Commonwealth to focus on Guyana’s role on climate change; provide assistance for upstream policies

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Guyana’s Senior Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh on Tuesday met with visiting Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland QC and her delegation at the Ministry of Finance in Georgetown where the two officials discussed the important role Guyana can play on climate change as well as how it can be assisted by Commonwealth to be a responsible oil producer using the requisite policies and frameworks.

During the meeting, Mr. Singh welcomed the Secretary-General and her team to Guyana and indicated that the President Irfaan-Ali led government continues to believe strongly in the Commonwealth’s relevance and its importance in the current contemporary situation in Commonwealth countries such as Guyana.

For her part, the Commonwealth Secretary-General noted that the current period is a new era where small States have a pivotal role to play with Guyana’s leadership being of particular importance in terms of its current approach to development as it is not only focused on oil and gas but also on developing other areas (sectors).

She added that Small States, despite possessing only small voices, will be very powerful especially since the small States have demonstrated graphically the consequences of Climate Change. With Guyana being both a part of CARICOM as well as a part of the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth Secretary-General also noted that the country will be a major focus of the Commonwealth in terms of its management approaches as this may serve as a model for other small States.

Meanwhile, other areas discussed (in which both teams can cooperate and collaborate) included debt-management, good governance and anti-corruption, information communication technology in terms of digital solutions for effective financial management as well as the development of upstream petroleum policies.

The Commonwealth Secretary-General was accompanied by Director and Head of the SG’s Office, Ms. Deborah Jamieson; Senior Director, Governance and Peace Directorate, Professor Luis Franceschi, Assistant Research Officer of the SG’s Office, Mr. Francis Wanjiku and Assistant Research Officer of the Governance and Peace Directorate, Ms. Fayola Fraser.

Accompanying the Senior Finance Minister at the meeting were Finance Secretary, Mr. Sukrishnalall Pasha, Director of Projects (Project Cycle Management Division), Mr. Tarachand Balgobin, Head (Bilateral Division) Ms. Donna Levi and Head (Debt Management Division), Ms.  Donna Yearwood.

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