Unpatriotic attempt by the Opposition APNU/AFC to undermine the Government
The Government categorically rejects the claims made in the petition, dated September 24,
2023, in support of the Washington Diaspora Conference, as an unpatriotic attempt by the
Opposition APNU/AFC to undermine the Government’s commitment to the betterment of Guyana. It is evident that the document in question is engineered by the Opposition APNU/AFC and is designed to present a one-sided perspective that does not accurately represent the actions and policies of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government of Guyana.
While the Government recognizes the importance of addressing the concerns and grievances of any group of citizens, it is disheartening to witness the deliberate APNU/AFC-led smear campaign aimed at poisoning the well of public discourse both locally and internationally. This approach does a disservice to the democratic principles that Guyana upholds and the tireless efforts of the Government to build a united Guyana under its “One Guyana” policy, which actively promotes inclusion, engagement, and consultation at all levels of our society.
The Government views this petition, orchestrated by the APNU/AFC, as regressive, mischievous, and unpatriotic. It appears to be a thinly veiled attempt to undermine the universally unifying work that successive PPP/C Administrations have undertaken and which President Mohamed Irfaan Ali has been vigorously advancing since his assumption to office in 2020, to transform the socio-economic construct of Guyana and foster an environment where every creed and race has an equal place.
The Government’s transformative agenda underpinned by the ruling party’s campaign manifesto, is specifically targeted to universal citizens empowerment throughout the length and breadth of the country.
Let us set the record straight:
Government Engagement with Local Democratic Institutions:
Contrary to the petition’s claims, the Government has consistently reached out to local democratic institutions representing people of African descent. The “One Guyana” policy stands as a testament to our commitment to inclusivity and harmony among all ethnic groups in Guyana. It is worth noting that invitations for dialogue and cooperation have been extended to the Opposition on numerous occasions, invitations which they have chosen to decline.
Decade for People of African Descent:
While the petition asserts that the Government has not submitted any report to the UN regarding progress on actions to ensure African Guyanese are on equal footing with all other ethnic groups during the UN’s Decade for People of African Descent, it is important to highlight the concrete steps taken by the Government in this regard. These steps include unprecedented levels of investment in education, including thousands of local and international scholarships from certificate to doctoral levels, re-education pathways for early school-leavers and those who missed the opportunity; technical and vocational training and upskilling certification for youths across all ten administrative regions; economic development and empowerment initiatives including job creation, private sector investment enablement and growth incentives, and small business loans and grants with a strong emphasis on women’s empowerment.
The Government’s social security and justice reforms aimed at creating a more equitable society and improved livelihoods for all Guyanese have provided an annual US$200 grant for every school-going child, placed thousands more into their own homes through reduced costs, incentives and direct building assistance; while restorative justice and community rebuilding and advancement programmes have set a course for universal impact for the citizenry including construction of sports and recreational facilities in all townships.
It is important to note that in August 2023, more than thirty-three (33) organizations representing People of African Descent received government grants for various cultural activities and events, and that is in addition to the annual Emancipation grants for Africanrelated observances.
The PPP/C Government wishes to underscore that it is a representative administration as People of African Descent are holders of some of the highest and most significant constitutional, governmental and civil society offices in the land. These include Parliamentary, Judicial and Ministerial portfolios.
The Government is also proud of its wide-ranging support among the African Guyanese community that led to its victory at the last General Elections and has since been managing the affairs of the country inclusively for the benefit of all Guyanese, irrespective of race, political affiliation, and economic status.
Representation of African Guyanese:
Claims that African Guyanese face hostility and repression when asserting their state are unequivocally false. Guyana’s political landscape is diverse, with multiple parties and organizations representing various interests, including those of African Guyanese. These organizations have been welcomed to engage in the Government’s consultative processes to address community concerns with ample mechanisms provided for the facilitation of such engagements, notwithstanding the approach of regular direct grassroots engagement of the citizenry by the President and his cabinet ministers.
International Campaign Misrepresentation:
The Government’s international stance has been consistent with its national disposition that is evidence-based, constitutionally sound and aligned to global best practices for an equitable governance framework that caters to achieving universal citizens empowerment, in keeping with all international charters to which Guyana is subscribed, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. All claims otherwise are considered malicious and wicked and can be easily disproved.
We have made efforts to engage with the global community and express our commitment to fostering unity and equality among all Guyanese despite an antithetical agenda from the political opposition.
The Government wishes to reiterate its unwavering commitment to its “One Guyana” policy, which caters to all Guyanese and seeks to promote inclusivity, unity, and equal opportunities for every citizen, regardless of their ethnic background.
We remain open to constructive dialogue and cooperation with all stakeholders to continue building a prosperous and harmonious Guyana.
28th September 2023