US and Guyana hold technical talks on UN Security Council matters

Guyana held a technical consultation with UN Security Council members on Friday as it prepares to assume its non-permanent seat on the council, the premier body for maintaining international peace and security.

Foreign Secretary and High Representative for UNSC Affairs Robert Persaud led the Guyanese team at the ministry’s headquarters on South Road in Georgetown on Friday.

Foreign Secretary, Robert Persaud

Foreign Secretary Persaud emphasised the privilege of serving on the council and Guyana’s commitment to international law and security, essential to achieving Agenda 2030. He also expressed his anticipation of ongoing dialogue with countries like the US.

“We are properly and adequately preparing for our seat on the council, which we don’t only view as a privilege but also one of deep responsibility, a responsibility that we take very seriously as a country but also representing many others who are looking to us for quality guidance and leadership,” he stated

Guyana will be promoting its identified priorities on the council which are aligned with its national priorities including climate, food, and energy security, as well as Venezuela’s existential threat to the country’s sovereignty.

“Going forward in February when we will be chairing the council or assume the presidency, one of our signature events will certainly be framed around that theme itself too, but looking at different dynamics and other dimensions in that regard,” Mr. Persaud added.

The foreign secretary expressed that the technical consultation will allow Guyana’s team to better understand US priorities on the council and to identify areas for further discussions at an upcoming policy dialogue in Washington.

Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy, Rhonda Slusher

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief of Mission (ag) at the US Embassy, Rhonda Slusher described Guyana as a crucial bilateral partner, noting that the US looks forward to Guyana’s contributions to the security council.

“We recognise that Guyana is emerging as a leader on the world stage and is in the midst of an economic transformation. We stand with you in friendship and partnership and look forward to collaborating with you on the vital work of advancing international peace and security on the UN Security Council. Together we will work to confront the myriad crises including food and climate security, to achieve shared prosperity, inclusive growth, and human progress,” she expressed.

Among those present were Council Senior Advisor, Brian Convoy, Political-Economic Section Chief Mariyam Cementwala, along with Deputy Political Councillor at the US Mission to New York Trina Saha, and a team from the foreign affairs ministry. During its tenure on the Council, Guyana will focus on five key areas in keeping with the theme: “Partnering for Peace and Prosperity.”

Council Senior Advisor, Brian Convoy

On 6 June 2023, Guyana was elected for the third time as non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the period January 2024- December 2025.

Guyana’s priority areas for the Security Council include climate change, food insecurity, conflict, peacebuilding, conflict prevention, women, peace and security, children in armed conflict, and youth, peace and security. Guyana will also preside over the Security Council in February 2024.

The UNSC is composed of 15 countries, five of which – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States – are permanent members.

The 10 non-permanent members are elected by the General Assembly, which comprises all 193 UN member states and is in line with geographical distribution by region.