Foreign relations of Guyana

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Coat of arms of Guyana.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Guyana
Constitution

After independence in 1966, Guyana sought an influential role in international affairs, particularly among Third World and non-aligned nations. It served twice on the UN Security Council (1975–76 and 1982–83). Former Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister, and Attorney General Mohamed Shahabuddeen served a 9-year term on the International Court of Justice (1987–96).

Guyana has diplomatic relations with a wide range of nations, and these managed primarily through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The European Union (EU), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Organization of American States (OAS) have offices in Georgetown.

Guyana strongly supports the concept of regional integration. It played an important role in the founding of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), but its status as the organization's poorest member limits its ability to exert leadership in regional activities. Guyana has sought to keep foreign policy in close alignment with the consensus of CARICOM members, especially in voting in the UN, OAS, and other international organizations. In 1993, Guyana ratified the 1988 Vienna Convention on illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and cooperates with US law enforcement agencies on counter-narcotics efforts.

Two neighbours have longstanding territorial disputes with Guyana. Since the 19th century, Venezuela has claimed all of Guyana west of the Essequibo River – 62% of Guyana's territory. At a meeting in Geneva in 1966, the two countries agreed to receive recommendations from a representative of the UN Secretary General on ways to settle the dispute peacefully. Diplomatic contacts between the two countries and the Secretary General's representative continue. Neighbouring Suriname also claims the territory east of Guyana's New River, a largely uninhabited area of some 15,000 square kilometres (5,800 sq mi) in southeast Guyana. Guyana and Suriname also disputed their offshore maritime boundaries. This dispute flared up in June 2000 in response to an effort by a Canadian company to drill for oil under a Guyanese concession. Guyana regards its legal title to all of its territory as sound. However, the dispute with Suriname was arbitrated by the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea and a ruling in favor of Guyana was announced in September 2007.[1][2][3]

Guyana is also a member of the International Criminal Court with a Bilateral Immunity Agreement of protection for the US-military (as covered under Article 98).

Disputes – international[edit]

All of the area west of the Essequibo River claimed by Venezuela; Suriname claims area east of the New Upper Courantyne.

Illicit drugs[edit]

Transshipment point for narcotics from South America – primarily Venezuela – to Europe and the United States; producer of cannabis.

Relations by country[edit]

Africa[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Botswana 1975
  • Both countries have established diplomatic relations on October 28, 1975.[4]
  • Guyana is covered through the Botswana Mission in New York City.[5]
  • Both countries are full members of Commonwealth of Nations.
 Ethiopia October 13, 1970

Both countries established diplomatic relations on October 13, 1970.[4]

 Lesotho August 25, 1979
  • Both countries have established diplomatic relations on August 25, 1979.[4]
  • Both countries are full members of Commonwealth of Nations.
 Morocco 2012

Both countries established diplomatic relations on December 14, 2012.[6]

 Namibia 1994
  • Both countries have established diplomatic relations on December 13, 1994.[4]
  • Both countries are full members of Commonwealth of Nations.
 Sierra Leone 1974

Both countries established diplomatic relations on October 25, 1974[7].

 South Africa November 4, 1994
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations on November 4, 1994.[8]
  • South Africa is represented in Guyana through its High Commission in Kingston, Jamaica.[8]
 Swaziland 1977
  • Both countries have established diplomatic relations on May 24, 1977.[4]
  • Both countries are full members of Commonwealth of Nations.
 Zambia February 11, 1971
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations on February 11, 1971.[4]
  • Both countries are full members of Commonwealth of Nations.
 Zimbabwe June 19, 1980

Both countries established diplomatic relations on June 19, 1980.[4]

Americas[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Argentina October 6, 1972
 Barbados See Barbados–Guyana relations

The relations between Guyana and Barbados had its genesis to a time when both Guyana (then British Guiana) and Barbados were both British colonies. Shortly after Great Britain secured British Guiana from the Dutch, waves of migrants were encouraged to move and settle in Guyana. Barbados was one such location where large numbers of migrants came from. Through time Barbados and Guyana have both supported each other. With the move towards independence in the region Guyana was seen as the breadbasket of the wider Caribbean which led to yet more waves of Barbadians seeking to move to Guyana for better opportunities.

Relations have been rocky, during the 1990s, immigration became contentious for Guyanese persons to Barbados. Such terms as the "Guyanese bench" in the immigration area of the Barbados Sir Grantley Adams International Airport have tested both states at times. The two nations continue their cooperation through the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and work towards building and maintaining good relations between their nationals. Both nations also attempt to maintain open communications at high levels of both Governments.

