Remarks by Hon Moses V. Nagamootoo, Prime Minister and First Vice-President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana at the 71st Anniversary of the founding of the United Nations

Office of the Prime Minister, Guyana, October 21, 2016

It is an honour for me to be here tonight to celebrate with you United Nations Day 2016 and to bring your greetings from His Excellency, President David Granger.

As we commemorate this significant milestone I wish to take this opportunity to welcome Your Excellency, Ms. Mikiko Tanaka and to express our sincere appreciation to the country team here in Guyana for their dedication and to honour the many who have served here before.  Since its establishment in 1945 the United Nations has endeavoured to create a new international order where countries in the world, big and small, unite to achieve sustained development in a peaceful and secured environment.

Guyana as a member of the United Nations since 1966, remains committed to the purpose and principles enshrined in the Charter and continues to maintain an active presence and visible profile in the organization. As you are aware, Guyana attended the 71st Regular Session of the UN General Assembly in September, 2016 and participated in a number of Sessions to address a number important issues of mutual interest to Guyana.

Excellency, Guyana has recognised the efforts of the United Nations in the areas of poverty reduction, sustainable development goals and environment sustainability. It is my view that the linkages and integrated nature of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals are of crucial importance in ensuring that the purpose of the new agenda is realized. Guyana will continue to embrace the implementation of these goals with a determination to eradicate poverty and hunger, in all forms and dimensions.  We will work resolutely to ensure these are achieved in a healthy environment.

Through strategic partnerships with the UNDP and the introduction of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), Guyana has made significant strides in achieving the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Developmental Goals.  It has already met the targets for nutrition and child health, universal primary education and is on track to achieving the goals relating to secondary education, water and sanitation and HIV/AIDS.

Madame Resident Coordinator, the whole world knew in 1945 that it needed the United Nations system for humanity’s survival.  The whole world knows today, with renewed conviction, that – without the United Nations, without respect for the principles and precepts of its Charter, without the UN’s agencies for peace and law and human values – our global society may fall apart. Support for the United Nations is, therefore, more than a pillar of our foreign policy; it is a pillar of our national ethos.

That is why, in our most crucial issues with our neighbour to the West, we have reposed our trust in the United Nations. For twenty-seven years we have enjoyed the ‘good offices’ of the UN’s Secretary-General; but the other side  has abused the process, rejected the efforts of three most distinguished UN representatives and worse of all, used the  UN effort as a cover for harassment of Guyana and enlargement and intensification of its predatory pursuits.   But Guyana’s future must continue to rely on the United Nations system – for we are a child of internationalism. So we look now to the International Court of Justice – the Court of the UN Charter – to uphold our sovereignty and territorial integrity and turn back the challenge to our patrimonial rights – on land and sea.

Accordingly, what the UN is for humanity at the global level, it is for us in a national context.  Small as we are, our citizens play a noble part in the structures of the United Nations, our voice is clear and heard in its Councils on the side of the Charter. On UN Day we stand up to be counted for the United Nations.

And on this day, we thank the out-going Secretary General for his years of service to all the world – and for his special interest in our particular problems; and we welcome his successor, HE Antonio Guterres, and look forward with confidence to working with him in the unfolding of his commitment to the highest purposes of the United Nations.

Thank you.”

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