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|Guyana’s diplomats reminded to maintain sovereignty, territorial integrity|
|Monday, 09 July 2012 22:38|
PRESIDENT Donald Ramotar yesterday reminded the Heads of Guyana’s diplomatic missions abroad of their role to help maintain the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
They must also provide, for all Guyanese, opportunities for economic advancement and social well-being, he told them at the opening of the Heads of Mission Conference, which gathers all the heads of overseas Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates.
The three-day meeting is taking place at the Guyana International Conference Centre, Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown, and will be followed by a wrap-up session with Cabinet Ministers on July 13.
Welcoming all the participants home, President Ramotar told them: “You are, of course, as is often said, on the very frontlines of our country’s foreign policy and in the area where you have to promote Guyana and pursue our people’s interest internationally.”
He said foreign policy is the continuation of domestic policy on one hand and advised them: “You reflect the relation which we want to display internationally.
“Clearly, therefore, you must be plugged into what is happening at home. You must know everything that is taking place and you should be asking questions when you do not have all the information. You must be aware of our plans in your day-to-day work for you to contribute to those plans that we have to develop Guyana.”
Mr. Ramotar continued that, at the same time, they must always be aware of what is happening internationally, to assess the impact on the country and determine what measures to take to “get advantage of or to minimise any impact on our country.”
In this regard, he underscored that government rely on them, tremendously, to advise on what is happening abroad, particularly in neighbouring countries and even further afield.
“Because there are many, many things that happen in distant places that impact on us and it is very important for us to always be prepared to deal with those issues,” he noted.
President Ramotar said: “The overarching policy and position is for you to help us to maintain our sovereignty and our territorial integrity and to provide opportunities for economic advancement and social well-being for all Guyanese.”
He said, being a small, developing country “our dependence on international community is also important and we must be conscious of the image of our country.”
“This is, indeed, very important. It has even grown in importance in recent times, largely because of what is taking place domestically as well,” he underscored.
President Ramotar alluded to the part they must play in many areas, such as promoting the country, engaging the diaspora and helping to push what Guyana has to offer in different areas.
He touched on issues such as climate change, food security, crime and some of the plans and developments taking place domestically, as well as Guyana’s growing relationship with its South American counterparts.
“In the next few days, we will have much more opportunity to deal with many, many other issues that will have an impact on our country,” the President indicated.
“We will deal, in more detail, with the political developments here and go into much more details with many of the things that we want to do economically and socially to develop Guyana and I am looking forward to those discussions and I am looking forward to your ideas and I am looking forward for us to have a very fruitful discussion as we try jointly to move ahead,” he said.
Continuing he said:“So that our country can have a very prominent place internationally, one in which we are respected for all the right things; for our staunch defence of democracy; for our solidarity with countries that are struggling for their own national interest once they have a just struggle going on ahead of them and for us to make a contribution to the fight against the social ills, not only in our society but the fight against the many ills that affect our world at this point in time.”
Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, in remarks at the forum, said:“For some countries, it is customary when a new government takes office and more especially when the Head of Government has changed for Heads of Missions to return to the capital for discussion with the new architect of foreign policy and, in this case, His Excellency President Donald Ramotar.”
She said:“Incidentally, this Heads of Mission Conference is also being held three years after the last one and it is, therefore, timely for our diplomatic and consular representatives abroad to return home and reorient themselves with the developments that are taking place as there is only so much one can do via technology.”
The Minister acknowledged that much has happened since they last met in 2009, both in terms of foreign relations and the country’s overall development.
|Last Updated on Monday, 09 July 2012 22:44|
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