Jagdeo to lead delegation to Suriname to coordinate climate change strategy

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Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo will soon be leading a Guyanese delegation to neighbouring Suriname where it is expected that the two countries will work together to develop a common strategy to deal with issues of climate change and the environment.

This visit is expected to be conducted before the COP26 Summit which is billed for October 31 to November 12 in Glasgow, United Kingdom.

President Dr Irfaan Ali told reporters on Thursday during a joint press conference with his Surinamese counterpart, Chandrikapersad Santokhi that “both Guyana and Suriname recognise that we have a valuable asset in Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo in this field of environment.”

As such, the Head of State announced that Jagdeo will soon “lead a delegation to Suriname before COP26 to look at the coordination of our strategies, and also to work with our counterparts in Suriname in coming up with a common strategy in dealing with climate change and the environment.”

The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Competing demands

President Santokhi and a Surinamese delegation arrived in Guyana on Tuesday for a four-day State visit where the two South American nations furthered discussions on a number of areas including health, agriculture, and oil and gas.

During this period, Vice President Jagdeo was attending the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas.

During the joint press conference, a Surinamese reporter asked President Ali about Jagdeo’s absence.

In responding, the Guyanese Head of State pointed out that “when you’re in government, you have many competing demands. When you’re in government, you don’t deal with a single task in a single day. And don’t for a moment believe that for us, this is the only task we’re dealing with.”

President Ali added “this strategic dialogue has always been at the level of the President and the Cabinet, so it’s just a matter of coincidence that the Houston conference was at the same time with this visit.”

President Ali further expressed that the issue being created over Jagdeo’s absence is an “invented nuance”. “There is nothing to it,” he affirmed.

In fact, he reiterated that the Vice President will be in Suriname very soon to further talks with his counterparts there.

“The Vice President who is leading a delegation to Houston, will be in Suriname to work with his counterparts on issues of the environment,” Ali posited.