Guyana President: Poverty, Inequality Threaten Democracy and Security


Above: Guyana President Donald Ramotar (OAS Photo/Juan Manuel Herrera)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Governments must do more to “reduce poverty and inequality,” because “they pose the greatest threat to democracy and security in the region,” according to Guyana President Donald Ramotar.

Ramotar was speaking at a protocolary session of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States in Washington.

“For Guyana, no priority is greater than to combat poverty, extreme poverty, inequality and social exclusion through policies that promote economic growth, access to education, health care and housing in order to better achieve sustainable development with social justice,” Ramotar said.

The Guyanese leader called on countries in the region to work toward achieving sustainable development, particularly when 57 million people, or 11 percent of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean, live on less than one dollar a day.

“The critical importance of development to democracy as well as to multidimensional security compels the OAS to maintain and strengthen the role it plays in sustainable development,” he said, calling on countries in the region to “resolve that poverty eradication be the historic task of our generation.”

“Democracy cannot be safeguarded without reducing poverty; neither can poverty be effectively combated without addressing inequality,” Ramotar said.

The OAS’ Secretary for Legal Affairs, Jean Michel Arrighi praised Guyana’s commitment to regional integration, as a founding member of CARICOM and seat of its secretariat.

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