Bharrat Jagdeo

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Bharrat Jagdeo
Jagdeo03032007.jpg
7th President of Guyana
In office
11 August 1999 – 3 December 2011
Prime Minister Sam Hinds
Preceded by Janet Jagan
Succeeded by Donald Ramotar
Prime Minister of Guyana
In office
9 August 1999 – 11 August 1999
President Janet Jagan
Preceded by Sam Hinds
Succeeded by Sam Hinds
President pro tempore of the Union of South American Nations
In office
26 November 2010 – 29 October 2011
Preceded by Rafael Correa
Succeeded by Fernando Lugo
Personal details
Born (1964-01-23) 23 January 1964 (age 50)
Unity Village, British Guiana
(now Guyana)
Political party People's Progressive Party
Spouse(s) Varshni Jagdeo (Divorced)
Alma mater Patrice Lumumba Peoples' Friendship University of Russia

Bharrat Jagdeo (born 23 January 1964) is a Guyanese politician who was President of Guyana from 11 August 1999, to 3 December 2011. He holds a number of global leadership positions in the areas of sustainable development, green growth and climate change.

Prior to his presidency, he was Minister of Finance[1] and became President after Janet Jagan resigned for health reasons. Subsequently he won two elections, in 2001 and 2006. He was the first President of Guyana to relinquish office in accordance with term limits he signed into the Guyanese Constitution.

Jagdeo was born in Unity Village on the East Coast of Demerara.

Education and early career[edit]

Jagdeo joined the youth wing of the People's Progressive Party (PPP), the Progressive Youth Organisation, when he was 13, and became a member of the PPP itself at age 16. He subsequently rose to local leadership positions in the party.[1]

After obtaining a Master's degree in Economics, from Patrice Lumumba Peoples' Friendship University in Moscow in 1990, Jagdeo returned to Guyana and worked as an economist in the State Planning Secretariat until the PPP-Civic election victory in the October 1992 election. After this he became Special Advisor to the Minister of Finance.

Jagdeo was appointed as Junior Minister of Finance in October 1993, and a few weeks later, at the PPP's 24th Congress, he was elected to the party's Central Committee. He later became a member of the Executive Committee of the PPP. In the Cabinet, he was promoted to Senior Minister of Finance in May 1995.[1]

Prime Minister and President[edit]

On 8 August 1999, Janet Jagan announced that she was resigning as President for health reasons, and that Jagdeo would be her successor.[2] Because the Prime Minister is the President's legal successor, Jagdeo took office as Prime Minister on 9 August, so that he would be positioned to succeed Jagan.[3] He was then sworn in as President on 11 August.[4] – at age 35, he was one of the youngest Heads of State in the world.

Jagdeo was re-elected for another five-year term on 28 August 2006, with the PPP garnering 54.6 percent of the votes. It expanded its majority, by two, to 36 seats in the 65-member parliament. He was sworn in for another term on 2 September.[5]

At the PPP's 29th Congress, Jagdeo received the highest number of votes (777) in the election to the party's Central Committee,[6][7] held on 2 August 2008.[6] He was then elected to the PPP Executive Committee[6][8] on 12 August 2008.[8]

In late 2011, his term of office officially came to an end as a result of the term limit amendment to the Constitution, piloted by his government, and signed into law by himself, which created a two-term limit for anyone elected President after the year 2000.[9][10] He was succeeded by the PPP/C Presidential Candidate, Donald Ramotar, who was elected President after the November 28, 2011 General Elections. Under the Constitution, President Jagdeo's term officially ended on December 3, 2011 after President-Elect Ramotar took the Presidential Oath of Office.[11]

Initiatives[edit]

During Jagdeo's tenure as President, major economic and social reforms were undertaken in Guyana. When he relinquished office, Guyana was concluding its fifth consecutive year of strong economic growth, often out-pacing all other countries in South America.[citation needed] External debt had been almost halved, and external reserves were almost three times their 2006 level.[citation needed] Unprecedented investment in social services took place during the Jagdeo Presidency, enabling significantly improved access to education, rehabilitation of the health system, far-reaching land reform, the biggest expansion of the housing sector in Guyana's history, expansion of the water and sanitation systems, and large-scale development of the road, river and air transport networks.[citation needed] New public procurement and competition laws were passed, and reforms to the tax, fiscal and investment regimes were implemented.