More recently the Guyanese Government has extended an offer to Barbadians.[10][11] The Guyanese government has offered to put in place an economically favourable regime towards any Barbadians that wish to relocate to Guyana and contribute towards that nation's goals in agricultural investment.[12] The announcement was made in the final days of the Owen Arthur administration by MP member Mia Motley.

In the early 1990s the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Patrick Manning pitched an initiative for Barbados, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago to enter into some form of political union or political association. This initiative was short lived and didn't proceed following the Democratic Labour Party's defeat during the 1994 elections.

 Brazil See Brazil–Guyana relations

Brazil–Guyana relations have traditionally been close. Brazil has provided military assistance to Guyana in the form of war fare training and logistics. Bilateral relations between the countries have recently increased, as a result of Brazil's new South-South foreign policy aimed to strengthen South American integration.

During a state visit by Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to Georgetown on March 2, 2007, the governments of Guyana and Brazil signed several cooperation agreements and announced plans to boost trade between the two countries.

 Canada

Canada started relations with Guyana in 1964 with the construction of the Commission of Canada in Georgetown. In 1966 it became a Canadian High Commission. There is a Guyanese High Commission in Ottawa and a Guyanese Consulate in Toronto.

Canada and Guyana have strong ties through the Commonwealth of Nations. There is an estimated 200,000 Guyanese living in Canada. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Guyanese police work closely to help with drug, and human smuggling.

 Chile 1971
 Colombia December 18, 1970
 Dominica November 3, 1978

Dominica and Guyana have established diplomatic relations on November 3, 1978.[13] Guyana has a High Commission in Roseau.[14]

 Guatemala 1992
 Mexico March 1, 1973 See Guyana–Mexico relations
  • Guyana is accredited to Mexico from its embassy in Washington, D.C., United States.[15]
  • Mexico has an embassy in Georgetown.[16]
 Panama 1973
 Paraguay 1994
 Peru 1971

Both countries established diplomatic relations on June 10, 1972.[4]

 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines October 27, 1979
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations on October 27, 1979[18].
  • Both countries are members of CARICOM.
 United States See Guyana–United States relations

U.S. policy toward The Co-operative Republic of Guyana seeks to develop robust, sustainable democratic institutions, laws, and political practices; support economic growth and development; and promote stability and security. During the last years of his administration, President Hoyte sought to improve relations with the United States as part of a decision to move his country toward genuine political nonalignment. Relations also were improved by Hoyte's efforts to respect human rights, invite international observers for the 1992 elections, and reform electoral laws. The United States also welcomed the Hoyte government's economic reform and efforts, which stimulated investment and growth. The 1992 democratic elections and Guyana's reaffirmation of sound economic policies and respect for human rights have placed U.S.-Guyanese relations on an excellent footing. Under successive PPP governments, the United States and Guyana continued to improve relations. President Cheddi Jagan was committed to democracy, adopted more free market policies, and pursued sustainable development for Guyana's environment.

  • Guyana has an embassy in Washington, DC and a consulate-general in New York City.
  • United States has an embassy in Georgetown.[19]
 Uruguay 1985
 Venezuela See Guyana–Venezuela relations

Venezuela claimed more than half of the territory of the British colony of Guyana at the time of the Latin American wars of independence, a dispute that was settled by arbitration in 1899. In 1962 Venezuela declared that it would no longer abide by the arbitration decision, which ceded mineral-rich territory in the Orinoco basin to Guyana. The area is called Guayana Esequiba by Venezuela. A border commission was set up in 1966 with representatives from Guyana, Venezuela and Great Britain, but failed to reach agreement. Venezuela vetoed Guyana's bid to become a member of the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1967. In 1969 Venezuela backed an abortive uprising in the disputed area.

Under intense diplomatic pressure, Venezuela agreed in 1970 to a 12-year moratorium on the dispute with the Protocol of Port-of-Spain. In 1981, Venezuela refused to renew the protocol. However, with changes to the governments of both countries relations improved, to the extent that in 1990 Venezuela sponsored Guyana's bid for OAS membership in 1990.[20][21]

Asia[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Cambodia 1973

Both countries established diplomatic relations on September 5, 1973.[4]

 China
  • Bilateral relations are good and progress on the economic side.[22]
 India See Guyana–India relations

Relations between India and Guyana ever since the independence of Guyana in May 1966 have been cordial.[23] The cordiality in the relation remains unaffected with changes in governments either in India or in Guyana. Late Shrimati Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, visited Guyana in 1968, late Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, the then Vice President of India visited Guyana in 1988 and Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, the then Vice President of India came on a state visit to Guyana in 2006.[23]

The cooperation between the two countries in sharing developmental experience is mainly routed through Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation (ITEC) under which forty scholarships are granted every year in various courses. Besides, some experts are also deputed to Guyana from time to time on request in specified areas of activity. Several other scholarships are also available to Guyanese to pursue long-term courses, to get acquainted with India and to learn Hindi language in India.

