechanism and the Adaptation Fund under the Kyoto Protocol. 

Guyana participated in the first period of commitment of the Kyoto Protocol which ran from 2008 to 2012. Under the Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the Guyana Sugar Corporation benefited from funds provided for the Skeldon Bagasse Cogeneration Project. 

The Government’s decision comes on the eve of the 20th Meeting of the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (COP 20) which begins in Lima, Peru on December 1, 2014 where the status of the Doha Amendment will be announced. 


Ministry of Foreign Affairs
November 28, 2014


Congratulatory Message from H.E. Donald Ramotar to H.E. Dilma Rousseff on her re-election as President of the Federative Republic of Brazil

Excellency,

The Government and people of Guyana join me in extending heartfelt congratulations to you and to the Workers Party on your re-election to office as President of the Federative Republic of Brazil.

I wish to reiterate the commitment of my Government to continue to work closely with the Government of Brazil to further strengthen the ties of friendship and collaboration which happily exist between our two countries and peoples.

Please accept Excellency, my best wishes for a very successful term of office and for your continued good health and well-being.

Donald Ramotar
President of the Republic of Guyana



Congratulatory Message from the H.E. President Donald Ramotar to H.E. SUELY CAMPOS, Governor elect of the State of Roraima

Excellency,

On behalf of the Government and in my own name I wish to extend warm congratulations on the occasion of your election as Governor of the State of Roraima.

Your resounding victory demonstrates the confidence which the people of the State of Roraima have placed in your able leadership.

We in Guyana look forward to working closely with you to further strengthen the existing partnership with the State of Roraima for the mutual benefit of our peoples, especially those in our frontier communities.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest regard and my best wishes for a successful term of office.

Donald Ramotar
President of the Republic of Guyana


Congratulatory Message from His Excellency Donald Ramotar, President of the Republic of Guyana to His Excellency Juan Evo Morales Amya, President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia. 

The following message has been despatched to His Excellency Juan Evo Morales Amya, President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia from His Excellency Donald Ramotar, President of the Republic of Guyana:

Text reads: 

“Excellency, The Government and people of Guyana join me in extending heartfelt congratulations on your overwhelming victory at the Presidential elections held on October 12, 2014.

The people of Bolivia have clearly demonstrated their confidence in your ability to continue to lead their country on the path to further development and increased prosperity.

I wish to express my best wishes for a successful term of office and for your continued good health and wellbeing. 

Donald Ramotar
President of the Republic of Guyana”


Text ends.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
October 15, 2014

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs the Honourable Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett met with His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations on Friday September 26, 2014 in the margins of the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Their discussions focused on the continued involvement of the United Nations Secretary General in the solution of the controversy which arose as the result of the Venezuelan contention that the Arbitral Award of 1899 that definitively settled the land boundary between Guyana and Venezuela, is null and void.

Also discussed were issues pertaining to climate change as well as financing for development in particular, the next Conference to be held in Ethiopia in 2015, preparations for which are being co-chaired by Guyana (in the person of HE. Ambassador George Talbot, Permanent Representative to the United Nations) and Norway.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs
September 27, 2014

 


The closing ceremony for the second phase of “Spanish Language training for Public servants” conducted by the Universidad Nacional de Colombia was held on September 5, 2014, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

The programme is part of the on-going support from the Government of Colombia in the area of capacity building. The first segment was conducted last year in response to a formal request made by the Hon Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Minister of Foreign Affairs. Participants were drawn from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs; Home Affairs; Local Government; Education; Agriculture; Health; Education; Labour, Human Services and Social Security; the Immigration and Passport Office, the Bureau of Standards; the Guyana Defence Force; the Guyana Revenue Authority; the Guyana Forestry Commission; Habitat for Humanity and the Office of the Prime Minister.

In attendance at the closing ceremony were Mr. Luis Armando Soto Boutin, Director of Cultural Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia who travelled to Guyana for the occasion; Ambassador Elisabeth Harper, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ambassador Audrey Jardine-Waddell, Director of the Department of the Americas of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the participants of the programme.

