President David Granger: Honourable Chief Justice, Mrs. Roxane George; members of the Diplomatic Corps, distinguished guests; European citizens; members of the media; ladies and gentlemen:
I think the Speaker, Prime Minister and other members of the National Assembly are in session and this may explain their absence from this event this evening. The Cooperative Republic of Guyana joins the rest of the world in celebrating Europe Day. Europe Day symbolises the quest for peace through economic cooperation and integration.
We observed only last month, the 60th anniversary of The Treaty of Rome, which founded the European Economic Commission, the forerunner of the European Union. The European Union grounded in the values of democracy, equality, respect for diversity and human rights has emerged as a foremost integration movement. It has become a model for other integration initiatives in other parts of the world.
Guyana and the European Union enjoy warm relations based on cooperation, mutual respect and mutual interest. Our relationship was cemented by the signing of The Lomé Convention in 1975 and this evolved into the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement of CARIFORUM and the European Union. Guyana looks forward to a post-2020 partnership between the African, Caribbean and Pacific States and the European Union.
Guyana anticipates that the forthcoming negotiations on the post-Cotonou ACP-EU relations will produce an enhanced framework for development assistance, for economic relations and for political cooperation. Guyana values the cooperation it enjoys with the European Union.
The 11th European Development Fund identified climate change adaptation and risk reduction as priority areas for cooperation. Guyana welcomes Europe’s assistance in enhancing capacity for climate adaptation and resilience. Guyana’s in transition to becoming a ‘green’ state, one in which economic prosperity will be balanced by environmental sustainability. We look forward to Europe’s continued support in advancing ‘green’ state development; one that is consistent with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
Excellency, Guyana’s exports depend on access to European markets. Guyana has benefited from EU assistance in agriculture, health, education, in hinterland development and housing, private sector development. Guyana looks forward to increased European investments in its economy. Cooperation and economic investment and social development must be allowed to continue.
Your Excellency, this Europe Day celebration is a re-affirmation not only of the integration process in one continent but, also, it is an acknowledgement of the value of that process in other continents of the world.
I am pleased to be part of this evening’s reception in celebrating Europe Day. Ladies and gentlemen, I ask that you all join me in raising a toast to the excellent relations between Guyana and the European Union and to the continued progress and success of the people of the European Union.
I thank you.