“Peace should never be the subject of negotiation” – Pres Ali

Guyana’s donations for Palestine, which has borne the brunt of attacks from Israel as it seeks to rout Hamas militants, have exceeded $86 million, one week after a $72.5 million cheque was handed over to the United Nations Resident Coordinator Yeşim Oruç.
During an Eid-ul-Fitr dinner hosted by the First Family, President Ali, who was presented with an award by the National Ramadan Committee for being instrumental in establishing the Ramadan Village, revealed Guyana’s commitment to further supporting those in need.

President Dr Irfaan Ali

“First of all, allow me to thank all of you for your tremendous support during this month. We are one family. We are a Guyanese family. A family brought together by different circumstances. But a family cemented by our shared values and passions. By our commitment and love for each other. By our tolerance for each other. By our obedience to the rule of law. And by recognition that we are part of one wider, human family,” Ali said.
“And that recognition was further verified when, together, as a Guyanese community we raised more than $86 Million for the people of Palestine. As a Guyanese community, we continue to support and raise money wherever the families of humanity are in need. We live in a harsh world, under harsh circumstances. Why must peace be negotiated, if we live a life of peace?”
President Ali further shared his thoughts on peace and the fact that it should be linked to a value system all persons live by, not subject to negotiation. He used Guyana as an example, noting that despite the ethnic and cultural differences in Guyana, the country still stands united.
“Peace should never be the subject of negotiation. Peace should be the value system through which each member of the human family lives. The very fact we live in a world where peace must be negotiated, tells of the psyche of the system in the world. And what is that system? Must there be war before peace or peace before war?” President Ali questioned.

The symbolic cheque of $72.5 million raised at the Ramadan Village was handed over to the UN Resident Coordinator to Guyana, Yeşim Oruç, on behalf of UNRWA, earlier this month

“It’s an important question. Whether we pursue war and then hope for peace, or we pursue war and then negotiate for peace. Or do we pursue peace and make peace the fundamental pillar on which the world stands, so that war will not have a place in our society? And if this is the fundamental pillar that we believe the world must stand on, then this small country Guyana must demonstrate that with the differences we have… will be the greatest symbol of strength and hope.”
It was reported earlier this month that Ramadan Village – a month-long exhibition being hosted at the Muslim Youth Organisation Ground in Georgetown, was able to help raise some $72.5 million in donations to provide immediate humanitarian relief for the people in Gaza and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
The night’s activities, held under the theme “A Night of Prayer for Global Peace, Guyana and Palestine”, included several prayer sessions, a special Islamic programme and an on-the-ground donation for Palestinians displaced and affected by the ongoing conflict in Gaza.
In addition to calling for a ceasefire, the Guyana Government back in February had pledged US$150,000 towards the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), in support of Palestinians displaced and affected by the ongoing conflict in Gaza.
UNRWA was established by a UN General Assembly Resolution and it is the backbone of the humanitarian operation in Gaza. Professional humanitarian workers at UNRWA provide food, water, medicine and shelter to Palestinian people.
It has been over six months since the October 7, 2023 attack by Hamas on Israel, which has retaliated with an onslaught of violence that has persisted since thus leading to the senseless loss of civilian lives, destruction of property, and displacement of persons in Gaza.
Based on international reports coming out of Gaza, approximately 33,175 Palestinians have been killed and another 75,886 wounded – including some 13,000 children.