In her brief remarks Ambassador Harper expressed the appreciation of the Government of Guyana for the kind offer received from the Government of Colombia, and underlined the importance of the programme to the increasing emphasis on language training given Government’s policy of strengthening relations with the countries in Latin America. She said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was committed to working with the Government of Colombia towards the sustainability of the language programme.

Mr. Luis Armando Soto Boutin, in his remarks indicated that the Government of Colombia hopes to expand its offer in the future to include training at the university level especially for teachers of Spanish.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs 
September 5, 2014




The United Nations Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) is taking place in Apia, Samoa. The meeting began on September 1 and will conclude on September 4. Small island developing states (SIDS) and low lying coastal states, face peculiar vulnerabilities that challenge their path to development. Guyana has therefore continued to play a very active role in the SIDS process at the UN as these countries seek to highlight these vulnerabilities and urge that the focus remain on support for practical solutions.

The Government of Guyana is being represented at the Conference by the Honourable Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Minister of Foreign Affairs.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs
September 2, 2014


 

The biennial Conference of the Heads of Guyana’s Missions overseas opened today at the Guyana International Conference Centre. His Excellency President Donald Ramotar in his discussions with the Heads spoke at length on specific global developments which struck at the heart of international relations. Key amongst these was what the President described as “the dreaded situation”facing the Palestinian people and the unspeakable atrocities committed against them on a daily basis. 

President Ramotar referred to the recent attacks on Gaza which have not spared innocent lives of children, women, the elderly, sick and maimed. He said this action was a stain against humanity and one of the worst committed against unarmed civilians. The President reiterated that the Government of Guyana was in total solidarity with the Palestinian people who deserved the right to a homeland and an end to occupation. He saluted their heroism in facing a powerful army.

Touching on other conflict areas in the Middle East, in particular the instability in Iraq, Libya and Syria, President Ramotar commented on the growth of extremism and the fact that events in those and other affected countries demonstrated that the imposition of any system from outside cause internal problems. Even if this helped in the change of Governments, it did not contribute to the building of democratic societies. He opined that the principle of self-determination was the best guide.

With regard to the situation in the Ukraine, President Ramotar pointed out that it was necessary for both sides to engage in dialogue towards a resolution of the issue. In terms of the dispute over the South China Sea, the President said that a peaceful solution needed to be found through dialogue and by observing international law.

Touching on the influence of China in the world, the President paid recognition to that country’s ability to provide much needed assistance to many developing countries. He lauded the establishment of a development bank by the BRICS nations recently at their Summit in Brasilia which offered another source of financing. In an accelerated programme to assist the Latin American and Caribbean region, China had also offered to the CELAC countries a total of ten billion United States dollars in soft loans and 6,000 scholarships over the next five years and was ready to expand its international trade using local currencies.

With regard to the regional mechanisms, President Ramotar noted that there had been many criticisms about CARICOM but stated that he is very optimistic about CARICOM since there were some favourable developments –more countries were joining the Caribbean Court of Justice and the Caribbean Development Bank was making a greater impact in the development of countries of the Community. President Ramotar suggested that if CARICOM countries could embark on more bilateral projects and improve trade between and among themselves, this could help to promote CARICOM integration even further. The President also said that Guyana was continuing to participate actively in the Union of South American Nations and to strengthen relations within that mechanism.

President Ramotar informed the Conference that with regard to Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the Government will continue to ensure that unresolved issues pertaining to its borders were addressed within the context of international law and the peaceful settlement of disputes.

On Guyana’s foreign policy focus, the President said that his Government will continue to preserve and extend the country’s relations with its traditional partners Canada, the United States and Europe and also to expand relations with developing countries and promote South-South cooperation. In addressing diplomatic representation, he alluded to CARICOM’s call for exploring shared diplomatic space and said that Guyana should take advantage of this.

The President also acknowledged the Diaspora as a valuable asset in the development process and encouraged the Foreign Ministry and its representatives abroad to concretise policies aimed at tapping the resources and skills of the Diaspora.

