Remarks as prepared
Ambassador Nicole Theriot
Reception in honor of USAID – CARICOM: Neighbors, Partners, Friends
November 8, 2023
Thank you, Ayesha.
Mervyn Farroe, Regional Representative, USAID Eastern and Southern Caribbean,
Honorable Dr. Carla Barnett; Secretary-General of CARICOM,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
I am honored to be with you to speak about the invaluable work of the United States Agency for International Development or U–S-A-I-D in Guyana and its remarkable partnership with the Caribbean Community or -CARICOM- to address critical issues such as citizen security, juvenile justice, climate resilience, food security, and agriculture. This collaborative effort underscores our shared commitment to fostering positive change and building a better future for all.
You may recall at the 50th Anniversary of CARICOM gathering in July, Secretary of State Antony Blinken recounted the signing of the CARICOM founding treaty on the Fourth of July of 1973, quoting then-prime minister of Jamaica, Michael Manley, who said, “We must seek our strength in our unity. And then we must dedicate that strength to the building of a new life of opportunity and security for our people.”
Secretary Blinken highlighted that unity begins with listening, emphasizing the importance of being a good friend and partner. Reflecting this sentiment, the Biden-Harris Administration has demonstrated a renewed commitment to the Caribbean region and its people. This was evident when new initiatives were announced at last year’s Summit of the Americas. These initiatives were launched under the U.S.-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030 (PACC 2030), which is the U.S. government’s cornerstone for fostering regional climate adaptation, food security, and energy cooperation up to 2030.
U-S-A-I-D’s commitment to Guyana is a testament to the enduring bonds between our nations and the deep-rooted desire to strengthen the well-being of the people of this region. Through our collaborative efforts with CARICOM, we have embarked on several initiatives that touch upon the most pressing challenges facing our societies today.
First and foremost, climate resilience is an ever-pressing concern in today’s world. With the support of CARICOM, U-S-A-I-D is assisting Guyana in building resilience against the impacts of climate change. This includes sustainable land management, disaster preparedness, and the promotion of clean energy alternatives, ensuring the country is well-prepared to face the challenges of a changing climate.
On a similar note, food security and agriculture are the lifeblood of any nation. U-S-A-I-D, in partnership with CARICOM, is working diligently to bolster Guyana’s agricultural sector, promoting sustainable farming practices, and increasing access to nutritious food for all. Our goal is to create a self-sustaining agricultural sector that benefits both rural and urban communities.
Another vital area of cooperation is the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), which addresses shared U.S.-Caribbean security priorities to reduce illicit trafficking, increase citizen security, and prevent youth crime and violence.
U-S-A-I-D, in partnership with CARICOM and other implementing partners, has been at the forefront of efforts to enhance safety and security for all citizens, but especially at-risk youth, in Guyana. Whether it’s by improving community policing, providing training to law enforcement, or supporting crime prevention programs, our aim is to create a secure environment that allows our communities to prosper.
The issue of juvenile justice is another area where U-S-A-I-D has been actively engaged. Our programs work to rehabilitate and reintegrate young offenders into society, offering them a second chance at a productive and fulfilling life. This not only helps the individuals involved but also contributes to a safer and more harmonious society.
In conclusion, the partnership between U-S-A-I-D and CARICOM demonstrates our shared commitment to fostering progress in Guyana. Our efforts in citizen security, juvenile justice, climate resilience, food security, and agriculture are making a tangible difference in the lives of the people we serve.
As we move forward, let us remain dedicated to our shared vision of a safer, more secure, and prosperous Guyana. Together, we can overcome challenges and build a brighter future for all our citizens as neighbors, partners, and friends.