Protection of environment high on Guyana’s UN agenda – President

first_img…as Granger meets ExxonMobil head, other leadersA meeting between President David Granger and ExxonMobil Exploration Company President Stephen Greenlee was held on Monday on the sidelines of the 72nd Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the Office of the Presidency has reported.Greenlee in early 2017 had revealed that the company was excited by the results of a production test on the Liza-2 well, which confirmed the presence of high-quality oil from the same high-porosity sandstone reservoirs that were discovered in the Liza-1 oil well completed years before in Guyana.President David Granger during his discussion with Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo SolísExxonMobil first discovered major reservoirs in Guyana in 2015. After its initial huge discovery of the Liza oil field two years ago, ExxonMobil had later announced that it had discovered more oil in the Payara reservoir off the coast of Guyana, increasing the total discovery to about 500 million barrels.It is not clear what was discussed by President Granger and Greenlee. However, in late April, a team comprising Ministers Raphael Trotman, David Patterson and Dominic Gaskin engaged in extensive discussions with high-level ExxonMobil officials and executives over a two-day visit at ExxonMobil headquarters.During that meeting, members of the delegation were updated about ongoing and planned exploratory activities following the significant discovery of the Liza-1 well, and engaged in interactive sessions that covered important topics such as an exploration update, development of the well for production, and capacity building to ensure Guyanese involvement and ownership of the industry’s development.Meanwhile, besides meeting Greenlee, the President also had two bilateral meetings on Monday – the first with Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís and the second with a delegation from the Republic of Malta led by that country’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.The Guyanese Head of State also attended the UN’s Private Sector Forum and a High-Level meeting on the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. Granger is also slated to meet with UN Secretary General António Guterres and his personal representative in the border controversy issue between Guyana and Venezuela, Dag Halvor Nylander.Meanwhile, President Granger said that his main message to his fellow Heads of Government was the need for a more tangible demonstration of commitment to protecting the planet. He made this comment during an interview at the UN, according to a statement issued on Monday by the Ministry of the Presidency.“Guyana has committed itself to becoming a ‘green state’; Guyana has committed itself to contributing to the adaptation to measures to deal with global warming and climate change… Guyana is ideally suited because of its presence in the Guiana Shield, because of our commitment to the conservation of our forests and our commitment to introducing green measures, so that is important,” he explained.Speaking of the climatic catastrophes facing the Caribbean, particularly small-island states, the Head of State said that this was a direct result of global warming and noted that the UN was perhaps the most influential place where the cause of environmental protection can be advanced.The issues of climate change and environmental protection were also high on the agenda during the bilateral engagements between Granger and President Solís and Prime Minister Muscat.President Granger said that it was prudent for Guyana to seek greater cooperation and partnerships with like-minded states such as Malta, which has a strong commitment to the environment.CaricomMeanwhile, President Granger said that while Heads of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) would have to deliberate on the reforms for the UN that were proposed by United States President Donald Trump, he was confident that the call for such reforms for the 72-year-old body might garner support among Caribbean States.Speaking during an interview in New York, the Head of State is quoted by the Ministry of the Presidency as saying, “Guyana is a member of the Caribbean Community and we would like to ensure that any initiative that we take enjoys the support of our Caribbean colleagues…I would prefer to wait until the Member States of the Caribbean Community come up with a single collective position before I make my announcement, but I feel that there is going to be a wide measure of agreement among Caribbean States about the reform of the United Nations.”During his debut UN address, President Trump called on the UN Secretary General to take steps to remove bureaucracy and introduce reforms to what he referred to as an “outdated” UN system.Having recognised the importance of the UN as the principal international organisation for the maintenance of international peace and security, President Granger noted that he would like to see better governance as it relates to the UN system.“Our being here is a demonstration of our faith in the United Nations…We feel that our participation in United Nations initiatives is important to the protection of people; the reduction of poverty and to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs]. And, as far as peace is concerned, again the United Nations is critical,” the Guyanese Head of State said.last_img read more