Georgetown, Guyana – (April 26, 2018) Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon has assured a visiting mission from the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) of the full support of the Government of Guyana as they work to successfully pull off the 17th Session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 17), which is slated for January 8-12, 2019 at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre. The delegation, which is led by the Chief of Staff of the UNCCD, Mr. Rajeb Boulharouf, is currently in Guyana to undertake an assessment of the venue and other facilities that will be used for the conference.

“I am extremely pleased that the decision was taken to hold this conference in Guyana. It is a very important time in the history of our country; it is a time when we are affirming our commitment to issues in relation to climate change and the environment… This is an opportunity that we have to showcase to the rest of the world, that even though we are a small country, we are prepared to step up to accept any challenge,” the Minister of State said.

He noted that while Guyana will not be able to provide all of the amenities that rich, first-world countries can, the Government’s commitment and political will to fulfil its obligations is unwavering. “We are very committed to conservation; we are very committed to the Convention and to the 2030 agenda,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Boulharouf said that his team is extremely satisfied with the level of commitment, goodwill and preparation shown thus far. He informed that they are currently working to finalise the Host Country Agreement by mid-year. “With the commitment and support demonstrated by the Government and other local stakeholders, we anticipate a very successful joint venture,” he said.

The UN official also took the opportunity to commend Guyana’s efforts in the global climate change arena and its long-standing commitment to sustainable development.

CRIC is a subsidiary body of the Conference of Parties (COP). This event will see between 400-600 people from approximately 100 countries across the globe, coming to Guyana and will significantly raise the profile of the country as a ‘green’ state. Guyana has been a signatory to UNCCD and an active participant since 1997. The country is also the first English-speaking Caribbean country to have acceded to membership of the CRIC Bureau.

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