‘Guyana’s profile has risen tremendously’ – Pres. Ali says after two days of int’l meetings

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By Vishani Ragobeer

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President Dr. Irfaan Ali has spent the past two days participating in the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly while also engaging several world leaders and developmental partners in New York City and he says there is a lot of interest in Guyana.

The President is joined by a high-level team including Vice- President Bharrat Jagdeo, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hugh Todd, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, and Foreign Secretary, Robert Persaud. And, over the past few days, these Guyanese officials have already had about 12 engagements with various stakeholders in the US.

President Ali has described the past few days as “very hectic” but noted that many countries and international bodies have signalled their interest in helping Guyana’s developmental efforts.

“What is evident is that the profile of Guyana has risen tremendously.

“There is great interest from private entities, major CEOs and other countries in what is happening in Guyana,” the President said in a recorded statement disseminated by the Press and Publicity Unit of the Office of the President on Tuesday.

President Dr. Irfaan Ali and team at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City (Photo: Office of the President/ September 21, 2021)

Among the President’s engagements has been a meeting with the Presidents of Ghana, Austria and Kosovo, as well as engagements with the Heads of the Organization of American States (OAS), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

And, areas of discussion include developmental priorities, opportunities for investors in Guyana, building bilateral relationships with different countries, opening up new avenues and areas for development of human resource capacity, unlocking new areas for financing and having bilateral engagements on existing portfolios.

Importantly, Dr Ali underscored: “The priority right now is to ensure that Guyana’s profile continues to be enhanced and importantly that our development agenda is supported by the global community and that our issues and our positions on varying international issues, (that) our position is clear.”

Speaking specifically on Monday’s engagement with the Secretary-General of the OIC Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, Dr Ali said that this meeting allowed the Guyanese team to push Guyana’s agenda, particularly what the country’s development priorities are in the context of long term development.

President Irfaan Ali and team engage Secretary-General of the OIC Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen and his delegation (Photo: Office of the President/September 20, 2021)

Dr Ali reported that the OIC Head was “very responsive” and assured members of the public that this organisation was going to work on an “aggressive front” to help Guyana’s developmental efforts. This, he said, will not only include efforts to strengthen Guyana’s engagement with the Islamic Development Bank but also with individual countries within the OIC.

The President related that he has quite a number of other planned engagements but he highlighted: “I am just excited to be part of this, to be the President of Guyana at a time when our profile is so impressive and there is so much energy coming after Guyana.”

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