Guyana embraced in move to South American integration

By William Walker in Brasilia
Stabroek News
September 2, 2000

Guyana has been embraced by the 11 other countries at the inaugural Summit of South American Presidents in Brasilia, Brazil, as an equal partner in the move towards regional integration.

The official Brasilia Communique issued and signed yesterday at the closing ceremony, notes the "interests in encouraging closer coordination between Guyana and Suriname and the other South American countries."

The Heads of State also reaffirmed their commitment to regional integration in Latin America and the Caribbean and noted that CARICOM, amongst the other trading blocs, was one of the most dynamic components to increased trade. The communique welcomed Guyana's intended participation in the deliberations between Mercosur and the Andean community trading blocs to be held in Bolivia.

The communique also stressed "the importance of appropriate prices for commodities exported by the region, keeping in mind the importance of this aspect for the drive to eradicate poverty."

On border disputes, the document observed, "the peaceful, friendly and cooperative atmosphere" amongst the 12 countries and said the recent end to the territorial dispute between Ecuador and Peru was evidence of the prevailing spirit in South America. It noted the leaders' reaffirmation of "their allegiance to the principle of a peaceful and negotiated resolution of disputes as opposed to the use of force or the threat thereof ....

"Borders should never, within South America, ...serve as an element of isolation and separation," the communique stated."They should rather be a connecting link for the circulation of goods and individuals..."

The development of infrastructure such as roads and bridges was recognised as essential to increased trade flows.

Follow the goings-on in Guyana
in Guyana Today