President David Granger (centre) at the CELAC meeting (Photo: Ministry of the Presidency)
PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic -- Advancing economic relations and the development of trade between states; ensuring the security of small island developing states (SIDS); maintaining the Latin America and Caribbean as a zone of peace; and the creation of mechanisms to support the resolution of conflicts between states, are some of the key areas of focus for Guyana’s President David Granger as he attends the fifth summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which is being held in the Dominican Republic.
Speaking during a brief interview just before attending the inaugural session of the fifth summit of the heads of state and government of CELAC, Granger, who is also the chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), said that the body must begin to move beyond issuing declarations to establishing the mechanisms that can be used to deal with the concrete issues facing the region such as security, poverty and the treatment of citizens.
“I am looking for progress that takes us away from mere declarations to a demonstration of determination to deal with the concrete issues facing the region. And those issues are about security and poverty and the way that we treat our citizens,” he said.
With the both Guyana and Venezuela being members of CELAC, the president noted that the body can potentially support the resolution of controversies such as the one that exists between those two countries. He added that the United Nations’ Charter allows for regional mechanisms and that it is through such a mechanism that CELAC can be integrally important to Guyana.
Attending his first regional summit as CARICOM chairman, Granger said that the deepening of regional integration between Latin America and the Caribbean is important for their development and security.