Guyana’s President addresses Suriname’s National Assembly

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Guyana’s President, Dr. Irfaan Ali delivered an address this week at the Extraordinary Session of the National Assembly of the Republic of Suriname on the occasion of the country’s 45th Independence Anniversary. See Mr. Ali’s address below:

Honourable Chairman of the National Assembly of the Republic of Suriname; Your Excellency President Santokhi and First lady; Vice President and Members of the Ministerial Council of the Republic of Suriname.

Honourable Members of the National Assembly of the Republic of Suriname; Your Excellency Foreign Minister of the Federative Republic of Brazil.

Your Excellency the Foreign Minister of The Netherlands; Members of the International and Diplomatic Community Special Invitees.

Brothers and Sisters of the Republic of Suriname; Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media.

The First Lady of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, the people of the Cooperative of Guyana, the Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and myself, are extremely pleased to join in celebrating the 45th Independence anniversary of the Republic of Suriname. We express again, our appreciation for the warm welcome and excellent arrangements which have been extended to us.

In saluting the Government and people of Suriname at this time, I wish to commend the bonds of friendship, understanding and cooperation that exist between my country and yours. But today I must also herald the brotherly bond and friendship between myself and His Excellency President Santokhi. We feel at home here in Suriname. In congratulating Suriname on the 45th anniversary of its Independence, allow me to salute the people of your country for fashioning a multicultural society which respects diversity.

On this continent, Guyana and Suriname have been among the most coveted pieces of real estate between the 17th and 19th centuries. The Spanish, the French, the Dutch and the British all laid claim to these lands.

The struggles and sacrifices of our people – Indigenous, African, Maroon, East Indian, Portuguese, European, Chinese and Indonesian – would eventually lay the basis for the attainment of political independence and, with it, for the legal certainty that belongs rightly to our people. That will allow not only the development of our countries and people but will allow Guyana and Suriname to share that common historical legacy, as well as a duty to protect national independence and safeguard our democracy and economic prosperity.

Mr. Chairman, Excellencies,

Both Guyana and Suriname held elections this year. Both governments were elected. Democracy remains the strongest ally for development. It allows our electorates to hold their governments accountable. Guyana looks forward to working with Suriname to ensure greater respect for democratic norms and values.

Democracy helps to unlock the latent potential of our economies and to boost investor confidence. Indeed, Guyana and Suriname are totally perched to benefit from accelerated growth and development, not only through the exploitation of our natural resources but through the abundant potential that lies in Agriculture, value added, tourism and expanded trade. The attention these resources now attract should make all of us even more thankful for the achievement of political Independence. Investors and entrepreneurs are now knocking at our doors, more eager than ever to do business.

Mr Chairman, Excellencies,

Today, I pledge the solidarity of my government with the people of Suriname and commit to working to ensure enhanced cooperation for our mutual benefit.

The future of our economies are intertwined. I believe we should seize this special period, to strengthen our bilateral relations. We have a golden opportunity to begin to dismantle the impediments through bilateral trade – especially if there are no legal obstructions. We should take advantage of both the synergies and complementarities of our economies to deepen economic and social integration.

Guyana and Suriname are also part of the Caribbean Community. The 45th Anniversary of the Republic of Suriname comes at a time for both states to take the lead in demonstrating the efficacy of regional integration. Together we can meet and fulfill a great proportion of the food needs within the Caribbean Community; –

Mr. Chairman, Excellencies

As Suriname celebrates and enters into the 46th year of its independence and as Guyana prepares to celebrate its 55th year of independence next year, I believe that both of us should create a dedicated pathway that would deepen economic and social cooperation. My government is prepared to exert its energies in working with the government of Suriname on the creation of such a plan.

Allow me to close by once again congratulating His Excellency the President of the Republic of Suriname, his government, and the people of Suriname on this auspicious celebration of the Republic of Suriname’s 45th Independence Anniversary. I pray that God will continue to bring the people of Suriname together, bring you in peace and continue to allow prosperity and democracy to flourish in this beautiful land of yours.

On behalf of the Government and people of Guyana, I wish Suriname continued peace and prosperity in the years ahead. Happy Independence Anniversary! May God bless all of the people and all of you here today and your families.

Thank you very much.


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