In 2003, in his role as Lead Head of Government for Agriculture in the Caribbean Community, Jagdeo spearheaded a process (known as the "Jagdeo Initiative") to create a more competitive and sustainable agricultural sector in the region by 2015.[12]

In his final term as President, President Jagdeo became a global advocate for international action to avert the worst extremes of climate change, and was described by the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra K. Pachauri, as "one of perhaps half a dozen Heads of Government who truly understands the issue". In line with the President's global advocacy, Guyana's Low Carbon Development Strategy sets out a national scale, replicable model to protect Guyana's 18 million hectare forest, to address the 17% of global greenhouse gas emissions that result from deforestation and forest degradation, and re-orient the Guyanese economy onto a long-term "low deforestation, low carbon, climate resilient trajectory".

As part of building this global model, Norway is partnering with Guyana to provide up to US$250 million, by 2015, for avoided greenhouse gas emissions from Guyana's forest. Guyana is using these payments and domestic resources to attract private investment to opportunities in clean energy and new low carbon economic sectors, as well as to make significant public investments in other social and economic priorities. This has been described by the Climate & Development Knowledge Network, the UK-based climate policy network, as "maybe the most progressive low carbon development strategy in a low income country."[13]

Jagdeo was a signatory to The UNASUR Constitutive Treaty of the Union of South American Nations in May, 2008. Guyana has ratified the treaty.[14] In November, 2009, Jagdeo hosted the Heads of Government of South America in Georgetown, as he took over the one year Pro Tempore Presidency of UNASUR.

On November 26, 2011, Jagdeo made a far-reaching farewell address ahead of the nation's elections on November 28, 2011. He spoke of accomplishments, such as the economy and defense issues, and emphasised his optimism in the future of Guyana[15]

Honours[edit]

Jagdeo has been conferred with honorary doctorates of the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia,[1] TERI University, the University of Central Lancashire and Trent University.

Jagdeo was awarded the Pushkin Medal by the Government of Russia, and the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award by the Government of India.[16][17]

In April 2013, Jagdeo was conferred with the highest honour of the State of Roraima, Brazil, the Order of Merit 'Forte Sao Joaquim'.[18]

International profile and post-presidency career[edit]

President Jagdeo was elected as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in September, 2005.[19] He occupied this position until September 2006.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) identified Jagdeo as one of their inaugural Young Global Leaders in 2006.[citation needed]

Time Magazine named Jagdeo as one of their "Heroes of the Environment" in 2008, and he was awarded the United Nations "Champion of the Earth" award in 2010.[citation needed]

In early 2010, the Secretary General of the United Nations asked Jagdeo to serve on the Secretary General's High Level Advisory Group on Climate Financing.[20][21]

Jagdeo is a Patron of the Delhi-based World Sustainable Development Forum.[22]

In 2011, Heads of State and other leaders from the world's rainforest countries asked him to be "Roving Ambassador for the Three Basins" (Amazon, Congo Basin, South East Asia).[23]

In March 2012, the world's largest and oldest environmental organisation, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), announced that President Jagdeo would become the IUCN High Level Envoy for Sustainable Development in Forest Countries and an IUCN Patron of Nature.[24]

Jagdeo is also the President of the Assembly of the Korea-based Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI),[25] having been a Founding Board Member of GGGI since 2010. GGGI is the world's newest international organization, and has 20 Member States.

In June 2013, Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma announced that former President Jagdeo would lead a high-level team of experts to identify solutions for unlocking resources to enable small, poor and climate-vulnerable Commonwealth countries to combat climate change. The former President was joined by eight others to create a set of recommendations for the international community to help identify practical solutions for those countries most vulnerable to climate change. Jagdeo presented the report to the 53 Heads of Government and other leaders of the Commonwealth, representing about a fifth of the world's population at the 2014 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo, Sri Lanka.[26]

Jagdeo travelled from the 2015 CHOGM to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change summit in Warsaw where he spoke of the outcomes of CHOGM and the need for continued leadership from Prime Ministers and Presidents. In a major speech in Warsaw, he stated: "In the next 24 months much progress needs to be made if we are going to have a climate agreement. We can still stop the absolute worst extremes of climate change, and start the massive shift towards global low carbon development... The world tried to do this in 2009 at Copenhagen, and failed. As a consequence, more people will die, more livelihoods will be destroyed, more economies will suffer and the cost of action has gone up steadily...If we fail again in 2015, the damage and the costs will become truly unmanageable....Future generations will ask: how could we be so selfish not once, but twice?"

