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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06GEORGETOWN151
2006-02-13 20:39:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Georgetown
Cable title:  

GUYANA ASSUMES CHAIR OF RIO GROUP

Tags:   PREL  ECON  EU  HA  XM  XL  GY  UN 
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						UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 000151 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL ECON EU HA XM XL GY UN
SUBJECT: GUYANA ASSUMES CHAIR OF RIO GROUP

REF: GEORGETOWN 30

UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 000151

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL ECON EU HA XM XL GY UN
SUBJECT: GUYANA ASSUMES CHAIR OF RIO GROUP

REF: GEORGETOWN 30


1. (U) SUMMARY. Guyana has assumed chairmanship of the Rio
Group from Argentina. At the handing over ceremony FonMin
Insanally emphasized that the group will focus on democracy
and human rights, poverty alleviation, and multilateralism
under Guyana's stewardship. Guyana has a proud history of
leadership in international fora, but this role will tax its
diplomatic resources in 2006. END SUMMARY.


2. (U) Guyana assumed chairmanship of the Rio Group at a
January 20 ceremony in Georgetown. Guyana has represented
CARICOM in the group since 1998. Argentine Vice-Minister of
Foreign Affairs Moritan and Dominican Foreign Minister
Troncoso also attended the ceremony. FonMin Insanally
highlighted key issues on the Rio Group's 2006 agenda in his
remarks at the handing over ceremony.

- Democracy and human rights. The group will focus on
consolidating democracy, with Haiti singled out for
particular attention. Insanally said the group must remain
vigilant against the continued proliferation of threats to
hemishperic peace and stability.

- Poverty. The group will work to alleviate poverty by
promoting economic and social development through areas such
as free and fair trade, development financing, and protection
of the environment.

- Multilateral relations. The group will work to strengthen
multilateralism as the basis of international relations. On
the topic of UN reform, Insanally said "it is imperative that
we collaborate fully to ensure that there in no prejudice to
our shared interests and that fundamental provisions of the
charter are respected."


3. (U) As chair, Guyana will host the Rio Group's twentieth
heads of state and government summit later in 2006. Guyana
will also be heavily involved in preparations for the May EU-
LAC summit Vienna between the European Union and Latin
America and the Caribbean. Key ambassadors in Guyana's
diplomatic initiative as group chair are Cheryl Miles in
Brasilia, Dr. Odeen Ishmael in Caracas, Bayney Karran at the
OAS, and Dr. P. I. Gomes at the EU.


4. (SBU) Comment. The Stabroek News published a February 9
editorial that likened Guyana's status vis-a-vis the Rio
Group chairmanship to a hangover -- "one that lingers
accompanied by the very sobering and worrying thought of
'Good Lord! What have I done?'". Chairing the group is
certainly a feather in the GoG's cap during election year,
but it is a tall order for the understaffed Ministry of
Foreign Affairs (MFA). In conversations with PolOff, MFA
officials have confirmed this impression, revealing that
summit preparations are consuming much of their time. Given
FonMin Insanally's other obligations as Guyana's PermRep to
the UN and the MFA's thin ranks, this will be a challenging
but potentially rewarding year for Guyana's international
relations. End Comment.

BULLEN