The Heads of Mission were fully briefed on the political and economic situation in the country. President Ramotar encouraged the Heads of Mission to see themselves not only as executing foreign policy but also contributing to its formulation. He further urged them to be greater “advance scouts”for Guyana’s development thrust and to continue their commendable work in representing Guyana in the international community.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
August 11, 2014

 

 


His Excellency Donald Ramotar, President of the Republic of Guyana joined CARICOM Heads of Government in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago on Monday July 28, 2014 for a meeting with His Excellency Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan. This was the First Summit meeting of CARICOM Heads of State and Government and their Japanese counterpart and took place as the countries are celebrating in 2014 CARICOM-Japan Friendship Year, to mark twenty years since their first formal engagement in 1993. 

The discussions centred on the vulnerabilities faced by CARICOM Member States towards achieving sustainable economic growth, strengthening the relations between Japan and CARICOM at the bilateral level and enhancing cooperation at the multilateral level.

In his intervention, President Ramotar expressed his appreciation for Prime Minister Abe’s recognition of the developmental challenges of CARICOM Member States particular the issue of graduation which has seen those Member States now qualified as middle or high income countries no longer being eligible for concessional loans and grants from international financial institutions. He acknowledged Prime Minister Abe’s stated support to represent the position of CARICOM Member States on this issue in the forums of the developed countries.

President Ramotar highlighted financing for development as one of the eight Millennium Development Goals that was still to reach its target as very few developed countries had made good on the pledge of 0.7% of GDP towards developmental assistance to vulnerable countries. He requested Prime Minister Abe’s further support in advancing the need for this commitment to be met.

With reference to climate change, President Ramotar thanked Prime Minister Abe for his Government’s assistance to CARICOM Member States in the area of humanitarian responses to natural disasters and in the promotion of measures to address adaptation, mitigation and disaster risk reduction.

In their bilateral meeting, the leaders of Guyana and Japan took the opportunity to reiterate their desire to enhance the relations of the two countries. President Ramotar referred to renewable energy, infrastructure and science and technology as areas where Guyana could benefit from Japan’s expertise and assistance. He also encouraged investment from Japanese companies particularly in the area of extraction of minerals. It was agreed that the two sides would pursue these and other areas of cooperation in the near future.

President Ramotar was accompanied by Honourable Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr the Honourable Ashni Singh, MP, Minister of Finance and Ambassador Elisabeth Harper, Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
July 28, 2014




The Government of Guyana continues to follow the tragic events obtaining in Gaza and condemns in the strongest of terms the deaths of hundreds of innocent lives including women and children. We also express our deep condemnation of the war crimes being committed and the Israeli air strike on the United Nations Shelter for refugees which has killed over a dozen people. Guyana deeply regrets this additional loss of life and injury. Moreover, the action has signaled a wanton disregard for the internationally renowned symbolism of the United Nations. 

The Government of Guyana supports the call of the United Nations Human Rights Council to launch an international inquiry into the situation in Gaza and that those accountable should be brought to justice.

The Government reiterates its call for a peaceful and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
July 25, 2014




The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform that following the receipt of a request from the Government of the Republic of Portugal approval was granted by the Government of Guyana for the appointment of a new Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Portugal to the Republic of Guyana. Honourable Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guyana, on Thursday July 24, 2014 in the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs at 11:00 hrs presented to Mr. Michael Orlando Correia Jnr. his Exequatur appointing him as Honorary Consul of the Republic of Portugal to the Republic of Guyana. Mr. Correia succeeds Mr. Geoffrey Da Silva who was the previous Honorary Consul.

Mr. Michael Orlando Correia Jr. is the Chief Executive Officer of Correia’s Group of Companies which comprises several other companies in Guyana and is also the current Chairman of the Infrastructure Sub-Committee of the Private Sector Commission. Mr. Correia is a graduate of the Sir John A. McDonald School in Canada and York University in Toronto, Canada.

Guyana and Portugal established diplomatic relations on December 5th, 1978. Relations between Guyana and Portugal are cordial and operate primarily at the multilateral level through the European Union/African, Caribbean, Pacific Group (EU/ACP) partnership and the United Nations. 

