INDIA-GUYANA, JOINT STATEMENT
September 7, 2003
1. At the invitation of the President of India, H.E. Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the President of Guyana, H.E. Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo, paid a State Visit to India from August 24-29, 2003.
2. Within the framework of the visit, H.E. Mr. Jagdeo held fruitful discussions with H.E. Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the President of the Republic of India, and H.E. Mr. A.B. Vajpayee, Prime Minister of India. The Vice President of India, Mr. Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Minister of External Affairs of India, Mr. Yashwant Sinha, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Arun Jaltley, Minister for Human Resource Development, Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi, and the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, called on President Jagdeo.
3. During the wide-ranging discussions held in a friendly and cordial atmosphere, both sides exchanged views on various bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.
4. Both sides noted with satisfaction that the close relations between Guyana and India, which have a strong cultural and historical basis, are marked by cordiality and a high degree of understanding as well as shared interests in current principal issues. Both sides reiterated their desire to strengthen even further the bilateral relations and close ties between the two countries and peoples. In this context, the Guyanese side reiterated its commitment to the early re-establishment of its diplomatic mission in New Delhi. The Indian side welcomed this and noted that the early re-establishment of the Guyanese diplomatic mission will help to intensify and deepen further the relations between the two countries.
5. President Jagdeo expressed his sincere appreciation for India's continued support to the economic and social development of Guyana.
6. Both sides agreed that friendly contacts and personnel exchanges between Ministries, Members of Parliament and political parties of the two countries should be further enhanced.
7. The two sides agreed to fully utilise the substantial potential and opportunities for deepening mutually beneficial cooperation, to promote the socio-economic development and prosperity of the two countries. In this connection, both sides recognised that considerable potential exists for India to undertake mutually beneficial cooperation with Guyana in various sectors.
8. Guyana is a country with rich untapped natural resources and emerging infrastructural requirements. Given India's varied experience in high technology and industrial areas, India could, in a spirit of South-South cooperation, share expertise in priority areas identified by Guyana with a view to enhancing the current programme of cooperation in the areas of economic, commercial and human resource development.
9. To this end, the Indian side agreed to consider suitably extending the scope of ongoing cooperation under the Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation. India also agreed to enhance the quota of ITEC scholarships offered to Guyana from 25 to 35 slots. The possibility of deputing Indian ITEC experts in key sectors identified by Guyana would be considered favourably.
10. The Government of India agreed to extend to Guyana a concessional line of credit of US$25.2 million through the Exim Bank of India for the modernisation of three sugar plants surveyed by a team from Sugar Technology Mission of India. The Indian side agreed to consider extending a similar concessional line of credit through Exim Bank of India for the modernisation of the remaining sugar plants in Guyana.
11. As a measure of its commitment to further strengthening India-Guyana bilateral relations, the India side agreed to waive off the balance of Rs. 28.78 million owed by Guyana to India against the first Credit Line of Rs. 100 million extended by India in 1989. A formal waiver document to this effect was signed during the visit. The President of Guyana thanked the Government of India for its support for Guyana's efforts in securing debt relief.
12. India expressed its concern over the heightened criminal activities which had recently occurred in Guyana. It was noted that there had since been a decrease in such activities. India agreed to render all possible assistance requested by Guyana to enhance the capabilities of the Guyanese law enforcement agencies.
13. The two sides noted that the Third session of the Joint Commission between the two countries was held in November, 2000 in New Delhi. Both sides agreed to give high priority to intensifying cooperation in all areas identified and to consider the possibility of convening the Fourth meeting of the Joint Commission in Guyana on mutually convenient dates before the end of the year.
14. The following agreements were signed during the State visit:-
a) Cultural Exchange Programme
b) Education Exchange Programme
c) Agreement for waiving the outstanding balance from the first credit line extended to Guyana in 1989.
15. Both sides emphasised the need for creating better awareness of each other's strengths within the private sector of the two countries. It was, therefore, agreed that trade missions would be undertaken and participation in trade/commercial exhibitions in both countries would be encouraged. In this context, they welcomed the signing of an MOU, during the visit between the apex Indian industry association, FICCI (Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry) and its Guyanese counterpart, establishing a Joint Business Council, and that the first meeting of the JBC would be held before the end of the year.
16. India noted the participation by Guyana in regional organisations such as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), the Amazonian Cooperation Treaty (ACT) and the Organisation of American States (OAS) in support of the objectives of the integration of the Caribbean region and the wider hemisphere. They further noted the efforts of Guyana to participate in the globalization process. Guyana welcomed India's interest in forging closer ties with the Caribbean Community.
