Prime Minister leads high-level team to French Guiana on three-day visit

A high-level delegation from Guyana participated in the first edition of the Guiana Shield Strategic Dialogue held from August 25-27, 2021 in Cayenne, French Guiana.

The Guyana delegation, led by Prime Minister of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, the Honourable Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips, included Minister of Home Affairs, the Honourable Robeson Benn; Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Brigadier Godfrey Bess; National Security Advisor to the President, Captain Gerry Gouveia;

Director of the National Intelligence and Security Agency, Colonel Omar Khan; Director of Customs Anti-Narcotic Agency, Mr James Singh; Staff Officer of the Guyana Defence Force Lieutenant Colonel Andy Pompey; Aide to the Chief of Staff, Captain Rondell Douglas and Aide to the Prime Minister Captain Godwin Cameron. 

At the trilateral engagement, which also involved Suriname and France, the discussion centred on joint security threats and challenges facing the countries.

From left: Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips, Brigadier General Régis Colcombet of France and Defense Minister of Suriname, Honourable Krishna Mathoera signing a common security master plan on 26 August 2021

The dialogue also underscored the importance of shared respective understanding of the regional strategic defence and security environment and about how the countries can collaborate and structure their operational and technical cooperation in the fight against the security threats and other challenges facing the populations, territories, maritime space and interests.

Within the framework of the Guiana Shield Strategic Dialogue on security and defence and to develop a common security masterplan, the dialogue agreed on:

  1. Exchanging views and working closely on technical and operational areas, including increased joined land, and sea patrol missions; 
  2. Striving for a global and coordinated approach against illicit trafficking and serious crimes, including drugs trafficking, illegal gold mining, environmental crimes and irregular immigration with a focus on anticipation, threat assessment, prevention and;
  3. Response and increasing joint attention to the environment and climate change, including security and defence impact on climate change and to help safeguard essential conditions for peace and sustainable development. 

Suriname’s delegation was led by Defense Minister Krishna Mathoera and the French Delegation by Brigadier General Régis Colcombet.