President Jagdeo says…
Greater civil society participation needed for promoting peace
Guyana Chronicle
February 4, 2002

PRESIDENT Bharrat Jagdeo has pointed to the need for more civil society participation in the promotion of peace within Guyana.

He said that sections of the population must be more vocal when people face problems, playing a more important role and not only speaking out when politically motivated.

In remarks at the opening of a symposium sponsored by Guyana Peace Education Institute at the Muslim Youth Organisation (MYO) headquarters on Woolford Avenue, Georgetown, recently, Mr Jagdeo expressed disappointment at the absence of more members of civil society.

The discourse, conducted under the theme ‘Achieving Peace in Guyana’, attracted participants from University of Guyana, non-governmental and religious organisations, among others.

According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) report on the event, the Head of State said he hoped his presence would indicate the level of importance he attached to the initiative.

He said civil society has to be more vocal when children are abused and face other forms of violence.

President Jagdeo said there are rules and laws in this country that should be respected at all levels, particularly by anyone interested in promoting peace.

He said he is trying to make people understand that political leaders should not control everything, as had been happening for too long.

Mr. Jagdeo said, at one time, politicians controlled the kind of foods people ate and the things they do. But he proposed there ought to be a focused agenda, which allows other mechanisms to work, as well.

People’s National Congress/Reform Parliamentarian Winston Murray also commended the programme, saying it was timely and agreed that every Guyanese must be given an equal opportunity.

Giving a background about the Institute, Mr. Terry Arthur said it has decided to work with all existing groups in promoting peace here.

He said the discussion was part of the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana (CIOG) effort to fulfill one of its mandates, of looking at ways to establish peace locally.

Arthur anticipates that, out of the day’s activities, would come a training manual and several recommendations.

British High Commissioner Edward Glover, United States Ambassador Ronald Godard and other members of the Diplomatic Corps were also present at the forum.