Guyana, EU to explore new areas of cooperation in health, renewable energy, connectivity

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

The Guyana-European Union Partnership Dialogue was convened at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on February 6, 2024.

Guyana’s delegation was led by the Hugh Todd, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and included senior officials of the Ministry.

The European Union delegation was led by H.E. René van Nes, Ambassador, Head of the European Union Delegation to Guyana, and included H.E. Nicolas de Lacoste, French Ambassador to Suriname and Guyana, Mr Jean-Jacques Forte, Chargé d’Affaires of the French Diplomatic Office in Guyana, Ms Bianca Hettinga, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Suriname, and other officials from the European Union Headquarters and Delegation.

Aligned with the Dialogue’s objective of exchanging information and fostering mutual understanding, both sides engaged in open and constructive discussions on areas of common interest at bilateral, regional and international level, including on new challenges in international settings.

They reaffirmed their commitment to the continuation and further enhancement of collaboration between Guyana and the European Union.

Both sides acknowledged the transition from the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, which ended on 31 December 2023, and discussed Guyana’s accession to its successor – the Samoa Agreement.

Minister Hugh Todd underscored the importance of the relationship between the European Union and Guyana and reiterated Guyana’s unwavering commitment to enhancing collaboration in the areas of climate change, energy, security, people-to-people ties, and trade. He also noted the European Union’s pivotal role as a key developmental partner for Guyana.

Ambassador van Nes looked back to 2023 as a meaningful year for the EU-Caribbean and the bilateral relations between the EU and Guyana. He acknowledged Guyana’s political role, in the region and at global level, as well as the country’s sustained economic growth.

He stressed the European Union’s commitment to human rights, democracy, and respect for the rule of law, and commended Guyana’s engagement in this regard.

Both sides agreed that increased interaction between companies from Guyana and the European Union should be encouraged. In this context, Ambassador van Nes referred to the EU Economic Mission to Guyana in November 2023, and announced a follow-up before the end of the year.

Minister Todd and Ambassador van Nes further agreed that the opportunity should be explored to seek new areas of cooperation and to collaborate under the European Union’s Global Gateway Investment Agenda, which focuses on forest management, health, water management and renewable energy, as well as connectivity.

They agreed that the Dialogue set the tone for continued collaboration at all levels, in areas of mutual interest and for building on the existing cooperation between Guyana and the European Union. The next round of the Dialogue should be scheduled before the end of 2024.