Jagdeo bids farewell to Douglas
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, CMC – Outgoing Guyana President Bharrat Jagdeo has thanked CARICOM Chairman and St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas for the work he has done to advance regional integration and to promote the Caribbean’s place in the world. “I continue to have strong faith in the future or our region, and believe that success can be created as our countries work together towards regional integration,” said the Guyana President in a letter to Prime Minister Douglas. “I recognise that many of our sister nations are struggling in the face of the global financial crises, but believe that these difficulties can be overcome.” President Jagdeo, who will be demitting office in the coming days as in accordance with the term limits he is barred from seeking a third consecutive term, expressed optimism that Guyana’s increasing links with South America – along with those of Suriname – can be of benefit for the entire region. “In the past five years, we have experienced a real strengthening of our continental links as well as links with other new markets and economies. These linkages – in areas such as agriculture, minerals and environmental services – will hopefully create value for every country in CARICOM as we increasingly contribute to the response to the challenging global issues of our time such as food, energy, resource and climate security,” said Jagdeo. He highlighted an area where greater regional integration can help every country within CARICOM, and that is in the response to climate change and the promotion of green growth within Caribbean economies. He noted that Caribbean countries are suffering from climate change pointing out that in 2005, floods caused damage equivalent to 60 per cent of Guyana’s GDP, and many of the island nations are suffering from extreme weather events which cause human suffering and long-term impacts on tourism, for example through coral bleaching. “We are also impacted by the developed world’s policy response in the face of climate change – for example, through the impact of aviation duties and taxes in Europe. However, we are also capable of providing leadership in the response to climate change, through participation in the emerging green economy, which will be the world’s third industrial revolution,” Jagdeo told Prime Minister Douglas. “Perhaps we could do more to illustrate where we can help to drive global climate security. In the absence of a legally binding, global climate treaty, we should be seeking to access the climate finances agreed at Copenhagen and Cancun to make this happen. Our solar energy resources, forests and potential transformation in the energy and transportation sectors represent real opportunities for public and private finance to catalyse real impact.” The Guyana President suggested “that greater co-ordination at a regional level might enable us to secure greater advances than is currently the case. Perhaps this could be considered in advance of the Rio +20 meeting that takes place in June 2012. Perhaps we could also do more to share our own experiences, among our own countries and with the broader international community.” President Jagdeo told Prime Minister Douglas that it has been an honour to represent Guyana in the region and to play his part in CARICOM’s progress over the past twelve years. “I have full confidence that the new Government in Guyana will remain dependable partners in the years ahead. I hope to see you again sometime in the near future, but in the meantime, I send you best wishes for all that you do in the years ahead,” said the Guyana leader.