President David Granger: Members of the German community in Georgetown; members of the media; ladies and gentlemen, I have the honour this evening, on behalf of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, to welcome His Excellency Dieter Lamle, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Federal Foreign Officer of the Federal Office of the Republic of Germany. We consider his visit an indication of the importance which Germany attaches to its relations with Guyana.
Guyana this year is celebrating its 50th anniversary of independence. We are celebrating also the 50th anniversary of the establishment of friendly diplomatic relations between the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the Federal Republic of Germany.
Your Excellency, today we mark also the signing of an important agreement, and this signifies greater importance for this day. The past fifty years witnessed a deepening of the cooperation between our two countries based on the shared values of mutual respect and understanding, peaceful coexistence, respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs and a commitment to human development.
Guyana and Germany have cooperated in education, in health, in natural resource management and sport. Guyana also wishes to iterate its appreciation to Germany for the cancellation of its debt in 2004.
Guyana and Germany today are concerned about the threats posed to all humanity by the adverse effects of climate change – environmental degradation and the increasing loss of the world’s biodiversity.
Guyana, a low lying coastal state, is vulnerable to the hazard of global warming and rising sea levels. Our shared concerns have intensified our relations and increased our emphasis on protected areas management.
Excellencies, Guyana is a net-carbon sink. A green canopy of rainforest envelops more than 85% of its landmass, the second highest per cent forest cover in the world. These forests help the earth to breathe by sequestering more carbon than is emitted by the country’s human activities. These forests and protected areas provide environmental services to all humanity by storing carbon and restoring the balance of oxygen and humidity in the air.
Guyana and Germany in April 2010 signed the agreement on financial cooperation on tropical rainforest protection to support the preservation of Guyana’s protected areas.
Guyana’s green agenda provides for the designation of protected areas in all ten of our administrative regions. The signing of an agreement today will provide further support for environmental and ecological protection and will advance Guyana’s green agenda appreciatively.
Excellencies, I ask that you convey to His Excellency, Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, and to Her Excellency, Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, our best wishes for their personal wellbeing and for the prosperity of the people of your great country.
Ladies and gentlemen, Guyana and Germany celebrate 50 years of friendly relations, relations which have had an impact beyond our country’s borders and on all humanity. I ask you, therefore, to join me in a toast to the excellent relations between Guyana and Germany and to our continued cooperation.