We are proud to announce that the Minister and staff of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance have been inoculated. 67% of the staff (11 persons) have been fully vaccinated, 25% (4 persons) have received their first doses and await their scheduled second doses, and 6% (1 person) has not been vaccinated for medical purposes. Our team has benefitted from all available vaccines (AstraZeneca, Sputnik-V and Sinopharm) and have experienced no serious or life threatening side effects. Although the unanimous decision was made to get vaccinated, the Ministry continues to adhere to all COVID-19 safety protocols outlined by the Ministry of Health, and takes all necessary precautions to remain healthy and safe. We also urge the public to continue accessing the free vaccination services provided by the Government of Guyana, so that we can ultimately achieve herd immunity and start returning to the much desired levels of normalcy.
The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance joins the rest of the world today, March 8, to commemorate International Women’s Day under the theme “Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.
“”Women of the world want and deserve an equal future free from stigma, stereotypes and violence; a future that’s sustainable, peaceful, with equal rights and opportunities for all. To get us there, the world needs women at every table where decisions are being made.” (UN Women)
– Minister Teixeira urge leaders to ensure transparency in projects
Government has plugged $58 million into eight Amerindian communities in Region Seven to foster development and cushion the effects of the Covid pandemic. The sums were provided under the Government’s $1.73 billion COVID 19 relief fund through the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs.
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Hon. Gail Teixeira and a team including Member of Parliament, Hon. Lee Williams handed over the money in Region Seven today.
The money was presented to Kartabo, Itaballi, Karrau Creek, Batavia, Kangaruma, Tassarene, Isseneru and Kurutuku. River’s View, Region 10 also received their grant today.
“Your communities have the power to decide what to do with the grants… but we need to tell you that this money must be used in the best interest of the people,” Minister Teixeira told the leaders.
The Minister encouraged them to meet the residents and host open discussions to determine how best the money could be spent to develop the community. Minister Teixeira reminded the leaders that there must be transparency and accountability.
“We are not going to interfere with your concept. When you put up your concept saying this is what you are doing and this is what it will cost, that is your business. What you are going to have to answer for is accountability, that when you get the $5 million or $10 million it is accountable,” she said.
Some of the funds are to be used to create a space for Information and Communication Technology hubs and for an income generating project to mitigate the hardships faced by residents. The overall objective is to create opportunities for better livelihoods, young people and to enhance village infrastructure.
Chairperson of Itaballi Community Development Council, Ms. Coleen Singh said it is the first time the community had received such a huge grant. She said the $10 million grant was a pleasant surprise and it would be used to provide a better life for villagers.
“With this grant, we are going to be furnishing our ICT Hub. We already have a building already wired so we are going to be furnishing it. We are going to be fencing our community ground so it can better serve our young people. There are several other things we would like to do with it, but we have to discuss in a community meeting,” Ms. Singh said.
Batavia also received $10 million. Toshao, Mr. Orin Williams said the money would go a far way in reviving the village, which was hit hard by the pandemic. Mr. Williams said it would help to create jobs in the village by improving the way they do logging.
“We normally use chainsaw and we know that the chainsaw utilises a lot of the wood because the saw is quarter inch. We intend to purchase a wood-miser where we can get more produce, more lumber so this money we would be able to get one of those machines purchased,” he said.
Toshao of Kurutuku, Mr. Timothy Lewis said he appreciates what the Government is doing for the Amerindian communities. His community received a $10 million grant.
“This is the first time Kurutuku is getting help from a Government. Since this village was established, very little was given to us from all Government. Now this PPP Government has come into power once again, so I appreciate it and am very much happy for this grant and I look forward to cooperation. We want development, we want to move forward with this Government,” the Toshao said.
The relief fund complements other measures implemented by President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, since taking office. In the 2020 Emergency Budget, the President made provisions for the $4.5 billion COVID-19 relief cash grant which would see every household receiving $25,000 to cushion the effects of the pandemic. Additionally, $1.8 billion was allocated from the emergency budget to provide hampers to households.
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Hon. Gail Teixeira, M.P., represented President Mohamed Irfan Ali President and the Government at the 46th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), on Tuesday, February 23, 2020.
The Minister assured the 46th Session that “On the assumption of office just six months ago, our Government is committed to making “good faith” efforts to strengthen democracy, the rule of law, transparency and accountability in Government, and the advancement of the human rights of our people.”In drawing the connection between human rights and development of all people, Teixeira stated that:-
“The Government of Guyana has taken a studied decision to improve its compliance with its human rights reporting obligations. We view this as critical not only for compliance but also for the value of systematic reporting in helping us assess where we are and what further steps need to be taken.. …
This is particularly important at this critical juncture of our development when Guyana is poised for exponential economic growth. The Guyana Government is keen on ensuring that there is equitable distribution of the people’s wealth and equitable access to goods and services by addressing disparities between the different regions in the country to ensure all have equal opportunities. My Government is engaged in several national undertakings designed to assure our progress as a modern, progressive, cohesive and prosperous state. These include our participation in the Spotlight Initiative, the promotion of our Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), the advancement of the Indigenous Land Titling project, and the establishment of ICT hubs in the interior indigenous communities, among other initiatives.
In this she linked Guyana’s own unique efforts to address climate change and development:-
“The government will reinstitute an expanded Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). The strategy will be broadened through a consultative process to include wider environmental services, water resources management, climate resilience, biodiversity, renewable energy and marine economy. We believe that this strategy will allow Guyana to earn substantial revenue that can be utilized to diversify the economy and create employment opportunities for our people as we did previously under the Norway Agreement. We also intend for the benefits from the Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) to flow to all Guyanese, especially our indigenous communities, where First Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) principles and the Opt-In Mechanism shall be strictly observed. The expanded LCDS will also include the establishment of an International Centre of Excellence for Biological Diversity with the objective of promoting cutting edge research and developing and exporting educational services. The expanded LCDS will guide our developmental trajectory along an inclusive, low carbon, sustainable, clean, resilient path with increased economic opportunities and investments linked to greater social and infrastructural development for the benefit of all.
”Teixeira stressed that the “advancement of our people and their equitable sharing in our nation’s wealth cannot be truly realized unless there is respect for democracy, respect for the fundamental rights and freedoms of our citizens as guaranteed by the Constitution of Guyana and respect for the rule of law.”Teixeira informed the UN HRC of Guyana’s efforts to build “ One Guyana” with the words of President Ali in his address to the Parliament:- “The credo of the Guyana Government is nation building. The key word of my Government is oneness. The essential character of my Government’s vision is inclusion.”
Guyana’s challenges and responses to addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic were also detailed and the United Nations agencies and Guyana’s bilateral partners and friends were thanked for their swift response in lending support during this crisis.
Guyana’s international partners in the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the Commonwealth, the Caribbean Community and many individual nations were also thanked for standing with the Guyanese people during the long 5 month period following the March 2, 2020 elections to prevent the hijacking of the elections.
Further, Minister thanked the United Nations, its various agencies and international partners, for its solidarity against the unlawful claim by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to a portion of Guyana’s sovereign territory. “We remain hopeful that we will continue to enjoy this support, as we continue to prosecute our just case at the International Court of Justice,” Teixeira declared.
February 23, 2021