Framework suggested for continuing joint consultation
Guyana Chronicle
September 14, 2002

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THE much anticipated statement from Wednesday's joint consultation organised by civil society and attended by the President, Opposition Leader, parliamentary political parties and 'Social Partners' was issued yesterday.

It was, however, brief and did not go into details of the 90-minute meeting, indicating that the consultation focussed mainly on "the objectives" of the session with the organisers suggesting a "structured consultative framework" for the future.

The parliamentary parties requested the `Social Partners' to elaborate more completely the framework concept, taking into consideration the views of the parties, the statement said.

The statement was initially intended to be released by the organisers on Thursday but was delayed until yesterday "due to unforeseen circumstances in finalising the release", according to Head of the Private Sector Commission, Dr. Peter De Groot.

According to the statement, Wednesday's joint consultation which was held at Le Meridien Pegasus Hotel, Georgetown, focussed mainly on item two of the agenda, i.e., "the objectives of the joint consultation".

The `Social Partners' had suggested a structured consultative framework for the ongoing consultation, the statement said.

It noted too that the parliamentary parties requested the organisers to elaborate more completely the framework concept to be used and which would be discussed at "the next meeting".

The `Social Partners' are to be responsible for arranging the next meeting within a reasonable time, the statement said.

The first meeting of the joint consultation, initiated by the group of `social partners' comprising the Trades Union Congress, the Private Sector Commission and the Guyana Bar Association, and involving delegations representing the parliamentary parties, was chaired by Dr. De Groot whom the organiers had previously mandated to speak on their behalf.

The attendees included President Bharrat Jagdeo, members of the Cabinet, the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Desmond Hoyte, top executives of the parliamentary parties - the People's Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), the People's National Congress Reform (PNC/R), Guyana Action Party-Working People's Alliance (GAP-WPA), The United Force (TUF), the Rice Organise and Rebuild (ROAR) movement and the `social partners'.

The statement noted that representatives of the parliamentary parties, in their opening statements, welcomed the initiative.

It said general comments by the participants at the meeting concerned, among other issues, the internal security situation, the outstanding tasks on constitutional reform and methods of ensuring the involvement of other civil society groups and the element of good faith.