Remarks as prepared
Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch
In Observance of 245th Anniversary of U.S. Independence (Virtual)
July 4, 2021
Good day, Guyana, and happy 4th of July!
We’ve done a lot together this year, despite the challenges. I first want to congratulate Guyana on continuing to fight the COVID-19 virus, through vaccinations and protocols, and I encourage everyone to get their vaccine. The United States has been and will continue to be a partner is this regard, organizing over $1 million U.S. dollars in vaccine-related assistance for Guyana, and vaccine distribution through the COVAX distribution network. And, recently, we have all watched Guyana deal with the devastating floods brought on by persistent rainfall. With $30,000 of assistance through USAID, the United States has been able to help Guyana respond to people in need during this difficult time.
In the area of governance, our commitment to strengthening Guyana’s electoral processes was evidenced through the launch of an 18-month project with the Attorney General, GECOM and civil society to strengthen Guyana’s democratic institutions. We also launched a 17-month project with the judiciary for $400,000 to streamline court case management and improve the administration of justice. And, the U.S. Peace Corps is working to pave the way for volunteers to return to Guyana this year to work in areas of health, education and the environment.
In terms of prosperity, we share the government’s goal of a prosperous Guyana for all Guyanese. Together with President Ali and Vice President Jagdeo, we’ve participated in webinars organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce on the topics of oil and gas and agribusiness, as well as several organized by the American Chamber of Commerce. We launched the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs this year, a training and networking program designed to give the participants the opportunity to build their skills, their network, and of course their business.
For our common goal of a secure and prosperous Guyana, we deepened our military relationship this year through the multi-nation military exercise, Tradewinds 2021, that just finished up in June. We also received a high-level visit from the Commander of the U.S. Southern Command, Admiral Craig Faller, and the Civilian Deputy to the Commander, Ambassador Jean Manes. The Florida National Guard partnership was bolstered by a visit from the Adjutant General, Major General James Eifert and his team. Both the U.S. and Guyana have recognized the importance of addressing illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing in the region, which has an economic impact as well as a security threat to Guyana’s sovereignty. In terms of health security, we also added $1.5 million USD to our support for the PEPFAR program, that will continue to help those affected by HIV/AIDS.
I cannot fail to mention the common goal we have to fight climate change, as there are few issues with more importance to the Biden administration. Here in Guyana, we applaud the fact that progressive climate change legislation and environmental policies enjoy bipartisan support, and we stand ready to assist as the Ali administration finalizes the Low Carbon Development Strategy. We have been a partner with you in this area for years, and we will continue in these efforts. In the lead up to COP26 this November, our USAID office will be releasing its climate strategy, and we look forward to continued partnership in this area.
As we celebrate America’s 245th birthday tonight, we are also grateful for our many partnerships around the world, just like the 55 years of bilateral relations we have with Guyana and her people. We are grateful for our shared values of promoting democracy, good governance, the rule of law, and private sector-led growth. I would also like to acknowledge the thousands of Guyanese diaspora who call the U.S. and Guyana home. Thank you for your support in addressing our shared goals and objectives in our neighborhood.
Happy Independence Day, everyone, and here’s to another year of friendship and growth!