The appointment of Mr. Michael Orlando Correia Jr. as Honorary Consul of the Republic of Portugal in Guyana will not only provide a consular presence but it is hoped that it will also provide an opportunity for the exploration of the possibility of areas to enhance the bilateral relations between the two countries and further, to stimulate trade and economic cooperation between Guyana and Portugal.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
July 24, 2014




The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform that following the receipt of a request from the Government of the Kingdom of Sweden, approval was granted by the Government of Guyana for the appointment of a new Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Sweden to the Republic of Guyana. Honourable Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guyana, on Thursday July 24, 2014 in the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs at 11:15 hrs presented to Mr. Mohamed Shabir Hussein his Exequatur appointing him as Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Sweden to the Republic of Guyana. Mr. Hussein succeeds Mr. Clifford Reis who was the previous Honorary Consul.

Mr. Mohamed Shabir Hussein, is the Director for Engineering Services at Banks DIH Ltd. He has been the Director of the Demerara Harbour Bridge for over twelve (12) years and is the President of the Muslim Youth League of Guyana. Mr. Hussein is also a Fellow of the Society of Operations Engineers and the Institute of Road Transport Engineers respectively of London, England. 

Guyana established formal diplomatic relations with Sweden on June 16, 1975. The two countries have maintained amicable relations over the years, operating predominantly through multilateral arrangements such as the Paris Club Agreement under which Guyana’s debt to the Swedish Export Credits Guarantee Board was written off in 1996, and the European Union/African, Caribbean and Pacific Group (EU/ACP) mechanism. 

The appointment of Mr. Hussein as Honorary Consul will provide consular support for Swedish nationals in Guyana and further serve to promote the development of the relations between Sweden and Guyana in the coming years. 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
July 24, 2014




STATEMENT ON THE ISRAELI – PALESTINIAN SITUATION 

The Government of Guyana has followed the tragic events unfolding in Gaza and expresses its grave concern over the continuing attacks which are resulting in injury and the loss of life of a growing number of civilians, including women and children, as well as widespread destruction of infrastructure. 

The Government of Guyana is of the view that the continued indiscriminateattacks on civilian areas will not resolve the long standing and complex issues at stake between Israel and the State of Palestine and calls for an immediate halt to the destruction being inflicted and the toll that is being taken on innocent lives. Guyana firmly believes that it is time for all parties concerned to take urgent steps to ensure the security and well being of their civilian population. 

A military solution to the crisis in Gaza or to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should not be a first resort. Peace becomes harder to achieve with each military confrontation, each loss of life, and the creation of further mayhem on the ground. As a member of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and as the first CARICOM country to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state based on its 1967 borders, Guyana supports the Palestinians’ aspiration to the full realization of their inalienable rights. A negotiated settlement is the best way to give the Palestinian people the state that they need and deserve and the Israeli people the security and peace to which they are entitled.

The Government of Guyanasupports the efforts of the United Nations Secretary Generalto bring about a cessation of the current violence and for the international community to act in a decisive manner to forestall an escalation of the present situation.

Once again the Government of Guyana implores the Israelis and Palestinians to return to negotiations, toexercise maximum restraint and avoid further civilian casualties and overall destabilization. We reiterate our call to the international community to intensify efforts to urgently push the peace process forward and for steps to be taken for a two-State solution in accordance with the relevant UN Resolutions. 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs 
July 11, 2014 




The Government of Guyana wishes to express its deep concern over the sentencing by an Egyptian Court of three Al-jazeera journalists to seven years in prison. This act by the Egyptian authorities is an affront to the principles which govern press freedom the world over.

The Government of Guyana believes that freedom of the press is essential for the full and effective exercise of freedom of expression and an indispensable instrument for the functioning of representative democracy, through which individuals exercise their right to receive, impart and seek information.

In this regard, the Government of Guyana joins calls by the international community for their immediate release.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
June 24, 2014



On behalf of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, today (June 20th) delivered a statement on sugar to the 39th Joint Council of the ACP- European Union (ACP-EU) which is being held in Nairobi, Kenya. Click here to read statement. 

Minister Rodrigues-Birkett also attended the 99th Session of the ACP Council of Ministers from the 17th-18th June 2104. She called on the ACP group to give full support to the upcoming Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to be held in Samoa in September 2014 and more so the issues that affect SIDS. Minister Rodrigues-Birkett posited that 2014 is designated as the International Year of SIDS to call attention to the peculiar issues affecting these States and if meaningful progress is to be made to address these issues it must be done this year. As such, the support of the ACP, whose membership consists of many SIDS, is extremely important. 

