Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Karen Cummings, on the sidelines of the 74th United Nations General Assembly, on Thursday, Sept. 26, told Guyanese in Brooklyn, that because of the level of wealth that Guyana is about to realise, many internal and external forces are increasingly envious and skeptical of “our progress and prospects and would happily seek to stymie our gains or to see our wonderful future squandered through the rancor, misgivings, limitations and divisions of the past.”
Addressing a packed town hall meeting in the Edison O. Jackson Auditorium of Medgar Evers College, Dr. Cummings said, “to date, since taking office in 2015, a total of 16 world class oil deposits have been discovered. The commercial value of our oil and gas industry is more than enough to significantly improve the quality of life and standard of living of every Guyanese citizen.”
The diplomat called on expatriates to be strong in their defense of Guyana, be informed, avoid ‘fake’ news, be vigilant, be involved.
“We must be patriots as never before. We must not give way to skepticism or tribalism but rise above these challenges that will detract from the journey of destiny on which we are embarked.”
“We must salute the unfailing efforts you have made to give back to our beautiful country, ranked the number one Eco-Tourism Destination in the World for many years,” said Dr. Cummings.
“The government recognizes that there is need for more robust policies, structures and mechanisms at home to engage “our diaspora in the form of advocacy, direct investment, knowledge networks return migration tourism and human capital efforts.”
“The Coalition government will continue to focus on ways to strategically engage the Guyanese diaspora, so as to leverage development finance through remittances, foreign direct investment, and even philanthropy,” she said.
“Leveraging the skills and resources of our Guyanese diaspora can serve as one of our national development drivers,” she said, adding that establishing cross-sector partnerships will serve as a key approach for addressing the many challenges associated with harnessing the resources as of diaspora groups. As they allow for the pooling of resources, networks, and expertise.
The politician, who stated that it would have inconceivable to be in New York for the first time as minister of foreign affairs and not meet to update expatriates on the exciting development, assured that Guyana continues to move steadfastly forward to realize its full potential on the world stage.
“Guyana is already garnering the rapt attention of some of the most powerful nations in the world, for its abundance of hydrocarbon oil and gas,” she said.
To this end, she said that with great prosperity comes great responsibility, and it is imperative that astute political leadership, firmly rooted in integrity, the rule of law, good governance and accountability prevails, qualities that exhibited by the Coalition.
“As a coalition government, we stand ready to contest the next general and regional elections after a clean voters’ list is established.”
The diplomat is confident that the Guyanese people will be the judge, after seeing the progress in just four and a half short years.
“They will decide whether they want to return to a time of developmental stagnation, or if they wish to continue seeing their communities and lives transformed for the better, under the astute, respectful, respectable, and perceptive leadership of President David Arthur Granger,” said Dr. Cummings, who predicted that the Coalition government will see a landslide victory on March 2, 2020, the date recently announced, by the head-of-state.
Dr. Cummings who was bombarded with questions regarding healthcare, safety, migration from neighboring countries, voting, investment opportunities, the Guyana Venezuela dispute, and other issues during a Q&A segment, was quick to share ideas and solutions to solve these problems.
She encouraged citizens to return home to make a contribution and urged Guyanese to be patient with the government that was working assiduously to ensure that the needs of all citizens were met.
The Guyana Consulate of New York, under Consul General Barbara Atherly, in collaboration with Ambassador Rudolph M. Ten-Pow, Permanent Representative of Guyana Mission to the United Nations, welcomed expatriates to the town hall meeting, that was attended by a Guyana delegation to the UNGA, that included Ambassador of Guyana to the United States, Dr. Riyad Insanally, and Ambassador, Troy Torrington of the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Guyana. Jonathan Locke served as moderator.