President David Granger: Honourable Moses Nagamootoo, First Vice President and Prime Minister; His Excellency Antoine Joly and Madam Antoine Joly; Honourable Joseph Harmon, Minister of State; Ministers of the Government; Members of the National Assembly; Military Attaché; Honorary Consul; friends; citizens; members of the Diplomatic Corps; distinguished guests; members of the media; ladies and gentlemen.
The Cooperative Republic of Guyana congratulates the Government and people of the French Republic on the occasion of their national day. La Fête Nationale commemorates the storming of the Bastille on the 14th of July 1789. This event triggered the French Revolution, a defining moment in world history.
Its impact was felt more than seven thousand kilometres away in the Caribbean. The French Revolution, resounding with the cry of Liberté, Egalité, and Fraternité imported to the Caribbean the hitherto unrecognised idea that citizens had fundamental rights. It influenced the Haitian revolution, which in turn intensified the struggle for Emancipation and colonial liberation throughout the Caribbean.
Your Excellency, Guyana and France, this year, celebrate fifty years of cordial diplomatic relations; relations characterised by cooperation in culture, in debt relief, in defence, in disaster relief, in education and public safety. Guyana looks forward to intensifying cooperation with France especially in protection of the environment in which our two republics share common concerns.
The Paris Agreement, a landmark in global international cooperation in the fight against climate change, was signed in France two years ago. Guyana supports France’s decision to take further action to advance the aims of the Agreement.
Guyana, located within the Guiana Shield along with La Guyane, a global environmental asset, remains irrevocably committed to establishing a ‘green state’.
Guyana will place an additional two million hectares of our forest under conservation as part of our contribution to protecting the world’s biodiversity and providing climate mitigation services to the world.
Guyana will reduce our carbon footprint by embracing various sources of renewable energy generation.
Guyana will strengthen its coastal zone management to enhance our resilience against rising sea levels and flooding.
Excellency, in all of this, Guyana looks forward to the support of the French Republic in advancing our green development agenda. Guyana looks forward to France’s support in protecting the interests of the Small Island developing and low lying coastal states in the Caribbean, during the forthcoming negotiations on the successor to the Cotonou Agreement.
Excellency, this evening, Guyana is pleased to join in celebrating La Fête Nationale, a festive time for French citizens around the world.
Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in proposing a toast to the good health and personal well-being of His Excellency President Emmanuel Macron and to the progress and continued prosperity of the people of the French Republic.