17. In exchanging views on the world situation, the two sides noted that India and Guyana face special and similar challenges in their efforts to protect the environment while simultaneously forging ahead with rapid social and economic development of their countries. In this context, the two sides agreed to work together in a practical manner to cooperate on preserving the environment and ensuring sustainable development and to coordinate positions on climate change, bio-diversity and other issues in relevant multilateral fora. They reiterated their full support for the Millennium Development Goals and the need for additional International financing to achieve them.
18. The two sides recognised that small developing states continued to face challenges in the current global environment due to high levels of poverty, physical vulnerability, debt servicing, limited access to international capital and threats to preferential regimes. In addition, economic and social progress of some of them continued to be hindered by rising levels of crime and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The two sides agreed that the needs of small developing states should be fully addressed to enable them to effectively participate in the globalisation process.
19. With regard to the world trading system, both sides understood the need for international trade negotiations to obtain balanced and equitable results. In regard to the developing countries and in particular the small vulnerable economies, the size and difference in levels of economic development should be taken into account for special and differential treatment.
20. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to promote the formation of an equitable multi-polar world order based on the equality of states, rule of law, territorial integrity and non-interference in the domestic affairs of States with a view to removing threats to stability and international security. In this context, they recalled the concept to promote a New Global Human Order based on equity and social justice advanced by the late Dr. Cheddi Jagan, former President of Guyana.
21. The two sides acknowledged the vital importance of the role of the United Nations in world peace, stability and development. They remained determined to continue their efforts in strengthening the UN system as the central mechanism for ensuring international peace and security as well as democratising international relations. They reiterated their support for the need to reform the UN, particularly the expansion of the UN Security Council. They stressed, in particular, the need for equitable balance in the expanded Security Council to provide a constructive voice to the aspirations of the developing countries. They believed that piecemeal and discriminatory approaches to such expansion will be inconsistent with the objectives of that world body. Considering that India is the largest democracy in the world and in view of its past contributions to the promotion of peace and its role in advancing the interests and concerns of developing countries in international fora, Guyana affirmed its full support to India for permanent membership of an expanded UN Security Council.
22. The two sides expressed their concern over the increase in international terrorism, religious extremism, trans-border organised crime and illicit trafficking in arms and drugs. They viewed this upsurge as a serious threat to sovereign states, international peace, development, security and stability. They affirmed that terrorism was a grave violation of humanity and that no excuse could justify it in any form. They agreed that the fight against terrorism by the international community has to be global, comprehensive and sustained, with the ultimate objective of its total eradication from the world. Action should be taken against those states, entities and individuals who support, finance, harbour or abet terrorists to provide them shelter, safe havens or asylum to engage in cross-border terrorism. In that regard it was essential that every State be made to refrain from organising, instigating, assisting, providing training or participating in terrorist acts in another state or acquiescing in organised activities within its territories directed towards the commission of such acts. In this context, they stressed the importance of strict, full and unconditional implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution on the fight against terrorism and reiterated in particular their commitment to the UN Security Council Resolution 1373. They stressed the need to strengthen the international legal regime to fight terrorism through the early finalisation and adoption of the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and the Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.
23. In this connection, the Guyanese side appreciated the evolving security concerns of India in the light of recent local, regional and global developments. It appreciated the initiatives taken by India to resume diplomatic relations with Pakistan. In this connection, the Guyanese side supported the resolution of differences between India and Pakistan through bilateral dialogues.
24. The Government of Guyana vehemently condemned the violent act in Mumbai on August 25, 2003, which resulted in deaths, injuries and disruption.
25. The two sides reaffirmed their allegiance to the principle of peaceful and negotiated resolution of disputes as opposed to the use of force or the threat thereof, pursuant to the applicable rules of international law.
26. The President of Guyana, H.E. Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo, extended invitations to the President of the Republic of India, H.E. Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, and to the Prime Minister of the Republic of India, H.E. Mr. A. B. Vajpayee, to visit Guyana at an early date. The invitations were accepted with pleasure. The dates of the visits would be finalised through diplomatic channels.
27. On behalf of the Government and the people of Guyana, H.E. President Bharrat Jagdeo expressed sincere thanks to the Government of the Republic of India for all the hospitality extended to him and his delegation and the excellent arrangements made for their visit to and stay in India.
Ministry of External Affairs
Information Liaison to the President