Brazil & Suriname commit to more skills & knowledge transfer within bloc

…as 3rd Guiana Shield Strategic talks gets underway in Guyana

The Guyana Defense Force hosted the Guiana Shield Strategic Dialogue 2024 on Monday, during which representatives from the armies of countries within the Guiana Shield came together to discuss ways in which they can increase collaboration, something both Brazil and Suriname expressed strong agreement on when it comes to knowledge and skills transfer.
The third Guiana Shield Strategic Dialogue 2024 got underway, with representatives from the militaries of Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname and Brazil in attendance. The dialogue is being held with the intention of discussing ways to increase collaboration and according to Colonel Jose Roberto Cruz, the Brazilian representative, the discussion is a timely one.
“I would like to emphasise that this is an extremely important and timely discussion. The Guiana Shield region is becoming increasingly important to the world stage. This is not the first time we’ve had talks as a region or bilaterally with Guyana. About the many defense security challenges in our region.”
“The Brazilian armed force are highly committed and this is important to emphasise. That these are not matters for the government. But a matter for the state. So, whoever is in charge must always be guaranteeing peace and security in our region. We share the same problems,” Colonel Cruz said.
The military official gave the example of forest fires, which are particularly afflicted parts of Guyana and Brazil. Cruz noted the importance of sharing knowledge and expertise between the two countries.
“What is the solution to help each other? Shared knowledge, technology and expertise. And in order to mitigate this problem, we are working together. Sharing satellite images. A team of Brazilian fire fighters were in Guyana yesterday, and an aircraft will be sent, if necessary,” Cruz explained.
“Why am I pointing out these things? Because I believe that it embodies the spirit of this dialogue. As an observer country I can only observe. But, in the not-too-distant future we hope to be able to contribute more effectively as a full member country. After all, 55 per cent of the Guiana Shield belongs to Brazilian territory.”
The need for sharing expertise was reinforced by Surinamese Minister of Defense, Krishna Mathoera. She emphasized that no country can tackle environmental and security threats alone, regardless of how big they are.
“Our freedom and prosperity depend on security. And we have to bring our actions in line with this changing security environment. The starting point for this is having a very clear picture of the track landscape and frame our response accordingly.”
“That’s why this strategic dialogue is crucial. We can learn, we can share, and we can prepare in a better way. And therefore, we have to keep open communication channels and to know each other. A face it alone and do it alone approach will not help us.”
Krishna Mathoera, Surinamese Minister of Defense, meanwhile emphasised in her presentation that no country can tackle environmental and security threats alone, regardless of how big they are.
“We need each other and we should therefore commit ourselves to the shared responsibilities of fighting all aspects that put a strain on our development and our security. These threats and challenges are reshaping the traditional role of the defense, into a multi-dimensional approach.”
“More than ever, we know we now have to focus on information sharing, innovation, technological development, strengthening capabilities and the inter-operability of civil military relations supporting international organisations and disaster preparedness,” Mathoera said.
Within the framework of the Guiana Shield Strategic Dialogue on security and defence and to develop a common security masterplan, the dialogue agreed on to exchanging views and working closely on technical and operational areas, including increased joined land, and sea patrol missions.
Additionally, it was agreed to strive for a global and coordinated approach against illicit trafficking and serious crimes, including drug trafficking, illegal gold mining, environmental crimes and irregular immigration with a focus on anticipation, threat assessment, prevention.
The third area that was agreed to was response and increasing joint attention to the environment and climate change, including security and defense impact on climate change and to help safeguard essential conditions for peace and sustainable development. (G3)