In March 2013, the ACP Council of Ministers inaugurated a 14-member Eminent Persons Group (EPG) whose mission will be to provide guidance and concrete recommendations for the future of the ACP Group. The 14 members of the group who met in Brussels designated the former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, as their Chairperson, with Jagdeo designated as one of two Vice Chairs.[27]

Jagdeo has been a guest lecturer at Columbia University (New York City, USA), York University (Toronto, Canada), Trent University (Peterborough, Canada), the University of Toronto, United Nations University (Tokyo, Japan), and the University of the West Indies. He has also taken part in Trent University's Carbon Conversation,[28] focusing on the need to de-carbonize the global economy.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Meet the New Cabinet Members", GINA.
  2. ^ "Guyanese president resigns for health reasons", Associated Press (nl.NewsBank.com), 9 August 1999.
  3. ^ "Jagan's heir sworn in as prime minister in Guyana", Associated Press (nl.newsbank.com), 9 August 1999.
  4. ^ "Guyana's new president urges racial tolerance", Associated Press (nl.newsbank.com), 12 August 1999.
  5. ^ "English People". English People. 2006-09-03. Retrieved 2012-10-23. 
  6. ^ a b c Press release on Central Committee election, 3 August 2008.
  7. ^ "Donald Ramotar re-elected General Secretary of PPP", Guyana Times, 13 August 2008.
  8. ^ a b "PPP GENERAL SECRETARY, EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ELECTED", PPP press statement, 12 August 2008.
  9. ^ Washington Post, November 28, 2011[dead link]
  10. ^ Jagdeo hails smooth voting process - Stabroek News
  11. ^ Wilkinson, Burt (4 December 2011). "Donald Ramotar Sworn in as Guyana's President". Guardian (Trinidad and Tobago). Archived from the original on 2 September 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  12. ^ http://www.euacpcommodities.eu/files/04_Target_2015.pdf
  13. ^ "Policy Brief". Climate & Development Knowledge Network. November 2010. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  14. ^ http://www.unasursg.org/inicio/organizacion/estados-miembros
  15. ^ "President Bharrat Jagdeo's Address 45th Independence Anniversary Doc free ebook download". EbookBrowseee.com. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  16. ^ Aashish Gala - aashishgala@hotmail.com. "Welcome to Southern Cone Investments Homepage". Southernconeinvestments.com. Retrieved 2012-10-23. 
  17. ^ "Guyana's President Bharrat Jagdeo on five-day working visit to Jamaica | Caribbean news, Entertainment, Fashion, Politics, Business, Sports…". Thewestindiannews.com. 2009-07-31. Retrieved 2012-10-23. 
  18. ^ "Jagdeo conferred with Order of Merit from Brazil". Guyana Times. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  19. ^ http://www.imf.org/external/am/2006/speeches/pr01e.pdf
  20. ^ "Champions of the Earth - United Nations Environment Programme". Unep.org. Retrieved 2012-10-23. 
  21. ^ iPad iPhone Android TIME TV Populist The Page. "Heroes of the Environment 2008". TIME. Retrieved 2012-10-23. 
  22. ^ "World Sustainable Development Forum". Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  23. ^ "The Three Basins Initiative - Roving Ambassador Jagdeo". Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  24. ^ https://portals.iucn.org/2012forum/?q=node/2086
  25. ^ jagdeo-elected-president-of-global-green-growth-institute
  26. ^ http://thecommonwealth.org/news/34580/255699/200613cegclimatefinance.htm
  27. ^ "ACP Council of Ministers, Brussels March 25-26, 2013 - ACP". Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  28. ^ "Trent University :: Trent Centre for Biomaterials Research". Retrieved 2 December 2014. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Sam Hinds
Prime Minister of Guyana
1999
Succeeded by
Sam Hinds
Preceded by
Janet Jagan
President of Guyana
1999–2011
Succeeded by
Donald Ramotar
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Rafael Correa
President pro tempore of the Union of South American Nations
2010–2011
Succeeded by
Fernando Lugo