The 17th death anniversary commemoration service for former President and Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), Hugh Desmond Hoyte, was held on Sunday at the Seven Ponds, Botanical Gardens.
Speaking at the commemoration service, President David Granger noted that the late President Hoyte was a President and a leader who fought for the environment.
“One of the few leaders of the world that identified the vital role which small states could play in protecting the world’s environment,” he remarked.
Granger pointed out that the former leader was a champion of change in ensuring that the economy was developing.
Moreover, the late leader set aside the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conversation and Development to be used as a model for conservation and development. To this end, he positioned Guyana to take advantage of the economic reforms that swept the western hemisphere in the last decade of the 20th century.
“His policies laid a firm foundation for sustained economic growth and environmental stewardship. Guyana can learn much from his prudent approach to economic management and political cooperation,” he stated.
The usual commemoration service saw President Granger paying his respects by laying the first wreath followed by family members, friends and colleagues.
Hoyte served as President from 1985 to 1992 and before that he held several Ministerial posts between 1969 and 1984 including Home Affairs, Finance, Works and Communications, and Economic Development.
In 1984, he became First Vice President and Prime Minister. During his presidency, he initiated far-reaching electoral and economic reforms, which strengthened the bases of the democratic culture of Guyana, promoted market-oriented policies and stimulated economic growth.
Furthermore, as a Minister of Government, he held, on several occasions, responsibility for African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) affairs under the Lome Convention and was the ACP spokesman on sugar from 1981 to 1983. His portfolio also included the Caribbean Community (Caricom) Affairs.