Addressing the issue of poverty is without a doubt one that requires financing. And Guyana is slated to play a key role when the third Conference for Financing for Development is held in Ethiopia in the New Year.
Speaking at a recent press conference, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, said that Guyana’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador George Talbot, was appointed to serve as Co-Facilitator for the preparation for the Conference.
According to Rodrigues-Birkett, “This is not only a prestigious appointment which will see Guyana Co-Facilitating with Norway, but this is important for Guyana and the Region and small developing states as well, because financing for development is on the top of the agenda if we are going to rid this world of poverty and actually make it a more equitable one.”
She therefore noted that Guyana through Ambassador Talbot, and by extension Caricom, will be required to play an important role in the lead-up to the meeting.
Another appointment of importance that was amplified by the Foreign Affairs Minister was that of the appointment of Ambassador to Brussels, Dr. Patrick Gomes, to the position of Secretary General for the African-Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group. This Group was one born in Guyana and according to Rodrigues-Birkett, “I am very pleased that the Foreign (Affairs) Minister at the time, Sir Shridath Ramphal, is still with us to see that Guyana has ascended to the helm of this organisation, which he played an important part in establishing just under 40 years ago.”
Ambassador Gomes is slated to take up his appointment in March 2015.
This therefore will prompt the appointment of a new Ambassador to Brussels in the New Year as well, Rodrigues-Birkett intimated.
“We know that Ambassador Gomes will not only do Guyana proud, but the Caribbean and the ACP Group as a whole. I have seen the respect accorded to him by his colleagues and my colleagues at the ministerial level, and this augurs well for him commencing his duty as Secretary General,” said the Foreign Affairs Minister.
She went on to disclose too that Guyana has identified a candidate for the position of Assistant Secretary General for the Organisation of America States (OAS) in the person of Ambassador to Mexico, Bayney Karran. An election for the appointment of the most suitable candidate will be held on March 18, 2015.
Meanwhile, Rodrigues-Birkett in speaking of Guyana advocacy efforts, disclosed that sustained efforts will be made to pursue advocacy in a number of areas, including Security Council reform. According to her, Guyana’s position in this regard is that the permanent and non-permanent membership should be expanded. In fact she noted that this is a subject that the UN has been engaging for a number of years, even as she pointed out that “some people have been pessimistic that we would have reform in our lifetime; some people will be glad that we remain pessimistic so that nothing changes, but we will continue to work with like-minded countries to see that there is reform.”
According to Rodrigues-Birkett, “you cannot have a body like the United Nations Security Council without some sort of democracy there…”
Also, the Minister said, Guyana will continue to be a part of the advocacy for the erection of the permanent memorial at the UN to honour the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. And this move is particularly important at this point, as according to the Minister “this is very, very important, especially for Caricom, as we seek reparations for slavery and indigenous genocide.”
Guyana has already provided a contribution of US$5,000 and another equal sum has been approved by Cabinet towards reparation as well, according to Rodrigues-Birkett, who went on to note that “we will continue to support (this).”
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