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Secretary-General and the President of Guyana

Secretary-General visits Guyana

14 January 2022

Earlier this week the Secretary-General Patricia Scotland visited Guyana.

Commonwealth support for Guyana

Meeting first with President Irfaan Ali and members of his Cabinet, the Secretary-General discussed the Commonwealth’s support for Guyana’s transformation agenda and how the Secretariat could continue to provide technical assistance to enhance public performance management, digital analytical tools for SDGs and governance framework, among others.

President Ali commended the Secretary-General for her unwavering support for a peaceful and democratic transition during the challenging election in 2020.

The Secretary-General said: “the Commonwealth family will continue to support and offer friendship to Guyana's government and people in their upholding of the principles of rule of law and democracy. Guyana is becoming a wonderful exemplar for regional integration, leadership on small states’ issues, and efforts to improve the lives of all its citizens”.

Guyana's key role in the Caribbean and Commonwealth

President Ali, the Prime Minister Mark Phillips, and Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo all reaffirmed that Guyana will continue to play a key role in the Caribbean and Commonwealth in championing key areas for development.

The Secretary-General also held positive and friendly discussions with Guyana’s:

  • Minister for Health, Dr Frank Anthony;
  • Minister for Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramsom;
  • Minister for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh;
  • Minister for Human Services & Social Security, Vindhya Persaud;
  • Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond-Allicock; and
  • Chair Justice Claudette Singh and Commissioners of Guyana’s Election Commission (GECOM)

The Secretary-General also met with Dr Carla Barnett, Secretary-General of Caricom.

Secretary-General commends Guyana

The Secretary-General commended Guyana for an impressive track record in managing Covid-19 and leading the way in sharing vaccines with other Caribbean countries. She also applauded Guyana’s acceleration of programmes which support vulnerable people and women’s empowerment as well as diversifying Guyana’s tourism industry.

Meeting with opposition leaders, the Secretary-General confirmed the Commonwealth’s commitment to democracy. Acknowledging the challenges of the 2020 election, she stressed the importance responsible opposition parties play in democratic culture and process, and commended all parties and the people of Guyana for a peaceful transition following the electoral processes in 2020. 

Visit to the Iwokrama Forest

The Secretary-General also visited the vast wilderness of the Iwokrama Forest, a protected area and homeland of the Makushi people who have used the forest for generations. Bearing witness to Guyana’s beautiful interior, including the Amazon river and rainforest, and innovative projects covering biodiversity and sustainability.

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