PRESS BRIEFING ON THE MINISTRY OF SOCIAL COHESION CONSULTATIONS FOR THE FIVE YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN

Minister of Social Cohesion, Amna Ally

Minister of Social Cohesion, Amna Ally

 

(Georgetown, August 15, 2016) – THE PURPOSE OF THIS PRESS BRIEFING IS TO UPDATE THE PUBLIC ON THE PROGRESS AND CURRENT INITIATIVES UNDERTAKEN BY THE MINISTRY OF SOCIAL COHESION.

 

THE MINISTRY OF SOCIAL COHESION IS CURRENTLY IN THE PROCESS OF COMPLETING WORK THAT BEGAN AT THE SOCIAL COHESION ROUND TABLE IN SEPTEMBER 2015, TOWARDS PREPARING A FIVE – (5) YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN (2017-2021) FOR PROMOTING AND ENHANCING SOCIAL COHESION IN GUYANA. SOME TWENTY-EIGHT (28) CONSULTATIONS, CONVERSATIONS, SMALL GROUP MEETINGS, FOCUS GROUPS AND COMMUNITY MEETINGS WILL BE CONDUCTED IN ALL TEN (10) ADMINISTRATIVE REGIONS AND MUNICIPALITIES ACROSS GUYANA. WE WILL ENGAGE MUNICIPAL LEADERS, REGIONAL LEADERS, NEIGHBOURHOOD DEMOCRATIC COUNCILS, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COUNCILS, PRIVATE SECTOR, RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS, YOUTH GROUPS, NGOS, AND OTHERS.

 

WE HAVE NOW ENTERED A PHASE THAT WILL BE MARKED BY THE STRATEGIC ENGAGEMENT OF STAFF OF THE MINISTRY OF SOCIAL COHESION WITH STAKEHOLDERS IN ALL TEN ADMINISTRATIVE REGIONS THROUGH SENSITIZATION AND CONSULTATIONS PROCESSES. INITIALLY WE WILL HAVE TWO SESSIONS PLANNED WHERE PERSONS WILL BE SENSITIZED ON THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY TO ENSURE THAT THEY HAVE CLARITY ON THE SOCIAL COHESION PROCESS, WHILE THE SECOND (2ND) SESSION WILL ENTAIL STRATEGIC CONSULTATIONS. DURING THE CONSULTATIONS MEMBERS OF THEIR RESPECTIVE COMMUNITIES WOULD BE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO PROVIDE THEIR PERSPECTIVES ON SOCIAL COHESION ISSUES WITHIN THEIR COMMUNITIES AS WELL AS THE COUNTRY AS A WHOLE AND WHAT TYPE OF CHANGES IN OUR INTERACTIONS AND RELATIONSHIPS THAT THEY AS GUYANESE ENVISION OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS.

 

THE FIRST CONSULTATION BEGAN IN LINDEN ON AUGUST 12TH 2016 AND THIS WAS EXTREMELY SUCCESSFUL IN TERMS OF THE ENGAGEMENT OF MEMBERS WITHIN THE COMMUNITY TO THE PROCESS.  OTHER CONSULTATIONS ARE SCHEDULED TO BE HELD IN REGION 2 TODAY, AUGUST 15TH IN ANNA REGINA AT COTTON FIELD SECONDARY AND CHARITY ON THE 16TH AUGUST 2016 AT CHARITY SECONDARY SCHOOL. IN ADDITION TO THAT CONSULTATIONS WILL BE HELD IN BARTICA ON THE 18TH OF AUGUST 2016 AT LEANN’S KIDDIES PARK. AS WE MOVE TO OTHER REGIONS WE ARE ENCOURAGING STAKEHOLDERS IN THE VARIOUS REGIONS TO COME OUT AND JOIN THE SENSITIZATION AND CONSULTATIONS PROCESS AND TO ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE AND CONTRIBUTE TO THE FORMULATION OF THE MINISTRY’S FIVE YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN.

