Europe Day 2019
The Cooperative Republic of Guyana joins the European Union in celebrating Europe Day. Europe’s journey towards greater collaboration, peace and prosperity was triggered in the wake of the World Wars by the Schuman Declaration of 9th May 1950. Europe Day symbolises Europe’s quest for peace through economic cooperation and integration.
The European Union – grounded in the values of democracy, equality, respect for diversity and human rights – has emerged as the world’s foremost international integration movement. The EU embodies the virtues and values of multilateralism. Its efforts at global cooperation have addressed global challenges and advanced development.
Guyana attaches the highest priority to relations with the European Union which has been a valued partner in human and economic development, particularly for small, developing states. Our long-standing relationship has been cemented within the ambit of successive Lomé Conventions and the current ACP-EU Cotonou Partnership Agreement.
Guyana is honoured to have been accorded the responsibility to lead the negotiations on behalf of the Caribbean. Georgetown, our capital city, you will recall, was the site for the signing of the Georgetown Agreement on 6th June 1975.
The ‘Agreement’ marked the conception of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) which has enjoyed a vibrant partnership with the EU, commencing with the first Lomé Convention of 1975.
The Georgetown Agreement paved the way, also, for Guyana to benefit from trade and developmental cooperation with the European Union in diverse fields – including agriculture, coastal zone management, education, health, housing, infrastructure development, public financial management reform and private sector development.
The European Union Delegation’s presence in Georgetown has facilitated the expansion of collaboration – including through technical assistance, and in the fields of competitiveness, climate change, electricity, gender relations, governance, poverty reduction, rural development, water and youth development.
Guyana’s Green State Development Strategy will improve forest management and value-added production in timber products. The signing of the Guyana-EU Foreign Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Voluntary Partnership Agreement (FLEGT VPA) on 23rd November 2018 in Brussels allows for the strengthening of sustainable and legal forest management and the promotion of trade in legally produced timber.
The 11th EDF National Indicative Programme (2014-2020) for cooperation between the European Union and the Cooperative Republic of Guyana supports our efforts at climate resilience and disaster reduction.
Guyana is optimistic that its strong, historic relations with the European Union will contribute to the continued consolidation of collaboration and to cooperation with the wider membership of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group.
I thank His Excellency Jernej Videtič for his service as Head of Delegation of the European Union to the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. His tenure has helped to consolidate the excellent relations between Guyana and the European Union. I wish him every success in the future.
I extend warmest congratulations on the occasion of Europe Day. I invite you to join me in a toast to the continued robust relationship between Guyana and the European Union and to the progress and prosperity of the Presidency, the Member States and the people of the European Union.
I thank you.