President David Granger: Honourable Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and Mrs. Nagamootoo; Honourable Dr. Barton Scotland, Speaker of the National Assembly; Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Carl Greenidge; Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo; Former Presidents: Donald Ramotar and Samuel Hinds; Chancellor of the Judiciary, Ms. Yonette Cummings-Edwards; Honourable Chief Justice, Ms. Roxane George-Wiltshire; Ministers of the Government; Your Excellency, Mr. Perry Holloway and Mrs. Holloway; Members of the National Assembly; Members of the Diplomatic Corps; citizens of the United States of America; distinguished guests, members of the media, ladies and gentlemen.
The Cooperative Republic of Guyana extends congratulations to His Excellency, President Donald Trump and to the People and Government of the United States of America on the occasion of the 241st Anniversary of their Independence.
As you have heard the 4th of July, is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the declaration of independence by the Continental Congress in 1776 and the establishment of a new nation- the United States of America which no longer wanted to be part of the British Empire.
The USA today is one of the strongest, most diverse and technologically advanced economies in the world; it is respected as a foremost democracy.
Your Excellency, Guyana attaches great importance to the bonds of friendship which have existed between our two countries, since the establishment of formal diplomatic relations on the 15th of August, 1966.
Guyana and the USA, over the past fifty-one years, have enjoyed high levels of bilateral cooperation in the areas of areas of: culture, defence, economic development, education, governance, health, justice improvement and security cooperation and migration. [Laughter.]
Guyana and the USA also have collaborated at the regional level in the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative. We look forward to deepening this collaboration under the Caribbean 2020 multi-year strategy, to increase security, prosperity and well-being of the people of the United States and the Caribbean. This strategy will be instrumental in strengthening the economies and sustaining the security of Caribbean states.
Your Excellency, Guyana and the United States face the common threat of transnational crime which can be countered only through international cooperation. International terrorism and trafficking in persons and in illegal weapons and narcotics represent national security threats to our states and to the hemisphere. They weaken the security of small states; they undermine public institutions and erode illicit economies.
International security cooperation is critical to combating these threats; cooperation is imperative for human safety; cooperation is vital to preserving the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace; cooperation is necessary to maintaining the integrity of the criminal justice systems and to dismantling criminal networks.
Guyana and the USA have been reliable strategic partners over the years. I had fruitful discussions with Mr. Thomas Shannon, the Honourable Secretary of State for Political Affairs in the margins of the recently concluded CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in Grenada. Those talks emphasized the importance of continued collaboration between the Caribbean and the USA.
Excellency, as you are aware, Guyana is becoming a ‘green state’. Guyana’s green development pathway places emphasis on improved coastal zone management, environmental conservation, eco-tourism and eco-education and also renewable energy generation.
The USA, a global leader in renewable energy technologies, is committed to helping the countries of the Caribbean to reduce its high energy costs. Guyana looks forward to learning from the USA in this field.
Excellency, ladies and gentlemen, I now ask you to join with me in proposing a toast to the health of His Excellency, President Donald Trump, to the continued progress and prosperity of the American people, and to strengthening the relations between the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the United States of America.
I thank you.