 

THESE REGIONAL CONSULTATIONS WILL ENABLE US TO GATHER VALUABLE INFORMATION DIRECTLY FROM OUR CONSTITUENCIES ON THE IMPLEMENTABLE ACTIONS THAT CAN FOSTER SOCIAL COHESION IN GUYANA. WE CANNOT COMPLETE THIS PROCESS IN ISOLATION THEREFORE, THESE PLANNED CONSULTATIONS ARE IMPERATIVE TO THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY SINCE IT WILL GUIDE AND INFORM OUR FUTURE ACTION PLANS.

 

WE ARE AWARE THAT SOME WILL HAVE DIVERSE VIEWS INCLUDING CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES; SOME WILL HAVE ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES, SOCIAL AND OTHERS. HOWEVER, WE WOULD LIKE TO REASSURE THE PUBLIC THAT ALL PERSPECTIVES ARE VALUABLE AND EQUALLY IMPORTANT TO OUR STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS.

 

AS A MINISTRY WE INTEND TO DEEPEN THE SENSITIZATION PROCESS TO UNDERSCORE THE THRUST OF THE MINISTRY WHICH IS TO PROGRESSIVELY ENHANCE SOCIAL INTERACTION, INTEGRATION AND HARMONY WITHIN AND ACROSS SOCIAL GROUPS IN GUYANA BY FORGING AND REINFORCING STRONGER FAMILY, COMMUNITY AND NATIONAL VALUES IN ORDER TO ENHANCE AND SUSTAIN SOCIO-ECONOMIC, CULTURAL AND SPIRITUAL WELL-BEING AND ENRICHED LIVELIHOODS FOR ALL.

 

WE WILL SUPPORT ACTIONS THAT WILL STRENGTHEN KEY PARTNERSHIPS ACROSS SECTORS, FACILITATE BRIDGING OF GAPS WITHIN AND ACROSS COMMUNITIES, AND CONTRIBUTE TO THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC, CULTURAL SPIRITUAL WELL-BEING AND ENRICHED LIVEHOODS FOR ALL.

AS WE CONSOLIDATE INPUTS FOR THE STRATEGIC PLAN WE HAVE BEEN RECEIVING BOTH FINANCIAL AS WELL AS TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FROM UNDP. WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF UNDP WE RECENTLY ESTABLISHED A SOCIAL COHESION PEER GROUP. MOST PERSONS WITHIN THIS GROUP WERE INVOLVED IN OUR SOCIAL COHESION ROUND TABLE AND PLAYED INSTRUMENTAL ROLES IN FACILITATING THAT PROCESS. THESE PERSONS HAVE VOLUNTEERED TO RETURN TO FURTHER FACILITATE IN THE FORMULATION OF OUR FIVE YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN.

TO DATE THERE HAS BEEN THREE PEER GROUP MEETINGS AND THIS GROUP HAS BEEN FACILITATING IN DESIGNING AND GUIDING THE CITIZEN CONSULTATION PROCESS FOR OUR SOCIAL COHESION FIVE YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN. MEMBERS OF THIS GROUP HAVE BEEN CONTRIBUTING THEIR TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE, FACILITATION AND ADVISORY SKILLS TO ENSURE THAT THE CONSULTATION PROCESS IS EFFECTIVE AND INCLUSIVE.

 

IT IS OUR HOPE THAT THE FORMULATION OF OUR FIVE YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN ON SOCIAL COHESION WILL CREATE AN ENABLING ENVIRONMENT WHERE DIVERSITIES WILL BE EMBRACED, CONFLICTS RESOLVED, NETWORKS AND COLLABORATION WITH STAKEHOLDER STRENGTHEN, EQUITY PROMOTED AND DECISION MAKING PROCESSES RESULT IN EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES AND BENEFITS FOR ALL.

 

Ministry of Social Cohesion

August 15, 2016

 

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