Remarks as prepared
Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch
Statement to the Press
August 31, 2023
First, I want to thank all of you – the members of the media corps -for your wonderful cooperation and excellent partnership over the years. You serve a crucial and important function in any strong democracy, and you are absolutely essential to Guyana’s sustainable and transparent growth in the coming years.
So, after almost five years serving as the U.S. Ambassador in Guyana, I am departing the gorgeous “land of many waters.” It truly is a bittersweet moment for me. My family and I have come to love Guyana’s natural beauty and the warmth of its citizens, and I cannot thank the people of Guyana enough for helping us get to know and love this beautiful land and wonderful people. I am so fortunate to have called Guyana my second home for all these years.
I want to leave as much time as possible for questions, but I would be remiss if I did not highlight some of the critical efforts the United States and Guyana have collaborated on during my tenure here. With the goal of shared prosperity, security, and governance, we have achieved notable success with partners in government, the private sector, and in civil society.
We have worked hard to tell Guyana’s story of transformation and attract U.S. investors—not the least of which is the historic gas to energy partnership that will drastically lower the cost of electricity for Guyanese citizens. We have supported and will continue to support the preservation of Guyana’s biodiversity and I hope there are more deals like the landmark $750 million (USD) carbon credit deal with the U.S. company, the Hess Corporation.
Importantly, in partnership with the Guyanese people, we tripled our bilateral trade over the past four years. We contributed to that success by hosting multiple large trade missions and will continue to do more on the commercial front so that U.S. businesspeople can build meaningful partnerships with local companies, educational institutions, and government ministries. U.S. companies always bring high standards and responsible business practices to their work, further promoting shared prosperity. I am also proud to have worked with my team to provide assistance to talented and promising entrepreneurs across Guyana. These entrepreneurs bring unique passion and dedication to their work and we are looking forward to continued collaboration with them.
The United States Government remains committed to Guyana’s security and territorial integrity. The U.S. Embassy has proudly helped train hundreds of security professionals and government experts, on everything from how to perform professional financial audits, to providing tools to combat trafficking in persons and improve community policing. The excellent collaboration and continued partnership between the United States and the Guyanese law enforcement community has helped improve the capacity of Guyana’s police and defense forces and overall security sector.
We know positive change takes continued effort, but the United States Government is proud to be a partner who is here to stay. We will continue to partner with Guyana in the critical areas of governance, economic development and security and we will also continue to invest in Guyana’s growing and vital civil society. My team and I at the U.S. Embassy are so proud to have supported and advocated for all Guyanese during my tenure while giving special attention to women, youth, the indigenous people, the LGBTQI community and persons with disabilities. By way of important exchange programs and partnerships with civil society, we have also helped build the capabilities of Guyanese youth and young professionals. For example, we provided critical social and leadership training to more than 300 young people, including youth with disabilities.
After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID pandemic, the U.S. Embassy is absolutely thrilled to welcome back our talented Peace Corps volunteers so that they can help to advance literacy, science and environmental education, and adolescent health in partnership with local communities.
With the seat of the CARICOM Secretariat right here in Georgetown, I am proud to have increased our engagement with this critical institution and to work together to advance regional cooperation on food security, energy security and financing as a result of deep collaboration at the Summit of the Americas last year. We look forward to working with Guyana in its leadership role of CARICOM starting in 2024.
During my time in Guyana, I have been extraordinarily proud to have been a part of the numerous high-level regional engagements like last year’s Summit of the Americas, which was attended by President Biden and Vice President Harris, and the bi-annual CARICOM conferences attended by other very senior government officials from the United States, including U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was the second U.S. Secretary of State to visit Guyana during my time here.
Clearly engaging Guyana and the broader Caribbean region to find solutions to shared problems like climate change, food security, and energy security is a top priority for the United States.
It has been an honor and a privilege for me to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Guyana at this historic time of transformation here, and I look forward to watching Guyana continue to develop and grow in the coming years with the United States remaining a key partner.
With that, I’ll turn it over to Kelly so I can take some of your questions.