“Atrocities in Gaza must come to an end now” – Pres Ali

…as Guyana reiterates call for 2-state solution

As Guyana celebrates 54 years since becoming a Republic, President Dr Irfaan Ali has renewed calls for a ceasefire in Gaza as the ongoing Palestine/Israel conflict continues to escalate.
The Head of State made this plea on Thursday evening during his Address to the Nation at the flag raising ceremony to commemorate Guyana’s 54th Republic Day Anniversary.
President Ali underscored the importance of sovereignty and territorial integrity in his speech. He also highlighted Guyana’s commitment to peace and stability in the region.
According to the Head of State, it is important for Guyanese, especially children, to inherit the key principles, values and morals that form this Republic, and that must be adhered to.
“…our humility as a people must remain intact. That is why, on our 54th Republic, we make a call once more to the world that the atrocities in Gaza must come to an end now. The killing must stop now,” the President posited.
The Guyanese Leader went on to reiterate calls for a ceasefire in Gaza, stating that a two-state solution is the only way forward.
“The only solution is a ceasefire and for the two countries to move towards a two-state solution. That has always been our fundamental position, and we call on all parties to move in this direction,” he added.
The Ali Administration has been vocal in condemning the escalating violence between Israel and Palestine, which has resulted in the senseless loss of lives, destruction of property, and displacement of persons.
Based on international reports, over 29,500 Palestinians have been killed and more than 69,600 wounded – many of whom are women and children.
Only earlier this month, the Guyana Government pledged US$150,000 towards the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in support of Palestinians who are displaced and affected by the ongoing conflict in Gaza.
UNRWA is the primary humanitarian agency in Gaza, with over two million people depending on it for their daily survival.
The Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ministry had said, “Guyana’s contribution to UNRWA aligns with our appeals for a more robust international response to the ongoing situation in the Gaza Strip and the protection of civilians impacted by the ongoing conflict. To this end, as an elected member of the United Nations Security Council, Guyana supports a ceasefire to facilitate humanitarian aid into Gaza.”
The Foreign Ministry has said that, over the years, Guyana has made several financial contributions to UNRWA in alignment with the country’s consistent support for, and solidarity with, the Palestinian people in their quest for freedom and a secure homeland. Further, Guyana is a member of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
These positions were echoed by Guyana’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, who said during a February 1, 2024 press conference in her national capacity, “Guyana has called for a ceasefire, and Guyana will continue to call for a ceasefire in Gaza. We believe that we should not wait another day for that.”
Rodrigues-Birkett is currently President of the UN Security Council for the month of February.

Veto resolution
Only on Tuesday, Ambassador Rodrigues-Birkett presided over a UNSC session during which the 15-member body voted on draft resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. However, the United States, for the third time, used its veto on the Security Council to kill the resolution – a move which has attracted widespread criticisms from nations around the world.
The US, which is a permanent member of the UNSC, said the ceasefire resolution would have jeopardized efforts to broker a release of a hostage-release deal. Instead, Washington has submitted its own resolution, asking for a temporary halt in fighting as soon as practical.

US-UN Rep in Guyana
The US’ Representative at the UN is Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who will be leading a delegation to Guyana to attend the 46th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Government of the Caribbean Community (Caricom). The high-level regional meeting will be held in Georgetown from February 25 to 28, 2024.
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield, a member of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet, and her team will be in Georgetown from February 24 to 26, during which she will meet with President Dr Irfaan Ali to discuss the United States’ commitment to Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, Guyana’s priorities on the UN Security Council for its elected term, and reaffirm bilateral partnerships on shared priorities such as food security, migration, and climate change.
In a release, the United States Mission to the United Nations said, “The Ambassador will also advance an array of Biden-Harris Administration regional policy goals under the U.S.-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis (PACC 2030) and the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) – including on firearms trafficking, governance, energy, trade, climate resilience, and sustainable development – with multiple leaders attending the Summit.”
At the Caricom Summit, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield will continue to rally global support for the Multinational Security Support (MSS) mission, to Haiti and reiterate the urgency of establishing a credible and inclusive path toward elections, to enable the return to democratic order for the Haitian people.
While in Georgetown, the US Cabinet official will also meet with Venezuelan migrants who are small business owners and with members of civil society.
Other members of the U.S. delegation include Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Brian A. Nichols; USAID Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean, Marcela Escobari; Senior Coordinator for Atlantic Cooperation, Ambassador Jessye Lapenn; and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Diplomacy, Laura Lochman. (G8)