OAS committed to strengthening Guyana’s democratic institutions – SG

Secretary General of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro Lemes has reiterated the regional body’s commitment towards working with Guyana on strengthening its democratic institutions.
He made this declaration via a tweet following a meeting with the Guyana Government on Thursday.
The SG is currently on his inaugural visit to Guyana since his appointment to the position in 2015. On Thursday, he met with President Dr Irfaan Ali and several senior Government officials at State House in Georgetown.
According to Almagro, he had “Productive discussion with President Irfaan Ali [and Government] officials on electoral reform, climate change, multidimensional security, One Guyana policy & Inter-American system. [The OAS] remains steadfast in its commitment with Guyana on strengthening democratic institutions.”
The Guyanese Head of State was joined by Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips; Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo and several Cabinet Ministers as well as Guyanese diplomats during the meeting.
Also on Thursday, SG Almagro met with Speaker of the National Assembly in Guyana, Manzoor Nadir, during which the two officials had fruitful discussions on the history of the country’s dynamic political landscape and the importance of representative democracy.

OAS SG Luis Almagro joined President Dr Irfaan Ali, his family and other senior Guyanese officials at the 57th Independence Day flag-raising ceremony in Lethem on Thursday evening

Later in the day, the OAS Secretary General participated in a civil society engagement hosted by the Parliamentary Affairs and Governance Ministry at the Marriott Hotel in Kingston, Georgetown.
“It was a great privilege to present to civil society groups representing varying interests in Georgetown, Guyana. It is essential that we implement equitable and inclusive policies that stimulate access to opportunities for all,” Almagro said in a tweet.
Guyana has received high commendation from the OAS Head for its remarkable efforts in fighting for the rights of its people, according to a report from the Department of Public Information (DPI).
He said Guyana has always been making headway for its people, which often aids in the further unification of the country.
“Guyana has proven itself to be a great defender of democracy. Equally as important, Guyana continues to be a defender of human rights, especially Indigenous People’s rights, and Afro descendant’s rights, recognising to build a nation of unity, all people must be given equitable access to opportunities,” Almagro underscored.
The Secretary General further noted that Guyana has been one of the countries to instil crucial principles to always protect its people.
“Its Government has continued to reaffirm the principles set out on the US charter, which emphasises the protection and fundamental rights of an individual without distinction, to race, nationality, creed or sex,” the he said.
Acknowledging that the Government has been going above and beyond for its people, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira said the achievement was only with the OAS’ support.
“We are deeply appreciative of the Organisation [of] American States, the electoral observer mission heads, former [Jamaican Prime Minister] Bruce Golding, and for the very forthright principal position of the OAS permanent councillor and yourself, in defending, protecting, the democracy of Guyana,” Minister Teixeira emphasised.
The Government has committed to electoral and legislative reforms, contributing to the drive for democracy.
As such, efforts to promote transparency and accountability have seen the passage of the Representation of the People Act (RoPA) and the tabling of the National Registration (Amendment) Act.
Additionally, the establishment of the Constitutional Reform Commission is representative of the Government’s pledge to the maintenance of local democracy.
Moreover, during his visit, SG Almagro on Thursday evening attended Guyana’s 57th Independence Day Flag Raising Ceremony, which took place, for the first time, in Lethem, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo).
The OAS Head said he was honoured to participate in the event. “I applaud President Ali’s inclusiveness in recognising [the] role played by Indigenous people in the country’s development & honouring the victims of the tragedy in Mahdia,” Almagro posited.
The flag-raising ceremony to usher in Guyana’s 57th independence anniversary was transformed into an evening of prayer and reflection in honour of the 19 students who lost their lives in the Mahdia Secondary School dormitory fire on Sunday last.