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In addressing the foreign policy aspect of the 2009 Budget, Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister for the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Aubrey Norton told the National Assembly recently during the debates that the Minister of Finance must again this year be criticized for not addressing the issueHe stressed that it was even more critical in the light of concerns expressed by the President that the recently concluded Economic Partnership Agreement with Europe would undermine the Caribbean Single Market and Economy.“Is it not strange that Guyana is concerned about the erosion of the CSME and the Budget makes only a passing reference to the CSME.”According to Norton, if the leadership of the country was committed to regional integration, the Minister in his Budget presentation should have used the opportunity offered by the food crisis in the Caribbean to outline a strategy to access those markets.Moreover,Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys, he added,Cheap Air Max 720, the budget presentation was an opportunity to promote Guyana’s products in the Caribbean market and work towards novel approaches to investment in Guyana with the private sector and governments of the Caribbean and to help Guyanese exporters to develop strategic partnerships with other Caribbean businesses.According to Norton, what was even worse in the budget presentation was that the President has publicly declared his reservation about the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM) negotiating on Guyana’s behalf and having said that, neither the President nor the Minister of Foreign Affairs has found it useful to state what mechanism will be used to negotiate on Guyana’s behalf.“This is worrying since Guyana is short on negotiating skills and other resources…More so with the Caribbean being a strategic ally in the promotion and protection of Guyana’s territorial integrity and part of a solid bloc to confront the challenges that Guyana has to surmount,Camiseta Atletico De Madrid Barata, this government needs to be careful not to destroy the excellent relation with the Caribbean that it inherited….The promotion and protection of our interests devolve on us the responsibility to be shrewd practitioners of the art of diplomacy and to honour and respect the confidentiality of meetings of Heads, and to utilize the well tested and proven diplomatic approaches to address the problems that emerge in the Caribbean regional integration process.”According to Norton, what was needed was an efficient approach to the country’s diplomacy in a way that engenders trust and mutual respect.“History has shown that quiet diplomacy is an important tool of small states and that solidarity among small states is critical in promoting and protecting our interests…Let us not abandon these tried and tested principles without well thought out new ones to replace them.”He said that the government needs to recognize the importance of foreign policy and to act with dispatch in dealing with foreign policy issues.“Is it not sad that we boast of assistance from China but for the last fifteen or more years we have not appointed an Ambassador to China? We must recognise the critical role of China and other BRIC countries (fast developing countries namely Brazil,NFL Jerseys China, Russia, India and China) and craft a diplomatic strategy to promote and protect the country’s interest as it relates to these emerging forces in the world’s political economy.“Is it not recklessness for us to have border issues with Suriname but leave the Embassy there without an ambassador…The Suriname Mission needs to be a well-organised and well-equipped Mission with the required resources to pursue Guyana’s interests.”Norton also opined that it was contradictory for Guyana to be talking about good global governance and to not appoint a Permanent Representative to the UN.“Is this government aware that our Permanent Mission to the UN is one of our most important Missions because all governments are represented there, virtually all the international issues are discussed there and it is probably the cheapest way for Guyana to be in contact with all countries?”Norton added that Guyana’s foreign service was now at the crossroads,Brandon Ingram Jersey, in that there is “not one career diplomat serving in a substantive position as head of a diplomatic mission,Aaron Lynch Jersey, young diplomats are not being adequately exposed to diplomatic practice and afforded the opportunity to attend conferences and develop their multilateral diplomatic skills….We are therefore not replenishing the Foreign Service with well trained professional diplomats.” Norton thus urged the Minister (of Foreign Affairs) to “take the required action to place the Ministry on a path that would allow the Ministry to regain the respect that has been historically associated with it.”He emphasized that the Foreign Affairs Ministry must recruit the best and brightest citizens and prepare them for the task ahead by exposing them to the real world of diplomacy.He added that the likes of Director General of the Foreign Affairs Ministry Elisabeth Harper must be congratulated for sterling contributions to the Foreign Service and Guyana.
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