President’s overseas trips since May 2015 cost $209.4 million
The Government has spent $209.4 million on travel for President David Granger between May 2015 and October 2018.
Details of the expenses were provided in a written statement to the National Assembly following a question by Opposition Parliamentarian and Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira.
The expenses covered a total of 37 overseas trips made by the President.
During 2015, the President made 11 overseas trips at a cost of $57 million.
In 2016, he made eight overseas trips valued at $44.7 million.
In 2017, the President’s expenses covered eight overseas trips; these were valued at $42.7 million.
As of October this year, the President made ten overseas trips at a total cost of $64.4 million.
The Government said the since taking office, President Granger has attended several regional and international conference as part of the Government’s overall policy of advancing Guyana’s foreign policy objectives in respect of multilateral and specific bilateral issues at the highest level.
“It must be recognised that Guyana, as a small member of the international community must ensure that it is presented and its voice heard if it is to be respected and taken seriously,” Minister of State Joseph Harmon stated in the answer provided to the National Assembly.
Among the trips the President made were to the MERCOSUR Summits, the Commonwealth Heads of Government meetings, the CARICOM Heads of Government meetings, Union of South American (UNSAUR) summits, summits of Latin American And Caribbean States, United Nations General Assembly meetings,and meetings of the Members of the Solar Alliance, among others.
The President also responded positively to the invitations by Guyana’s close friends and partners to undertake official and state visits.
“This has led to increased and heightened collaboration in several areas between Guyana and those countries and organisations,” the Government stated.
According to the Minister of State, the attendance at the international conference and meetings listed provided the President and his delegation with an opportunity to bring to the attention of the global community issues of concern to Guyana.
“Our interested were also taken into account in the outcome documents, especially those relating to the presentation of our sovereignty and territorial integrity, climate change, the 2030 development agenda among others,” Harmon stated.
The President’s engagements with the United Nations Secretary-General contributed also to the decision to refer the longstanding border controversy with Venezuela to the international court of justice for final settlement.
“Participation in the high-level encounters provided the President with the opportunity to meet world leaders and to discuss ways to elevate our bilateral cooperation programmes.”
As a consequence of these engagements, Guyana has received additional support for its Green State Development Strategy
Several offers were also received in the area of
In 2018, Guyana became a founding member of the International Solar Alliance and will be benefitting from expertise, training and equipment as a result of its membership.
“This is in keeping with government’s focus on developing alternative sources of energy,” Harmon added.
Overseas trips were made to the World Water Forum in Brasilia as well as the Global Environment Facility in Vietnam.