Address by Dr Ashni Singh at 49th Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation

Your Excellency Hissein Brahim Taha, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)

Your Excellency Salem Ould Merzoug, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Mauritanians Abroad

Excellencies, Colleague Ministers, Ambassadors

Members of Delegations, Ladies and Gentlemen

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatu


The Co-operative Republic of Guyana welcomes the convening of this 49th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. I am honoured to join all who have spoken before me in expressing appreciation to the Government and People of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania for hosting this meeting and for the gracious hospitality they have provided to us all.

I also have the honour to bring warmest felicitations from His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of Guyana, to the Government and People of Mauritania.

This Session of the Council is being hosted just over a month after the horrific earthquakes that rocked the Republic of Türkiye and northern Syria. Natural disasters have also inflicted suffering on a number of our other Member States, including in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan who hosted our last Session. That country endured devastating floods in 2022, resulting in a humanitarian crisis that affected millions.

These events underscore the grave threat which natural hazards pose, and highlight the urgency with which we need to move as a global community to find lasting solutions aimed at reinforcing resilience in all its dimensions.

In this regard, I wish to highlight three dimensions of resilience which are particularly important to us in Guyana: climate security, food security, and energy security.

First, the climate crisis represents an existential threat to our planet and requires collective global action. Guyana welcomes the chairing of the upcoming COP-28 by the United Arab Emirates. We look forward to greater balance in the climate debate, including by bringing the development and poverty reduction imperatives back on the agenda. Additionally, as a heavily forested country, Guyana calls on the global community to recognize that there is no solution to the climate crisis without forests, and that concerted action on forests is needed given the role of forests not only in the fight against climate change but also in protecting biodiversity and in combating desertification. Guyana also remains firmly in solidarity with all vulnerable countries in the struggle for improved access to financing for adaptation, mitigation, and loss and damage.

Second, on food security, the ongoing onslaught of climate change along with COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine combined to reverse many of the gains we made as a global community in improving food security. In Guyana, under the leadership of His Excellency President Ali, we have spearheaded the preparation of a strategy for the Caribbean Region to address food security. This strategy aims at increasing food production and productivity, ramping up agro-processing and value-added production, and promoting agri-business and intra-regional trade in food products. We urge this Council to call on the global community to leverage financial resources both public and private to increase food production, deploy science and technology to raise productivity, and remove barriers to regional and global trade in food products.

Thirdly, energy security is inextricably linked to both of the former two issues.  Adequate and competitively priced energy is critical for the viability of value-added production. Additionally, the transition to cleaner sources of energy is also critical in the fight against climate change. Ramping up energy production and transitioning to cleaner energy require significant financial investment by both the public and private sectors. We urge this Council to call on the global community to recognize the crippling energy deficit in so many of our countries and to mobilize financial resources to help address this deficit while at the same time support the transition to cleaner sources of energy.


This Session of our Council of Foreign Ministers is taking place at a time of intense global conflicts around the world.

Among those conflicts is the war in Ukraine which has resulted in massive loss of lives. Its aftershocks have exacerbated the global energy and food crises, adding to the hardships triggered by COVID-19. Guyana urges this Council to restate its rejection of the use of force in settling disputes, and to urge that this terrible and violent conflict be brought to an end through peaceful means based on respect for international law and, especially, respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of states.

Since our last meeting, tensions in the occupied territories have increased. Guyana restates its solidarity with the people of Palestine and urges an end to the expansion of Israeli settlements and respect of the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people, including the right to statehood and to peacefully exist in an independent state. The Government of Guyana continues to advocate for a two state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict with the people of Israel and Palestine living in their independent countries in peace.

Guyana wishes success to this meeting and hopes that emerging out of this Session will be an intensified resolve for our membership to better coordinate our positions on global concerns and to speak increasingly with a singular voice on matters of shared interest.

I thank you very much, once again. 

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatu.