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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Incumbent UNASUR Chairman optimistic of a better South America
- at 4th Summit opening

Georgetown, GINA, November 26, 2010

The fourth regular Summit of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) opened today with optimism by its incumbent Chairman and President of Guyana Bharrat Jagdeo for the continued creation of a better South America noting that collective choices can aid such achievements.
            Speaking in the presence of seven prominent Heads of State in the South American Hemisphere, President Jagdeo proposed a few ideas which he believes will propel UNASUR to a body of real meaning to the citizens of South America.


President Bharrat Jagdeo joins other South American Heads of State in a ‘thumbs up’ photo opportunity after Guyana assumed Chairmanship of UNASUR

In attendance at the summit were Presidents: Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Luis Inacio Lula Da Silva of Brazil, Fernando Lugo Mendez of Paraguay, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina, Rafael Correa of Ecuador, Desi Bouterse of Suriname and Juan Manuel Santos of Columbia. 
              First on his list of priorities is the question of whether UNASUR should create a South American democratic identity that is irremovable.


UNASUR Chairman President Bharrat Jagdeo sharing light moments with outgoing Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva and Surinamese Presient Desi Bouterse

            “If we want our citizens to feel a trans-continental bond, they need to be able to identify with our trans-continental institutions, and to believe that they have a stake in how those institutions are run. So I believe that we should agree here today that we will do whatever is left to do to establish our UNASUR Parliament, so that by the time of the next summit, the Parliament is operational,” President Jagdeo said.
            In the process of arriving at such a consensus, the Guyanese Head of State called for an uncompromising commitment to the implementation of the democratic protocol regardless of the norms of some countries to change their position on adherence to such norms.
            The UNASUR Chairman also called for the body to explore the possibilities of catalysing greater economic prosperity for all countries and social progress for the citizens.
            “When it comes to creating an economy that serves all our people, we in South America know from experience that if we are to safeguard our people’s welfare, we must build economic models that avoid destructive cycles where periods of prosperity are followed by significant loss of welfare,” President Jagdeo said.


A section of the gathering at the fourth regular summit of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR)

            South America is poised as a world leader in economic opportunities, given its immense natural and energy resources that can fuel both the hemisphere and global industrialisation.
            President Jagdeo said there is enough agricultural output to feed the world’s population which is set to increase to around nine billion people by 2050, and will inevitably increase the demand for food thereby creating particular opportunities for the countries of South America.
            Guyana and Brazil have strengthened physical linkages, evident last year with the commissioning of the bridge across the Takutu River which has already brought immense benefits to the people of both sides.
            The infrastructure was seen as a deepening of the process of integration and with the recent decision to elevate the working group on Financial Integration to the Council on Economy and Finance President Jagdeo said he will make it his duty to recommend that it focuses on a new economic framework to deepen the integration process.
            “This can enable greater shared prosperity through the opportunities that are created from movement of people, goods and services. And it can make UNASUR a real force for good in creating wealth for our peoples,” President Jagdeo said.    
            He also implored the body to place a significant degree of its attention on workable solutions to solving modern crimes, such as narco-crimes, international terrorism, and global financial corruption which he said are too immense for a single nation, however powerful to solve on its.
            Climate change, the other major world challenge must also be addressed collectively according to President Jagdeo who boasted about South American countries advancing in their fight against the phenomenon with the production of new clean fuel to power transportation, and new models of agriculture to promote food security and at the same time preserve natural resources.
            “Because of our advances in clean energy, clean transportation, agriculture and especially forest protection, we can become the world’s centre of excellence in the fight against climate change. And we can do this in a way that simultaneously benefits our peoples and the wider world’s urgent need for climate stabilization,” President Jagdeo said.
            These unique contributions will however be of little value if the bigger concern of addressing deep emission cuts is not agreed. The President called for radical long-term changes in the way the world develops and prospers, and meaningful action and support from the developed world which is often guilty of the bulk of the gases accumulated in the atmosphere.
            With the upcoming 16th Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Guyanese Head of State called for urgency in a legally binding international climate agreement.           

 

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Minister Persaud says oil exploration will present tremendous opportunities for Guyana
 -during GMSA 15th Annual Presentation Awards Dinner

Georgetown, GINA, November 26, 2010

Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud last evening attended the  Guyana Manufacturing Services Association’s 15th Annual Presentation Awards Dinner, where he was presented an Agro Processing manual.
            In his remarks to the gathering, the Agriculture Minister said that that the manual is a good example of public, private partnership and as such, is testimony to what is essentially required in Guyana for both sectors having a close working relationship.


Minister of Agriculture Robert Persaud addressing the gathering during the Guyana Manufacturing Services Association’s 15th Annual Presentation Awards Dinner

            While lauding the staff of the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI), President of GMSA, Clinton Williams and Chairman of the Private Sector Commission, Ramesh Dookhoo, for their input in putting together the manual, pointed out that its main objective of the manual is for Government to support the private sector, particularly manufacturing, in getting much more involved in agriculture and agro-processing.
            President and Chief Executive Officer of CGX Energy Inc, Kerry Sully said that thus far, 12 well testing basins have been dug, and therefore there is every possibility of the discovery of oil over the next year.


President and Chief Executive Officer of CGX Energy Inc, Kerry Sully during a presentation on Guyana’s oil exploration

            While pointing out the macro benefits to be derived from oil extraction, Sully explained that daily production rate should be able to realise a yearly production of 50 million barrels.
            “Guyana is well positioned to receive a cash flow of 50 percent. It also will have a successful chance of survival which will have significant impact on its Gross Domestic Products (GDP),” he said.
            Minister Persaud in response said that oil exploration will present a tremendous opportunity for Guyana and particularly the agriculture sector, since due to the cost of energy, the country has not been able to develop on a large scale.
            “Locally the entire agro processing export sector is about $175M and there is much taking place in terms of climate change and also with the demand for food it is expected that the agro processing sector will grow to about $250M,” he added.


Attendees during the Guyana Manufacturing Services Association’s 15th Annual Presentation Awards Dinner

            “We need to prepare ourselves and as part of our vision, the Government’s LCDS and agro processing is certainly a significant aspect. We also have to ensure that a particular gain does not take away from the advance we have made,” the Agriculture Minister stated.
            Meanwhile, President of the GMSC, Clinton Williams after pointing out some problems faced during the year in review, suggested that companies develop a value chain approach to product development.
            He also expressed appreciation to President Bharrat Jagdeo and the Government for creating an enabling environment for development.
            After the formal ceremony, awards were given to various prominent Organisations for their valuable contributions over the years. These include;- Sterling products; Amazon Caribbean Guyana Ltd; Swansea; GT&T; BK International and Namilco Group of Companies.
 Sonia Noel also received an award for her outstanding contributions in the Guyana Fashion Weekend.


           

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Ecuador leader assures Guyana his full support on UNASUR Chair

Georgetown, GINA, November 26, 2010

President of Ecuador Rafael Correa handed over the mantle of chairmanship of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) to Guyanese President Bharrat today, promising his full support.
            In August 2009 President Jagdeo joined other UNASUR Heads of Government in witnessing the Ecuadorian President taking over the helm of the body and, at that meeting the 12 South American heads present signed the Quito declaration vowing to strengthen regional integration. The declaration addresses energy, the economy, health and education.
            During today’s summit, the outgoing Chairman said, “I wish you the best success in the years ahead, President Jagdeo, and you can count on all the support that we are able to give you so that you can better deliver what you need to be doing,” President Correa said.
            The new Chairman was encouraged by his predecessor to set the destiny for a consolidated and strengthened UNASUR which he said will be an easy task to accomplish.
            “The challenges are tremendous but our hope is even greater. We need to move ahead to position ourselves in the wider community. We have to take control of our own destiny,” President Correa said.
            Reflecting on some of the work of the body during the last year, President Correa made reference to fruitful engagements at the level of the councils of Heads of State, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence.


President Bharrat Jagdeo, outgoing UNASUR Chairman Rafael Correa and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez giving the ‘thumbs up’ after a successful summit

In light of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, UNASUR demonstrated solidarity, agreeing in 2010 to establish a $100M fund to support the earthquake stricken island. A Haiti/UNASUR secretariat was set up and a plan of action outlined to properly assist the Haitian government in the rebuilding process.
            In a show of gratitude President Jagdeo expressed appreciation and gratitude to President Correa and his team for Ecuador’s effective leadership of UNASUR.
            “His energy and drive, despite the difficult times in which he found himself, were of immense value to our union and I know that we are all grateful for this,” President Jagdeo said.
            UNASUR is an intergovernmental union integrating two South American trade blocs; Mercosur (a regional trade agreement among Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) and the Andean Community of Nations (a trade bloc comprising countries of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru).
            The body was established in 2008 among its members Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.
               In the lead up to Guyana assuming Chairmanship, President Jagdeo had said on several occasions that its participation in UNASUR is a grand opportunity for the people within this region in addition to its membership in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
               He also expressed the belief that the South American body will influence policy decisions that are different from those put forward from the North or the developed world that are often monopolistic.

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Guyana prepared to build on Ecuador’s efforts- President Jagdeo

Georgetown, GINA, November 26, 2010

President Bharrat Jagdeo, who was handed over the Chairmanship of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), today said that the work of the outgoing chair, Ecuador was extremely impressive and has led to the advancement of the integration movement.
He was at the time speaking to media operatives (both local and foreign) at a press conference subsequent to the Meeting of the Heads during Fourth Regular Summit of UNASUR at the Guyana International Conference Center (GICC), Liliendaal.
The Guyanese leader assured that the work that was started by the Ecuadorian Government will be continued by Guyana now that the chairmanship has been handed over to the English-speaking nation.
He said that the aim now is to work towards a bigger and more integrated South American space, with stronger political ties, coordinated foreign policies taking common positions around the world on various issues, creating more opportunities for goods and services and follow of people across the borders, and breaking down the colonial and historical barriers among the UNASUR countries.
President Jagdeo said that Guyana in its capacity as chair of UNASUR will be focusing on continuing economic growth, and creating a regional economic framework that is guided by a model that is indigenous.
Additionally, he said that efforts will be made to ensure that the prosperity is used to better the lives of people through education, health, housing and other social development.  
 “We should also use UNASUR in the upcoming period to aggressively reform the United Nations, particularly the Security Council, the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and to create a new financial global architecture that is sympathetic that recognises our concerns,” President Jagdeo stated.   
He noted that it is extremely important to continue the work that is already initiated as well as to try to expand the international reaches of UNASUR.
As it relates to the appointment of the next Secretary General of the grouping, the Guyanese Head of State said that this was one of the topics that were discussed during the Meeting of the Heads, earlier in the day and it was agreed that these discussions will be continued at the Ibero American Summit in Mar Del Plata, Argentina.   

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Our future is within UNASUR- Lula

Georgetown, GINA, November 26, 2010

Outgoing Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, today in his address to the fourth regular summit of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) stressed the need for greater integration and highlighted his belief that President Bharrat Jagdeo (Chairman of UNASUR) knows how to conduct the work of integration of South America according to the aspiration of the people.
Emphasising the need for collective actions President Lula stated that, “none of our countries have the ability to be prosperous without all of us being prosperous and so our future is within UNASUR.”
Previously there was a lack of knowledge and mistrust among countries which resulted in fights among Heads-of-State and today this scenario has changed. Leaders of today have achieved the union which predecessors tried to accomplish, he indicated.
            He noted that South America is no longer a geographic concept; it is now a global player networking around a broad project of integration. The union has become a political reality and it is materializing the dream of the region’s liberators and leaders in the past.
            “We are overcoming nausea and resistance that happened during 200 years of our independent political life and created betterment for us to follow the road towards unity,” Lula said.
            He emphasised that the experts who did not have any knowledge about the region were dictating the rules, they had agreements that were submitted to them and these policies separated the growth from income distribution, countries were lead into recession and unemployment and from macro economic chaos they de-qualified the policies and actions of the state and they despised the notion of national sovereignty.
            However, today South American countries are not seen anymore as just a periphery that is distant and full of problems but as the solution in a world where there is an economic crisis particularly in the economies of developed countries.
            We are an essential part of the solution of the major economic crisis of the last decades; a crisis that we did not foster and that was born in the core of the world capitalism due to the anarchy of the markets and of the lack of responsible rulers that did not know how to regulate these financial markets, he stated.
            Lula highlighted that, the morals today are not shaped anymore by a few developed countries as without the developing countries there would not have been the possible opening of a new expansion cycle that would combine growth, fighting poverty and hunger, reducing social equality and environmental conservation.
He posited that these should be the main priorities of the new international agenda, but now is the time to rebuild global institutions on a more legitimate representative and democratic base where a multi-polar world is being built.
There is a need for flexible and fast institutions to network common initiatives in this ambitious process of integration in South America, Lula said, where 400 million men and women that benefit today of an exceptional phase of economic growth. The grouping’s programmes of social inclusion have helped to diminish poverty and equality in the region.
“They constitute an enormous productive aid and a great market for consumer goods, our industries, universities and scientific and research centers makes us closer to the great advantage that humanity have been experiencing in the past decades. We are today one of the major points of attraction of foreign direct investment” he said.
The intra-regional trade has grown a lot but South America still needs to make it more balanced, taking all legal access to markets where countries are consolidating. More than eliminating tariffs and non-tariff barriers, the creation of protective integration chain between state enterprises and the development of partnerships in strategic sector such as energy and air space industry, ship building industries, and drug industries should be stimulated.
Referring to his country and Argentina, Lula indicated that when the two countries attended the G20 meeting they had exceptional economic growth and job creation. He noted that Brazil does not owe the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and that in it self is determination.
Democracy is active on the continent of South America as it has societal participation.
Democratically elected leaders participate in making decisions for UNASUR through common commitment to democracy, rebuilding harmony and mutual respect through the common exercise of political agreement.
“UNASUR is opened to all its neighbours and I insist the need for us to improve our institutions so that we can implement the policies that will be passed and so that we can expand very quickly to innovative projects that is of great meat in priority areas,” Lula.
 He noted that the negotiations around the Energy Integration Treaty put on the table, elements that would allow for an objective work plan with complete proposals and reachable goals.
It was highlighted that South America cannot be at the same time the region in the world that has the greatest energy potentials and the same one that still suffers.
“We live in one of the most mutual regions in the world and where building a regional ambition of defences that is based on common principles in respect to national sovereignty to the self determination of the people and the integrity of the state and non- intervention in domestic issues,” Lula emphasised.

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UNASUR united in resolution against unconstitutional Governments – Minister Rodrigues Birkett
…body signs Democratic Clause in commitment

Georgetown, GINA, November 26, 2010

South American nations at the 1V Regular Summit of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) resolved not to tolerate any group that attempts to obtain Government through unconstitutional means.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett today in an invited comment to the Government Information Agency (GINA) confirmed that the Heads of Government of (UNASUR) agreed to the Additional Protocol to the Constitutive Treaty of UNASUR           on Commitment to Democracy also referred to as the Democratic Clause, which states that not only will UNASUR not recognize such a Government but it also includes a consultation mechanism and outlines the measures that would be taken should the constitutional order be disrupted.
The clause, she stated, was the most important task of the Foreign Ministers as it was of utmost importance for all of the countries. The clause was approved and signed today by the Heads.
“The meeting went very well, the delegates, the Council of Ministers and the summit went very well. We were able to achieve all that we set out to do and this is a very significant achievement,” Minister Rodrigues-Birkett stated.    
The democratic clause was developed by UNASUR and the countries can look at the work that they have inserted into the clause as “it is something that would live with our country for a very long time,” she said.
Part of the clause states that the Protocol shall apply in the event of a breach or threat of breach against the democratic order, a violation of the constitutional order or any situation that jeopardises the legitimate exercising of power and the application of the values and principles of democracy.
However in the event of such a breach the Council of Heads of State and Government or, in its absence, the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs may adopt the respective decision to enforce the following measures:
1. Suspension of the right to participate in the various bodies and branches of UNASUR, as well as the suspension of the rights and benefits enjoyed under the Constitutive Treaty of UNASUR. 
2. Partial or complete closure of land borders, including the suspension and/or limitation of trade, air and maritime traffic, communications and provision of energy, services and supplies.
3. Advocate the suspension of the affected State in the ambit of other regional and international organisations.
4. Promote, with third countries and/or regional blocs, the suspension of the rights and/or benefits enjoyed by the affected State under the co-operation agreements to which it is party and
5. Adoption of additional political and diplomatic sanctions.

With regards to the deepening of relations among South American countries, Minister Rodrigues-Birkett said that Guyana has traditionally pursued relations with other English speaking countries with similar history but is now expanding those relations to its South American counterparts in a very intimate way.
“For a long time we looked across continent rather than in the continent and I think UNASUR is where we are looking inwardly, looking at what we can do together as independent countries looking at what are our similarities, certainly considering our differences as well but I think what I see is the real coming together of all of the countries and I think because we are on that one space of land on South America, there is a lot that we can do once our countries are connected,” the Minister said.
Citing Guyana’s trade relations with Brazil, the Foreign Minister said that there is potential for increased trade among South American countries.
The Foreign Minister further highlighted that a number of other issues was discussed at the meeting including the assigning of the seven councils to various member states and the establishment of the permanent secretariat.

 

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South America in harmony like never before – President Lula
– calls it the miracle of politics

Georgetown, GINA, November 26, 2010

Outgoing President of Brazil Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva is leaving his post satisfied that the South American nations have reached the point of mutual respect, an objective which many past and present leaders failed for decades to achieve.
            President Lula, was at the time delivering remarks at the fourth Regular Summit of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) at the Guyana International Conference Centre (GICC) at Liliendaal.
            “We learned how to respect each other; we learned how to live democratically with diversity amongst ourselves,” President Lula said, turning his attention to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Columbian President Juan Manuel Santos, who he said, no one would have imagined, would be in the same room together five months ago.
            President Lula’s remarks were motivational enough for President Chavez who exited his seat with open arms to President Santos who welcomed him with a warm embrace. The gesture received a standing ovation from the corps of attendees in the GICC.
            President Lula continued after the friendly interruption describing it as “the miracle of politics” noting that a review of South America in the year 2000 to the South America of today would show the positive changes.
            “We would see the great progress that happened of the people that were elected to develop social programmes,” President Lula said.
            Brazil is today the world’s eighth largest economy and President Lula said he is very proud of the growth of South American economies, particularly the process of job creation which led to 2,409,000 new jobs between January and September.
            While in the developed world a number of difficulties were faced in this regard President Lula spoke of the hypocrisy on their part of finding the remedy of solve the crisis in other countries except their own.
            “How many times have we traveled around the world and any third rate secretary would look at a President of South America and would dare to say what we should do… today they don’t care to give us the recipe because they know that we are like them but our difference is that we have much more sovereignty and self determination than we had ten years ago,” President Lula said.
            He added that while his attendance at the Summit was not for a confrontational agenda, it was necessary to make the point that south America has learned how to walks with heads high.
            “We learn how to love our people, to give priority to our country. Our Latin America is poor because for centuries we had elites who valued what came from abroad,” President Lula said.
           

 

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UNASUR pays tribute to late Nestor Kirchner

Georgetown, GINA, November 26, 2010

President Bharrat Jagdeo and Chairman of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) today at the body’s fourth summit paid tribute to the late President of the Argentine Republic and Secretary General of UNASUR, Nestor Kirchner.  
            “As President of Guyana and pro tempore of UNASUR, I would like to renew to Her Excellency Cristina Kirchner, President of the Republic of Argentina and the wife of the late President, reassurances of the profound sympathy not only of Guyana and its people but throughout the entire UNASUR family. While we continue to mourn his untimely departure from our midst I would like on this occasion to remember his life’s work and to celebrate his many accomplishments,” President Jagdeo stated.
            He emphasised that, “those of us who watched his state funeral on television and saw the hundreds of thousands who came out to pay their tribute to their fallen leader, it was cleared that the late President was deeply loved and respected by the Argentine nation. None among us could help to be touched by the outpouring of such public grief, in the end there can be no greater epitaph for any statesman that the admiration and respect of those whom he once led.”
            The Head of State noted that he cannot pretend to have known the late President very well since their personal contact and conversations were limited to the times they met each other briefly while attending some conference or another.
            He stated that, “I sincerely believe that social interaction between leaders can generate greater friendship and procreation, not only between their countries but also in the wider international communities to which they belong. One of my indelible memories of Mr. Kirchner is of his outstanding chairmanship on the 4th summit of the Americas which was held in 2005.”
            “From what I have read of his life Mr. Kirchner may have been born with a gift of political dexterity which allowed him to overcome the many obstacles that came his way. Following the downfall of the military dictatorship and the restoration of democracy in 1983 Kirchner entered public office. He soon became a celebrity and was fully launched on his political career,” President Jagdeo stated.

 

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‘Georgetown Declaration’ puts final dot on UNASUR summit

Georgetown, GINA, November 26, 2010

 Agreement on a 33 point, five-page communiqué testifying to the will and wishes of the Heads of State and Delegations of the Union of South American Nations, UNASUR, brought the curtains down on what is being declared a ‘successful’ fourth Regular Summit of the 12 member union, today at the Guyana International Conference Centre (GICC), Liliendaal.
            Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo who assumed the Chairmanship of UNASUR said that the resolutions inherent in the Declaration reflect the desire of the Heads to ‘carve a bigger space for South America in the world.’
            To this end, Clause 25 of the Declaration speaks to the pledge by the member states to “participate actively in international and regional multilateral forums, in order to fortify UNASUR’s presence, seeking out solutions to global problems of common interest.”
            The Georgetown Declaration started out with the Heads, in the first two clauses, paying tribute to the late the former Argentine President and Secretary-General of UNASUR Dr. Nestor Kirchner by acknowledging the scope of the work undertaken during his tenure at the helm of the group.
            Clauses three and four recognise the achievements of the Ecuadorian President Raphael Correa Delgado in his tenure as Pro Tempore President of UNASUR and sought to welcome President Jagdeo as he assumes the position constitutionally Guyana’s for the next year.
            The members of UNASUR thus declared their “willingness to continue working towards the consolidation of a common space for the political, economic, social, cultural, energy, environmental and infrastructural integration of the region, in order to achieve sustainable development. They also highlighted their “firm commitment to work together to promote social and human development with equity and inclusion, and in harmony with nature, in order to eradicate poverty, reduce asymmetries, and overcome inequalities, with a framework of unity, democracy, unwavering respect for human rights and cooperation, both regionally and internationally, in the context of strengthening the sovereignty and independence of states,” as is inherent in clauses five and six.
            In order to concretise such strengthening, the members approved the “Additional Protocol to the Constitutive Treaty of UNASUR on Commitment to Democracy” which seeks to fundamentally guarantee “that member states will not tolerate any challenge to the institutional authority or any attempted coup against the legitimately constituted civil and that they shall adopt concrete and immediate measures in event of violations against the constitutional order.”
They further sought to ratify the “Declaration of Buenos Aires” dated October 1, 2010 in which they affirmed “that in the event of such new challenges or violations, measures such as “border closure, suspension of trade, air traffic and the provision of energy, services and other supplies” will be adopted against the offending parties.
            As part of their Communiqué too, the Heads expressed their approval on the setting up of the various Councils of UNASUR including the approval of the Statute of the Council of Education, Culture, Science, Technology and Innovation (COSECCTI), and its attendant Action Plan in Education and the Roadmaps in the fields of Science, Technology, Education and Culture; the work carried out by the South American Council on Health, underscoring the importance of the implementation of the UNASUR Health Scholarship Programme next year; the advancement made by the South American Council on the World Drug Problem, strongly urging the implementation of mechanisms that can allow for consultations among the police and military personnel of South America.
            The Heads approved too, the Statutes and Regulations of the South American Council for Infrastructure and Planning (COSIPLAN); pronounced on the advancements made by the South American Energy Council; applauded the approval of the Statute of the Centre for strategic Defense Studies of the South American Defence Council(CEED-CDS) and the creation of the Council on Economy and Finance.
            Inherent in the document too is a provision for the Pro Tempore President to convene within the next 30 days the Working Group on Dispute Settlement which, according to the Declaration, “shall comprise high-level experts appointed by Heads of State and Government to consider the proposal put forward by the Republic of Ecuador”, regarding a myriad of issues relating to the settlements of disputes, a code of conduct for member states and issues related to investments. The group is expected to present their findings to the Council of Delegates, 90 days after it has been constituted.
            The Declaration also made clear the Heads’ position on Haiti with a call to member states that have not yet done so to make their contributions to the pledges under the “Decision on UNASUR Solidarity with Haiti.”  The “UNASUR Fund for the Reconstruction of Haiti” was created in the amount of $100M and member states were urged to make viable a line of credit amounting to $200M, which would complement UNASUR’s contribution. Importantly, the Heads also called on the International Community “to concretise the aid” offered to the impoverished Island nation especially in light of recent events there.
            Significant too was the position of the union on the issues of climate change and noteworthy was the call to the developed countries to use the upcoming Cancun Conference to make firm political commitments which would allow for actions and proposals  to achieve a reduction of greenhouse gasses as commitments made under the Kyoto Protocol.  UNSAUR heads also applauded internal initiatives aimed at promoting the sustainable development of natural resources including forests, through national and regional initiatives and instructed the Council of Delegates under the chairmanship of Guyana to invite a representative of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation to examine areas of cooperation between both organisations.
            The Heads also called for consensus on the final draft of the Additional Protocol that will allow for the establishment of the South American Parliament.
            Finally, the Communiqué sought to communicate the Heads’ support of the Bolivian people in the chewing of Cocoa leaves as an ancestral and cultural tradition  that should be respected by the international community and their support for the United Nations to declare 2011 the International “Year of  Quinoa” noting that the grain would make a significant nutritional contribution as the global grain of the future.
 

