Georgetown, Guyana (May 7, 2019) President David Granger, this evening, said Guyana attaches the highest priority to relations with the European Union (EU)which has been a valued partner in human and economic development, particularly for small, developing states.
The President who lauded the continued robust relationship between Guyana and the European Union, was at the time addressing attendees who gathered at the Pegasus Hotel, Kingston for Europe Day 2019. “Our long-standing relationship has been cemented within the ambit of successive Lomé Conventions and the current ACP-EU Cotonou Partnership Agreement,” he said.
Additionally, President Granger said Guyana is honoured to have been accorded the responsibility to lead the negotiations on behalf of the Caribbean as he reminded that Georgetown was the site for the signing of the Georgetown Agreement on June 6, 1975.
That 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. Guyana has since benefitted 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 President said.
“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,” the Head of State said, while noting that Guyana’s Green State Development Strategy will improve forest management and value-added production in timber products.
He said too that the signing of the Guyana-EU Foreign Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Voluntary Partnership Agreement (FLEGT VPA) on November 23, 2018 in Brussels allows for the strengthening of sustainable and legal forest management and the promotion of trade in legally produced timber.
Moreover, President Granger said the 11th EDF National Indicative Programme (2014-2020) for cooperation between the European Union and the Cooperative Republic of Guyana support Guyana’s 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,” he asserted.
President Granger thanked the EU’s Ambassador to Guyana, Mr. Jernej Videtič for his service as Head of Delegation of the European Union here noting that his tenure has “helped to consolidate the excellent relations between the Guyana and the European Union. I wish him every success in the future.”
Meanwhile, Ambassador Videtič, whose tour of duty in Guyana will conclude in August, said the EU’s partnership with Guyana, a member of the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Groups of States (ACP) is strategic while adding that this year represents an important milestone because negotiations for the future EU-ACP Agreement should be completed soon.
A new phase in partnership with the European Union is to start from 2020 and will be based on the existing general policy framework by the European Consensus on Development which is a blueprint which aligns the European Union’s development policy with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Consensus, Ambassador Videtič said, highlights important cross-cutting elements such as: youth; gender equality; mobility and migration; sustainable energy and climate change; investment and trade; good governance, democracy, the rule of law and human rights.
In preparation for the upcoming phase, the European Union will begin in country dialogue with Guyana focusing on policies, strategies and other priorities to draft the next programming phase of operation, the Ambassador stated.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Karen Cummings, Minister of Finance, Mr. Winston Jordan, and Chief Justice (Ag) Madame Roxane George also attended Europe Day 2019.