Following some clarification and in keeping with the principle of rotation and the equitable distribution among the ACP groupings, it was also decided that the next Secretary General for the term 2015-2020 will come from the Caribbean region. The Caribbean, in the person of Sir Edwin Carrington, last held the position from 1985-1990.The current Secretary General, His Excellency Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni hails from Ghana in the West African Region. 

Accompanying Minister Rodrigues-Birkett to the ACP and ACP-EU Council Meetings is Guyana's Ambassador to Brussels, Dr. Patrick Gomes, who also chairs the Ambassadorial Working Group on the Future Perspectives of the ACP.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
June 20, 2014

 


His Excellency President Donald Ramotar attended the Third CARICOM-Mexico Summit held on Tuesday April 29, 2014 in Mérida, Yucatan, Mexico.

Speaking on the theme of his CARICOM portfolio responsibility, President Ramotar said that there was a growing recognition of the importance of agriculture, which was vital for food security and essential in maintaining the political stability of the Community as well as the region as a whole.

President Ramotar welcomed the announcement made earlier by His Excellency Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico regarding his Government’s financial contribution to the Inter-American Institute for Agriculture for assistance to CARICOM States to support the improvement of the agricultural sector, an important aspect of Caribbean life. President Ramotar reminded the meeting that it was the rise in food prices in Tunisia that had started the crisis which was unfortunately still raging in the Middle East.

Highlighting the challenges which CARICOM faced in the agricultural sector, President Ramotar pointed out that despite the many initiatives taken, the CARICOM Region was still a net importer of food with the food bill amounting to more than US$4b per year.

He said that it was clear that the Region needed a joint agricultural policy through which Member States could complement each other and raise their production to reduce the vulnerability in the sector, in the process examining the many problems that have emerged and those that were emerging.

Referring to the impact of climate change on agriculture, President Ramotar cited GUYSUCO as a practical example, explaining that since 2004 it was expected that there would be 120 days for land preparation for planting of sugar cane. Due to changing weather patterns, the average amount of days per year had been reduced to 80.

There was also need to have easy access to each other’s markets. However to accomplish this, it was necessary to improve the transportation links - maritime and air transport.

Another task was for the Community to jointly work to fight the huge food subsidy by developed countries which results in dumping thus keeping the countries in a state of dependency.

Another challenge was that of making agriculture attractive for young people to become involved. The solution was to introduce more technology into the agriculture sector and for this it was necessary to invest in human resources to produce the modern farmer.

The President said that countries of the Community must also aim to transform their agricultural products from just being raw materials to agro- industries. This is important to create jobs both in agriculture and in industry where additional skills would be required and where value would be added.

President Ramotar posited that it was time that the Community began to consider some form of division of labour in agriculture which would help to broaden the amount of agricultural products that the region could make available to its peoples.

Linked to the development of the agricultural sector and agro-industry was the need for reliable and affordable energy, particularly for processing of agricultural products. In this regard, President Ramotar noted that the Community could benefit from Mexico’s experience and expertise.

In acknowledging the strengthened relations between Guyana and Mexico, President Ramotar recognized the active role played by the Mexican Ambassador resident in Georgetown. He also drew attention to the investment made by Mexican company Qualfon as the largest single private and foreign employer in Guyana which was planning to expand its operations, encouraged by its favourable business experience. 

President Ramotar expressed his appreciation to President Peña Nieto for the warm welcome and hospitality that he was accorded. He was accompanied by the Honourable Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Irfaan Ali, Minister of Housing and Water and Acting Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce and Ambassador Elisabeth Harper, Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
April 30, 2014



Government welcomes CARICOM Statement on AMLCFT Legislation

The Government of Guyana welcomes the statement made by CARICOM Heads of Government following their recent meeting in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on the Anti-Money Laundering Legislation before the Parliament. In the Statement they stressed the negative impact which the failure by Guyana to enact the Bill would have on its national economy and the consequential implications for the wider region.

