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