The European Union’s (EU) Ambassador to Guyana, Fernando Ponz Canto, on Monday hailed the relationship between the two countries as “the best ever” while reiterating his country’s support during difficult times.
The EU envoy made these remarks while addressing a gathering at the Europe Day celebrations held at the Georgetown Club following a 2-year hiatus as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“I am very happy to say that, and this is my belief – probably the best ever relations within the European Union and Guyana that we have today…We have achieved a lot together over the years,” Canto posited.
The Ambassador noted that Europe has supported Guyana in areas such as trade, development, human rights, and the uphold of democracy.
The EU was vocal during the five-month long election impasse due to key figures at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), backed by the APNU+AFC, attempts to rig the March 2, 2020, elections.
“We will continue working to uphold democracy and that we have worked together. We will continue to upload governance, the rule of law to help Guyana wherever Guyana needs us… governance, forest partnerships, preservation of the environment.”
To this end, the EU envoy said that his country wants to promote human interest as part of its mission but would be doing it in a way that is beneficial to Guyana.
“I look forward to see and the sooner, the better, the fruits of Guyana’s effort in the form of inclusive and sustainable development, prosperity for all the Guyanese, and I am sure that very soon, we will see that the new wealth reaches down to all the citizens of beautiful Guyana, and Europe will be there to help in difficult times as we have done to partner for benefits in good time."
Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of President Irfaan Ali and Prime Minister, Brigadier (Retired) Mark Phillips, Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo referred to the purpose of the celebration: peace and unity and the defeat of fascism.
“You need to know how integrally involved Fernando and many of the ambassadors were in the process here to ensure that our democratic values were maintained,” the Vice President said.
Europe Day, held on 9 May every year, celebrates peace and unity in Europe. The date marks the anniversary of the historical 'Schuman declaration' that set out his idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which would make war between Europe's nations unthinkable.
Schuman's proposal is considered the beginning of what is now the European Union. Guyana and the EU established diplomatic relations in 1975, premising on the common principles of equality, mutual respect, the rule of law, and tolerance.