US 245th Independence anniversary: Guyana looks forward to tackling COVID-19, climate change with US – President Ali

President Dr Irfaan Ali has lauded the relationship between Guyana and the United States of America as strong and valuable, while pointing to the need for greater partnership between the two nations moving forward, especially to tackle shared issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

President Irfaan Ali and US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch

He made this remark during the celebration of the 245th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in the United States hosted at the residence of US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch, on Wednesday evening.
“Guyana and the United States share a strong, healthy, respectful and valuable relationship… our two States have enjoyed excellent relations since the establishment of formal diplomatic ties 55 years ago. We have collaborated on issues of mutual interests. The recent hosting of Exercise Tradewinds 2021… was a further demonstration of shared commitment to partnership in the face of shared challenges and in pursuit of common goals,” President Ali said during brief remarks at the reception.

US Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch along with embassy officials share a photo with President Irfaan Ali; First Lady Arya Ali; Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo; Prime Minister, Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips and Foreign Affairs Minister Hugh Todd during Wednesday’s intimate reception to commemorate the US’s 245th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence

On this note, the Head of State posited that Guyana looks forward to further strengthen relations with the US in combatting shared challenges such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the existential crisis of climate change.
“The United States, like the rest of the world, is faced with the challenge of combatting global threats such as the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and climate change. Guyana looks forward to working closely with the Government of the United States to build a more resilient and sustainable post-COVID-19 future, and to combatting and mitigating adverse effects of climate change,” the Guyanese Leader noted.
He went on to applaud President Joseph Biden’s bold climate change plans which saw the US re-joining the Paris Agreement on climate change as well as committing to reduce greenhouse emissions by 50 per cent by 2030, accelerate the transition of renewable energy sources to secure a carbon-free energy system by 2030, increase green infrastructure spending and develop energy efficient technologies.
Moreover, the Head of State went on to mention the contribution made by the Guyanese diaspora in developing cities in the US including New York, adding that the North American nation is home to the largest group of Guyanese living abroad.
“The recent co-naming of the corner of Liberty Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard in Queens, NY, to ‘Little Guyana’ is both recognition and the acknowledgement of the contribution which Guyanese have made to the development of the state of New York. Guyanese also distinguished themselves and contributed to the development of other parts of the United States,” the President said.
He also acknowledged the role that the US played in safeguarding Guyana’s democracy during the 2020 National Election, adding that he looks forward to the country’s continued support in this area as well as in safeguarding Guyana’s territorial integrity.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Ambassador Lynch, who noted that both Guyana and America democracies have struggled over the past year. But in the same breath, she posited that both countries also persevered.
“We relearned that democracy and freedom are fragile and that we cannot take them for granted,” the US envoy asserted.
Ambassador Lynch further outlined the progress Guyana and the US have made over the past 10 months as part of their joint goals of promoting transparent and accountable governance, increasing prosperity for all Guyanese, and improving national and regional security.
“Working together on these goals has strengthened our bilateral relations, positioning Guyana to be a hemispheric leader in a lot of different sectors,” she stated.
In the area of democracy, the US diplomat spoke of the 18-month project being done by the International Republican Institute (IRI) in collaboration with Guyana’s Attorney General Chamber, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and civil society to lay the foundation for much-need electoral reform.
On the commercial front, she recalled the virtual engagement held earlier this year that saw Guyanese leadership interacting with US companies to discuss the many opportunities for international investments.
Further, relations in the security sector were deepened between the two countries at the recently held Operation Tradewinds 2021 – a military exercise that saw over 1000 troops from around the world training and networking in Guyana.
“Looking forward, I must also mention our common goal to fight climate change – a serious threat to sustainable development and one of President Biden’s key priorities. The Guyanese leadership here has been clear that Guyana will not lose sight of the importance of climate change action. And the US stands ready to assist you as you finalise your Low Carbon Development Strategy,” Ambassador Lynch stated.
Meanwhile, also present at Wednesday’s reception were First Lady Arya Ali, Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Hugh Todd along with other officials.