President Granger, at the accreditation ceremony held yesterday at the Ministry of the Presidency, shared his optimism that this appointment will further consolidate relations between the two countries.
The Head of State said that he is pleased to accept the Letters of Credence as Guyana and Suriname are bound by bonds of geography, history and mutual interests, and the bilateral ties are founded on mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. He also noted the importance of the two countries’ mutual non-interference in each other’s international affairs, cooperation for mutual benefit, respect for treaties and international law, and the maintenance of regional peace and security.
“The preservation of regional peace and security is vital to protecting our common interests. Guyana is committed to ensuring that the Caribbean and the South American continent remains a zone of peace. Peace in our region could be endangered by transnational threats such as trafficking in illegal weapons, narcotics, and people; illegal migration; money laundering; environmental hazard; and territorial controversies,” he said.
President Granger noted that Guyana and Suriname have collaborated in the fields of agriculture, culture, environment, fisheries, forestry, health, mining, security, trade, and transportation and, as such, he looks forward to working with Suriname, within the ambit of the Caribbean Community and the Guyana-Suriname Cooperation Council, to continue to improve trade, to intensify cultural, economic, environmental and social cooperation, and to combat transnational threats.
“Guyana is moving towards the establishment of a ‘green’ state, one that will place emphasis on the protection of our environment, the preservation of our biodiversity, the promotion of renewable energy, and the adoption of practical measures to ensure adaptation to climate change. We enjoy high levels of forest cover, which provide environmental services that are vital for earth’s survival. Environmental cooperation between Guyana and Suriname could become a model for the protection and sustainable management of our forests and biodiversity,” the Head of State said.
Ambassador Jones echoed similar sentiments, even as he noted that the cooperation between the two countries is diverse and is of strategic importance to the development objectives of the nations. He noted that the Government of Suriname believes that the main focus of cooperation should be on achieving sustainability in the pursuit of development for both countries and peoples.
“It is therefore important and necessary that the atmosphere of peace, togetherness and friendship is being sustained. Strategic emphasis should be placed on what binds us rather than what divides us. This should be the driving force to further intensify our relationship based on mutual respect, understanding, cooperation, good neighbourliness, and mutual benefit. In addition, Suriname also looks forward towards deepening the cultural relationship and intensifying economic trading activities. With reference to the cultural integration there is a large group of Guyanese Diaspora living for decades in Suriname and is contributing to the economic development. On the other hand, many Surinamese have family ties with Guyana and cross-border travel between both countries is increasing substantially,” the Ambassador said.
Guyana and Suriname established formal diplomatic ties on November 25, 1975 and will celebrate 45 years of the establishment of these ties next year, 2020.