Brasilia, Brazil – (December 21, 2017) President David Granger told the 51st Summit of the Heads of State of the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR) and Associate States that the occasion is an opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to the principles of respect for the inviolability of treaties and other international agreements, respect for the peaceful settlement of disputes and rejection of the use of threats and force as a means of settling disputes.

Referencing the 1999 Political Declaration of MERCOSUR, Bolivia and, Chile as a Zone of Peace, the Guyanese Head of State said, “Peace is essential for economic development and trade to take place. Peace is a dividend for enhanced competitiveness. Peace must be promoted in MERCOSUR, its associated states and throughout the continent.”

Noting that common markets flourish in conditions of peace and security and falter when there is instability and uncertainty, President Granger said that Guyana remains committed to the principles of mutual respect for each other’s territory, mutual non-aggression between states, mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs and mutual cooperation for peaceful coexistence among states.

“Guyana repeats its invocation for Mercosur to continue its vigilance to safeguard the sovereignty and security of its small states on this Continent and to eliminate the economic inequalities and political controversies that separate them. This continent must be a zone of peace… Guyana, as a small state, with fewer than one million people seeks cordial relations with all states,” he said.

President Granger also told the Summit that Guyana look towards infrastructural cooperation with the countries on the South America continent to establish highways, railways and bridges from the south to the north to enable the movement of goods and people. “Guyana’s continental destiny is tied to integration of the continent. Guyana has a role to play as the gateway for South America to the markets of the markets of the Caribbean, Central America and North America,” he said.

Given Guyana’s firm global stance on environmental protection, the President used the opportunity to appeal to his South American counterparts in MERCOSUR to take more concerted actions to address global warming and climate change which can harm production and impair trade. He noted, too, that climate change and other natural hazards are degrading the continent’s productive assets.

The President, who is current on an official State Visit to Brazil, is accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Carl Greenidge, Minister of Natural Resources, Mr. Raphael Trotman, Minister of Public Infrastructure, Mr. David Patterson and senior officers from the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

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