Guyana, Suriname National Assembly delegations agree to bilateral co-operation
Speaker of the National Assembly Dr. Barton Scotland, as well as the Clerk, staff and Members of the Guyana’s National Assembly recently agreed to collaborate with their Suriname counterparts in several areas of common interest during a four day visit last week.
Among the areas identified were fighting Trafficking in Persons (TIP), Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), improving the workings of both National Assemblies including increased consultation and piracy.
The meeting identified the problems faced by both countries in human trafficking; noting that this is more prevalent in the interior of both countries. The delegations outlined the respective initiatives undertaken by their countries to curb TIP.
These included the establishment of a Trafficking in Persons (TIP) units and the work of the Guyana Women Miners Association (GWMA) in Guyana. Suriname’s efforts to protect young girls from exploitation were also cited.
Creating job opportunities and the continuous exchange of TIP information between both countries, as well as gaining the international community’s recognition for the problem were also discussed.
Sharing similar geographic features, Suriname and Guyana face similar problems of climate change and the rising sea levels.
This was highlighted during the meeting and the Guyanese delegation presented an overview of the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), which was launched locally in 2009.
The delegations agreed that the LCDS would be a useful initiative for Suriname to implement.
Suriname’s Minister of Health informed the meeting of the introduction of Health in all policies – a World Health Organization (WHO) policy recommended to countries.
This is a review of public policies across sectors that systematically consider the health implications of decisions, seeks synergies, and avoids harmful health impacts, in order to improve population health and health equity.
The issue of piracy was found to be common to both countries with specific reference to the prevalence of piracy in the Corentyne River. After discussing the severity of piracy with particular emphasis on the effects on fishermen, the meeting proffered the following suggestions that could be considered by both countries to combat this crime:
Collaboration between law enforcement agencies of both countries with emphasis on patrolling targeted areas and engaging in dialogue at the national level were also identified for this objective.
A Draft Contact Plan for the National Assemblies
The meeting agreed that the draft contact plan should be finalized which will see both Assemblies entering into continuous consultations to address the various issues and challenges faced, and the opportunities that their cooperation can provide.
The meeting further agreed that the Guyana delegation will submit the documentation to the appropriate Committee of the National Assembly for examination and amendment, if necessary, after consulting with its National Assembly and return it to the Surinamese delegation.
Suriname’s delegation will then peruse the plan and arrange for it to be translated. The final document, having the agreement of both National Assemblies, will be signed by the Speakers of the National Assemblies of Suriname and Guyana.
The delegation also paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
President of Suriname Desi Bourtese received the visiting delegation and encouraged an exchange of views with the delegation. He also conveyed to the President of Guyana David Granger his good wishes.
Visits were also made to several areas, including the coastal preservation site at Weg naar Zee and the refinery operations of the State Oil Company, Staatsolie at Tout Lie Fout.
The visit lasted from October 14th to October 18th.