— Highlights a number of opportunities for enhancedcooperation between the two CARICOM nations 

Saint Lucia—(February 21, 2024) His Excellency President Dr Irfaan Ali hailed the “unbreakable” relationship that Guyana and Saint Lucia share and said there are numerous opportunities for enhanced collaboration between the two countries. 

President Ali, who is also the Chairman of CARICOM, made the assertion while delivering an address to a special meeting of Saint Lucia’s parliament today. 

President Ali said, “The relationship between Guyana and Saint Lucia transcends the boundaries of trade, economy and systems. More importantly, the relationship is shaped by history, culture, friendship, and, importantly, as you rightfully said, family. The relationship is deep-seated as it is blood in nature. Many Saint Lucians and Guyanese share the same blood, the same parentage, the same heritage and that, for me, speaks to a bond that is unbreakable.” 

The President also praised the small Caribbean island for supporting Guyana’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. 

Notwithstanding the disparity in size between Guyana and St. Lucia, the Head of State said that the two countries share similar vulnerabilities and are affected by the same externalities from the world. 

He added that in contemplating how St. Lucia can consolidate its efforts and pace the way for a prosperous and sustainable future, there are common issues that the two countries can jointly navigate to bring benefits and opportunities to its citizens. The President cited several examples, including housing, human resource development, agriculture and food security, technology, and healthcare. 

His Excellency also reassured the Saint Lucian people of Guyana’s commitment to deepening cooperation. 

“You can rely on Guyana, you can count on Guyana and know that in Guyana, you have a friend and a partner in your development and in your advancement.”

Efficiency in Service Delivery 

Meanwhile, His Excellency called on the Region to become more efficient in service delivery.

“All of us in the region and the government must become more efficient. The time to deliver service must be significantly shortened, services must no longer be delivered from an office, and the population must be able to get that service from their homes. Even the diaspora must be able to get the services of the country from wherever they are.”

He explained that this is possible through digitisation and making the necessary changes to keep abreast with howthe world is moving. 

Turning his attention to the importance of regional integration, President Ali posited that achieving this requires that various systems, such as education, healthcare, and technology, be integrated to allow for the sharing of experiences, information, and services, helping to resolve important issues in the region.

“Connectivity is not just a movement of people, goods, and services; it is also the movement of ideas, policies, systems, and the integration of systems.”

The Head of State is on a two-day visit to the Caribbean island as a guest of the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, the Honourable Philip J. Pierre, on the occasion of the island’s 45th Independence Anniversary celebrations.