Guyana’s Prime Minister is working to rally support in the region against Venezuela’s claim on its territory.
In his address to the Presidential Forum for the Progress and Integration of South America (PROSUR) Summit, Phillips told the union that the aggression displayed by Venezuela is not just a threat to Guyana, but to the entire South American continent, according to a government release. In this vein, he called for enhanced and consolidated security cooperation strategies as well as a doubling of efforts to ensure that the continent remains a zone of peace.
He said, “We can all agree that the security landscape of our region has become ever more complex and is evolving every day. The region must enhance its efforts to build and consolidate cooperation arrangements on security. We must therefore redouble our efforts to ensure that our region is a Zone of Peace.”
Guyana already has the full support of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) as it seeks a final resolution from the International Court of Justice, (ICJ) setting its ownership of the Essequibo region. Venezuela’s clamouring for the region became more pronounced when it became evident that offshore acreage in the territory holds a proven bounty of oil and gas reserves.
This year’s PROSUR Summit was held under the theme: “International Cooperation in the Fight against Transnational Organised Crime to Guarantee Regional Security and Stability” in Asunción, Paraguay. The union’s membership includes Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay and Peru, with Bolivia and Suriname as observers.
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PROSUR was formed as an alternative to the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), from which most members have withdrawn. Leaders from Colombia and Chile had spearheaded the formation of PROSUR, disavowing UNASUR as ideology-driven, and excluding Venezuela.
Guyana’s Prime Minister represented Guyana as being committed to the cause of combatting transnational organised crime, explaining that this is manifested in its membership in regional and hemispheric organisations, including the Caribbean Community Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (CARICOM IMPACS); the Regional Security System (RSS); International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) and the Caribbean Regional Drug Law Enforcement Training Centre (REDTRAC).
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“Guyana welcomes this discussion and supports the proposal by the Government of Paraguay to establish a course of action in the fight against transnational organised crime, through the exchange of information among security services and international cooperation in the matter.”
He said too that Guyana also supports the call for the proposal by the Government of Paraguay to determine possible courses of action within the framework of specialised international, hemispheric, and subregional organisations to achieve greater access to cooperation, studies, and training for security services. The official went on to reiterate the calls to reaffirm political commitment at the highest level in the fight against transnational organised crime.