World peace vital for human development- President tells New Amsterdam Rotarians

Georgetown, GINA, February 23, 2014


February 23 is a key date on the Rotary International Organisation’s calendar as it marks 109 years of the existence of an organisation whose motto is “Service above self” and which has several branches across Guyana.

On Saturday,    the New Amsterdam branch hosted a dinner to mark its anniversary and to promote “World understanding and peace”.

Delivering the feature address, President Donald Ramotar said that just as how internal peace is vital for any nation’s development, world peace is also of tremendous importance. Recalling the effects of the two world wars, which resulted in millions of deaths, and destruction of property, the president said that it is only when someone visits war museums in some countries that a sense of the impact of such wars can be appreciated.

President Donald Ramotar delivering the feature address to Rotarians in New Amsterdam at a dinner to mark Rotary International’s 109th Anniversary

The president recalled the period of the “Cold War” and the present push by many nations to build their armaments, despite the fact that there are  already enough weapons available to kill every person on the planet, several times over. According to the president, an even more dangerous situation is that of the increasing rise in poverty, internationally, “and that has been a result of the grave inequality between countries and within countries”. The gap between the rich and poor, which is evident across the world, continues to grow and the upper 1% of people in the developed world, handle 80 % of the world’s wealth, he noted.

President Ramotar cited more figures to highlight the disparity in earning in various countries which he said has created “relative poverty”.

The call for a new Human Global Order made by the late President Cheddi Jagan, and since adopted by the United Nations, stemmed from his realisation of these issues, said the president, and many are now adopting ways to redistribute income, create opportunities for wealth generation and reduce inequalities in societies.

The Guyana  Government, according the president, is the only Caribbean country that spends 30% of its GDP on the social sector and this is not only humanitarian, but also makes good economic sense. The richest countries, it was noted are those with a highly developed human capital and government is doing what is can to boost education and training opportunities to enhance the skills, lives and economic circumstances of  all Guyanese.

President Donald Ramotar(center) with members of the New Amsterdam Rotary International Organisation

The president highlighted several countries and territories which are constantly in conflict and many of these are driven by economic circumstances such as Palestine where the actions taken by the Israelis were soundly criticised. He also spoke about the need for all Guyanese to support the passage of anti-money laundering legislation, the failure of which could lead to Guyana being blacklisted internationally.

Rotary is an international organisation whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. It is a secular organisation open to all persons regardless of race, colour, creed, religion, gender, or political preference. There are 34,282 clubs and over 1.2 million members worldwide.


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