Remarks as prepared
Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch
Reception in honor of congressional delegation (CODEL)
Chief of Mission Residence
March 17, 2023
Your Excellency President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana,
Honorable Prime Minster, Brigadier General (Ret.) Mark Anthony Phillips,
Honorable Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo,
Honorable Ministers and Members of Parliament,
Honorable Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Aubrey Norton,
Members of the Opposition,
Secretary General of the Caribbean Community, Dr. Carla Barnett,
Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Representative Jason Smith,
Members of the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Energy Committee,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Members of the Private Sector and Civil Society,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good evening and a Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all who are celebrating! This is, by far, the largest St. Patrick’s Day Party that I’ve ever thrown!
It is an honor to welcome a Congressional Delegation of such an impressive size, geographic diversity, and importance to Guyana. We are so pleased to have members of Congress from all over the United States with us this evening, including Chairman Jason Smith from Missouri, Congresswoman Terri Sewell from Alabama, Congressman Mike Carey from Ohio, Congressman Kelly Armstrong from North Dakota, Congresswoman Michelle Fischbach from Minnesota, Congresswoman Carol Miller from West Virginia, and Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne from Texas. Welcome all to Guyana – the beautiful “land of many waters.”
Just as Guyanese diaspora can be found all over America, my Embassy team hails from all over the United States – some from states represented here tonight – and, we are extraordinarily proud to have this delegation here this week, representing so many different parts of the United States of America.
The committee members have had a brief but highly productive trip, learning about business and trade opportunities in Guyana, as well as meeting with government officials and members of the opposition. These engagements provided the visiting representatives with an understanding of the value of the strong relationships we have built here and the continued promise of increased partnership between the United States and Guyana. They have also heard about various challenges that we are tackling together, from building more human capacity to modernizing government processes to make doing business easier for all.
We applaud the Government of Guyana for the strides it has taken to make this country attractive to investors. They have been excellent partners in energy, agribusiness, and security. They are taking bold leaps to transform the financial, education, health, and tourism sectors. And, as you have seen, Representatives, in even your short time here, there are major infrastructure projects underway across the country, and the progress is constant. The government clearly wants to leverage the opportunities they are receiving, and the United States stands ready to assist. Since first oil, Guyana’s political leaders have honored contractual commitments and continue to do so. This signals the importance of the sanctity of contracts –which is foundational to any economy and in particular Guyana as it continues to transform at a record pace.
While there are still challenges to overcome, we believe that meaningful discussions and continued inclusivity can foster solid relationships, and craft solutions to meet shared challenges. We encourage the government to keep striving towards transparency, accountability, and fairness to improve the quality of life for all Guyanese.
Over the years, the United States has been a steadfast partner in working with Guyana to overcome some of its critical challenges in the areas of governance, economic development, and security. In the future, we want to continue to help build a Guyana that is competitive, equitable, and provides upward social mobility for all its citizens. Leveraging our close economic links to bring greater prosperity and opportunities for the Guyanese people is an important cornerstone of our engagement here and we will continue to work with the government and people of Guyana towards achieving these objectives.
Your Excellency – thank you for your partnership. I think you know that the United States wants to remain Guyana’s largest trading partner by far, but even more importantly, we want to produce tangible results that benefit lives on both shores of the Caribbean and every island in between.
Thank you all, and Representatives – instead of the traditional toast to St. Patrick with a beer in hand, tonight – we are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with the best Rum in the world. For the perfect evening, add a little Guyanese chocolate to your palette as well! So, Representatives, guests all – please do enjoy!! Cheers!
Brian, over to you.