Summit of the Americas opens Monday in Mexico
Foreign Minister Insanally leads Guyana delegation
January 9, 2004
GUYANA will join other countries of the hemisphere in pursuing business and financial initiatives at the special Summit of the Americas in Monterrey, Mexico, on January 12 -13.
Foreign Minister, Dr Rudy Insanally told reporters yesterday that he will be attending on behalf of Guyana and President Bharrat Jagdeo, who is in India.
Insanally, hosting his first press conference for 2004 at his Ministry’s Takuba Lodge, Georgetown conference room, said countries participating in the Summit will be pursuing initiatives that will help the hemisphere develop small and medium-sized business enterprises.
Initiatives to facilitate remittances, on which most of the Caribbean now depends, will also be on the agenda.
“Remittances today for the hemisphere have now outstripped overseas development assistance, so it is an important aspect of any country’s budget,” Insanally said.
These were among issues discussed at recent high-level meetings between Guyana, the Caribbean and the United States.
The Summit is “largely” to “reorient” the hemispheric agenda before the Fourth Summit of the Americas in Argentina next year, Insanally said.
“…it was felt that at this stage, the hemisphere needed to look at the agenda, especially in terms of security, economic growth and the social agenda, as well as democratic governance,” the Minister reported.
He said the argument was that since the Quebec, Canada summit, there have been many (14) changes in heads of government, which is really “a new team” in the hemisphere.
Canada, which recently had a change of Prime Minister, has been one of the countries encouraging the holding of the Mexico meeting.
And Insanally said President Jagdeo’s absence at the Summit does not reflect a lack of commitment to hemispheric development. He noted that sometimes the international agenda is “difficult to reconcile” and Mr Jagdeo unfortunately could not return from India in time for the talks.
The President is expected back on January 13 from a function to celebrate India’s diaspora at which he is the chief guest. (Nivedta Kowlessar)