 

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118 children apprehended in latest truancy exercise

Georgetown, GINA, November 26, 2010

During a two-day truancy campaign on November 18 and 19, the Education Ministry’s Schools’ Welfare Department Officers apprehended 20 truants in Georgetown and 98 in Region Three.
            The areas visited in the city were South/North Ruimveldt, North East La Penitence, Norton Street and the Stabroek Market area; while in Region Three, Patentia and its surroundings were targeted.
            Consultant to the Minister of Education Yvonne Arthur noted that there is need for more awareness since citizens are not fully aware of the consequences of not educating their child/children.
            She also noted that persons sometimes mix-up the Schools’ Welfare Officers with those of the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security’s Child Protection Unit and by extension are not aware of the responsibilities of the Education Ministry’s Welfare Officers.
            In this regard, Arthur indicated that during truancy exercises fliers and pamphlets were distributed explaining the importance of education and the process of the truancy exercises.
              During the first half of the year 174 truancy campaigns were executed in all the Administration Regions which netted hundreds of children. Several parents were taken to court to justify their actions.
            The Education Ministry has mandated the Schools’ Welfare Department to execute truancy campaigns since a decline in school attendance was previously observed. This is in keeping with Education Act which stipulates that if a parent fails to educate the child, that is not to send the child to school, that parent can be placed before the court.
             Those parents who were citied for neglecting to educate their children were issued with warning letters. Failing to adhere to the warnings results in a parent having to face the court.
            During school breaks the Welfare Officers conducted home visits and referrals were made for parents to secure assistance, from various agencies in an effort to ensure the children received an education.
           

 

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