PM reiterates Guyana’s commitment to region’s sustained economic advancement
– tells CELAC Summit teamwork integral to regional development
Prime Minister, Brigadier (Retired) Mark Phillips has reiterated Guyana’s commitment to the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) towards the attainment of sustained economic advancement and growth that would ultimately benefit the region.
The Guyanese Prime Minister was at the time addressing issues of inequality and marginalisation at the Seventh Summit of Heads of State and Government of CELAC in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Phillips added that “cooperation and unity” were necessary to advance growth and development in the region.
“It is important for the citizens of the region to enjoy peace, security, and fundamental freedoms. This will be essential for democracy to flourish. Guyana remains committed to the common principles of democracy, good governance, respect for the rule of law, and the protection of sovereignty and territorial integrity of States. These are critical elements to the maintenance of peace and security across our region,” he said.
The Prime Minister related that as the world began to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and all of its socioeconomic effects, it was crucial to keep in mind that “our survival as a region demands a collective response through a comprehensive programme of action”.
He noted that CELAC provided the opportunity for “us to strengthen these partnerships not only within the region but through third-party engagements”.
He added that climate change, food security, and managing debt remained priority issues to be collectively handled.
Speaking on climate change, Prime Minister Phillips stated that the crisis has worsened, with Small Island and Low-Lying Coastal Developing States like Guyana being particularly affected.
“It is imperative that a balanced and commensurate global response, addressing mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage, be realised; our very lives depend on it,” he said.
Guyana, he explained, has adopted a Low Carbon Development Strategy, which aims to combat climate change, emphasise services provided by forests and other ecosystems, promote future growth through clean energy and sustainable economic activities, and align economic and social policies with global climate goals.
Food security measures were also highlighted along with Caricom’s drive to reduce its food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025.
The Prime Minister had also signalled Guyana’s support for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, prior to it winning CELAC’s rotating presidency for 2023.
The island nation was the first of the English-speaking Caribbean to present its candidature for the position.
On Tuesday, representatives from 33 member states signed and released the “Buenos Aires Declaration”.
The Declaration emphasises CELAC member states’ commitment to collaborate in order to safeguard the rights and interests of the regional populace and to accelerate the process of regional integration.
It called for the end of the US blockade against Cuba. The CELAC countries also expressed their support for dialogue between the Venezuelan government led by President Nicolás Maduro and the political Opposition.
The Buenos Aires declaration also endorsed Argentina’s legitimate rights to the Falkland Islands, which are currently listed as a United Kingdom Overseas Territory.