President David Granger: Your Excellency Ambassador Mr. Michel Prom; Monsieur David Bartelli Honorary Consul; Vice President of Guyana, Honourable Carl Greenidge; members of the Diplomatic Corps; Lieutenant Colonel Dukar; special invitees; members of the media; ladies and gentlemen.
This evening, the Cooperative Republic of Guyana extends congratulations to the Government and the people of the French Republic on the occasion of its national day- La Fête Nationale.
The national day of the French Republic commemorates two defining but related events in that country’s history: the storming of the Bastille on 14th of July 1789 precipitated the French Revolution. The Fête de la Fédération observed exactly one year later, celebrated the unity of the Republic. The consequences of those two historic events reverberated throughout Europe and into the colonial Caribbean. The words: liberté, égalité and fraternité were also the words which inspired the revolution in Haiti and elsewhere in the West Indies and the Caribbean.
Excellency, ladies and gentlemen, the celebration of this year’s Fête Nationale has been dampened by the tragic and the terrible atrocity in Nice last Thursday, 14th of July, your national day. Guyana joins in condemning this act of terrorism. We extend our deepest condolences to the President of the Republic, to the Government, to the French people and to the families of all those who were killed and injured in this repugnant act of terror.
Guyana reiterates its repudiation of the use of violence against innocent civilians. We abhor the use of force to settle disputes and to unsettle peace and security, both among and within nations. Guyana stands determinedly against intimidation, including threats to our territorial integrity. We remain committed to the rule of law, international peace and security, international co-operation and partnerships to combat transnational threats.
Excellency, Guyana and France have enjoyed cordial ties since the establishment of diplomatic relations on the 22nd of June, 1967. Guyana is appreciative of France’s support, especially in the fields of culture, education and public safety. The friendship between our two Republics forms a firm foundation on which to enhance our collaboration in confronting common transnational threats.
Excellency, Guyana applauds France’s efforts and, particularly, the leadership of President François Hollande in ensuring the achievement of a global agreement on climate change in Paris last December. The Paris Agreement opens new opportunities for cooperation in order to respond to the global threat of climate change.
Guyana’s green agenda incorporates the commitments that we made at the signing of the Paris Agreement at the United Nations on the 22nd of April this year. Guyana will play its part, in collaboration with friendly and supportive nations, including France, to achieve the targets set by the international community to limit the rise in global temperatures.
Excellency, ladies and gentlemen, I invite you to join me in proposing a toast to the good health of His Excellency, François Gérard Georges Nicolas Hollande President of the French Republic, and to the continued prosperity and to the people of that great country.