The CARICOM statement recognises the grave perils that loom before Guyana and the Caribbean should the CFATF recommendations not be enacted and should Guyana find itself blacklisted as a consequence. In doing so, the statement has vindicated the concerns expressed by the Government of Guyana over the past year, and the call by Government and by the multitude of other national stakeholders for the National Assembly to proceed with passage of the Bill submitted by Government in response to the CFATF recommendations. 

The call by CARICOM for enactment of the legislation is a welcome one. It is the hope of the Government of Guyana therefore that the Opposition Parliamentary Parties will heed the call of our regional partners and allow Guyana to proceed with the Bill with the required urgency, and not procrastinate any further thereby placing the country and the Region in jeopardy. 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
March 12, 2014

 


Guyana and Norway to lead UN process on Financing for Development 

The Permanent Representatives of Guyana and Norway have been appointed by the President of the United Nations General Assembly to lead a UN process on financing for development. Ambassador George Talbot of Guyana and his Norwegian counterpart, Ambassador Geir Pedersen, have been mandated to conduct inclusive and transparent intergovernmental consultations, with the participation of major institutional stakeholders, on all issues related to the forthcoming third international conference on financing for development, including the date, format, organisation and scope of the conference. The conference will likely be held in 2015.

With the United Nations currently embarked on the elaboration of a post-2015 development agenda as a successor to the Millennium Development Goals framework that has anchored the Organisation's work in development since 2000, an agreement on the means of implementation, including on financing, will be critical to the efficacy and successful implementation of the new agenda. The financing for development conference is expected to provide a holistic framework for mobilizing resources from a variety of sources and for the effective use of financing for the achievement of the sustainable development goals that will be at the core of the post-2015 development agenda. 

Public financing, including ODA, will remain a key component of global financing for development. The leveraging of financing from other sources, including new private sector investments, unlocking domestic resources, harnessing trade flows, and curbing illicit outflows will be among the important questions that the conference will address. The forthcoming conference will follow up and build on the Monterrey Consensus adopted at the International Conference on Financing for Development held in 2002 in Monterrey, Mexico, and the Doha Declaration which emanated from the 2008 Doha conference on the subject. 

Guyana's appointment is a reflection of the respect that the country enjoys at the United Nations, in particular on issues of sustainable development. It affords a special opportunity to contribute to the effort to update and strengthen the multilateral financing framework that could help to translate the post-2015 development agenda into meaningful outcomes for member countries. 

This latest Guyana-Norway collaboration at the multilateral level follows on the already established bilateral cooperation arrangement between the two countries in the promotion of sustainable development and the combat of climate change.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
March 5, 2014



Honourable Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Minister of Foreign Affairs paid a two day visit to Guatemala on January 15th and 16th, 2014 at the invitation of her counterpart Minister of Foreign Affairs Honourable Luis Fernando Carrera Castro. She had discussions with Minister Carrera and also met with officials in the tourism, sugar and handicraft sectors. 

Minister Rodrigues-Birkett met with the President of the Sugar Association of Guatemala Mr Fraterno Vila who expressed a keen interest in working with Guyana in the sugar sector. Himself a private miller and farmer, Mr. Vila has more than 35 years’ experience in sugar and owns one of the most efficient and productive companies in the sugar sector. He guided Minister Rodrigues-Birkett on a tour of his operations. Guatemala is ranked as the fourth largest sugar exporter in the world and third in terms of efficiency and productivity. Guyana will continue to engage Guatemala in cooperation in this sector. 

Guatemala also boasts a developed handicraft industry which is closely linked to the tourism sector. At a meeting with officials from these two sectors, assistance was offered to Guyanese women in particular as Guyana seeks to develop its handicraft industry.

Guyana and Guatemala established diplomatic relations in 1992 but bilateral relations have not been very active. In an effort to strengthen these relations Minister Rodrigues-Birkett had invited Minister Carrera to Guyana and he paid a working visit in August 2013. 

During her visit, Minister Rodrigues-Birkett and Minister Carrera signed an Agreement on Political Consultations which would provide a mechanism for Guyana and Guatemala to develop coordinated positions on several matters as well as allow regular exchanges on issues of common interest on the regional and international agendas.

Minister Rodrigues-Birkett was accompanied by Mr Jevon Rodrigues, Foreign Service Officer II in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
January 17, 2014