Guyana has proud record in foreign policy
--Ambassador Sahadeo
Guyana Chronicle
July 29, 2002

Related Links: Articles on politics
Letters Menu Archival Menu

NEWLY appointed Director of Foreign Service Institute (FSI), Ambassador Harold Sahadeo, has said that Guyana has every reason to be proud of its international relations, because it has led the way in formulating foreign policies that today, are accepted by the international community, and which have become norms in the conduct of international relations.

Sahadeo recalled that in 1966, when this country was in the process of negotiating its Independence, the idea of de-centralising the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings was put forward. The idea was eventually accepted, thus bringing to an end the practice of the conference being held only in Britain.

During the 1960s and early 1970s, Guyana also played a major role in furthering the goals of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and in 1972 the Foreign Ministers Conference of NAM was held here.

This was at a time when developing countries were fighting against domination by the superpowers of the world, the Ambassador said.

According to Sahadeo, despite the fact that Guyana is a small country, it has played and is playing a major role in the charting of international policies, and because of this the Guyana Foreign Service is held in such high esteem.

He noted, too, that it was Guyana that proposed the concept of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries, which was established at a meeting here in June 1975. And from an initial membership of 40 has now grown to 78 members.

Guyana also played a leading role in the formation of the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) the precursor to CARICOM and today it is one of the 15-member Community leading the way to the establishment of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

“Many countries that accept international policies do not rate Guyana as a small country,” Sahadeo emphatically declared.

He added: “Guyana may not be rich, but in foreign policy this country is always respected as a powerful country.”

Sahadeo’s diplomatic career dates back to the pre-Independence period, spanning more than three decades. During his career, Mr Sahadeo held several ambassadorial appointments including that of Ambassador to Brussels and High Commissioner to the Caribbean. He was also the Director-General of Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Government Information Agency - GINA)