India has offered credit facilities to Guyana for use in mutually accepted designated fields, agriculture and information technology, being two of these. Indian companies have also expressed interest in bio fuel, energy, minerals and pharmaceuticals. Total trade turn over remains low, though the trend is positive.

Indian Cultural Centre in Georgetown was established in 1972 with the objective of strengthening cultural relations and mutual understanding between India and Guyana and their peoples. The Centre runs regular classes in Yoga and Dance (Kathak). The Centre has a well equipped Auditorium where cultural events are organised on a regular basis. The teachers and students of ICC participate in events by the local community on various occasions round the year. The Centre has a library with books/publications on history, literature, art, culture, mythology and works of eminent scholars and authors.

An important cultural connection between India and Guyana is cricket. With the advent of the Indian Premier League, many Guyanese players were contracted to play in India.[23]

 Indonesia August 27, 1999

Both countries established diplomatic relations on August 27, 1999.[4]

 Israel March 9, 1992

Both countries have established diplomatic relations on March 9, 1992.[4]

 Japan June 1967
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations in June 1967.[24]
  • Japan is represented in Guyana through its embassy in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.[25]
 Maldives April 13, 1994
 Mongolia 1979

Both countries have established diplomatic relations on December 15, 1979.[4]

 North Korea May 18, 1974[26] See Foreign relations of North Korea
 Pakistan

Guyana and Pakistan established diplomatic relations on November 10, 1967. Islamabad pursues expansion of trade relations between the two countries and expressed interest in establishing a Guyana trade mission in Pakistan. Both the countries have over the years expressed desire to pursue opportunities for enhanced cooperation in human resource development, science and technology, information technology, trade and investment. Strengthening of the Guyana/Pakistan relationship can be extended further in many areas including culture and trade as the two prospects. There are common interests which the two countries share as members of the Commonwealth and the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) among others. Guyana and Pakistan share a lot of commonalities, including the passion and love for cricket.

 Palestine

Guyana recognised the independence of the State of Palestine on January 13, 2011.[27] On that very same day, Guyana and Palestine both established formal diplomatic relations.[28]

 Singapore September 19, 2002

Both countries established diplomatic relations on September 19, 2002[29][30].

 South Korea June 13, 1968[31]

The establishment of diplomatic relations between South Korea and Guyana started on June 13, 1968.[31]

 Sri Lanka 1974
 Vietnam April 19, 1975
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations on April 19, 1975.[32]
  • Economic and commercial relations are very limited.[33]

Europe[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Albania May 1, 1985

Both countries established diplomatic relations on May 1, 1985.[4]

 Armenia October 24, 2003

Both countries established diplomatic relations on October 24, 2003.[34]

 Belarus 2000

Both countries established diplomatic relations on February 25, 2000.[4]

 Croatia February 25, 2003
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations on February 25, 2003.[35]
  • Croatia is represented in Guyana through its Permanent Mission in New York City.[36]
 Cyprus May 11, 2011
  • Both countries established diplomatic relation on May 11, 2011.[37]
  • Cyprus is represented in Guyana by its embassy in Brasília, Brazil.[38]
  • Both countries are full members of Commonwealth of Nations.
 Czech Republic January 1, 1993

Both countries established diplomatic relations on January 1, 1993.[4]

 Denmark November 16, 1979
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations on November 16, 1979.[4]
  • Denmark is represented in Guyana, through its embassy in Brasília.[39]
  • Guyana is represented in Denmark, through its embassy in Brussels.
 Estonia April 19, 1997

Both countries established diplomatic relations on April 19, 1997.[4]

 Finland 1979
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations on April 2, 1979.[4]
  • Guyana is represented in Finland by their embassy in Brussels, Belgium.
  • Finland also has an honorary consulate general in Georgetown.
 France 1967
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations on June 22, 1967.[4]
  • France is represented in Guyana through its embassy in Paramaribo, Suriname.[40]
  • France has an honorary consulate in Guyana.[41]
  • Both countries have passed a number of bilateral treaties.[42]
 Germany 1966
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1966.[43]
  • Germany is represented in Guyana through its embassy in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.[44]
 Georgia April 23, 2012
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations on April 23, 2012.[45]
  • Bilateral political consultations between the Foreign Agencies cooperation is ongoing between both countries in political, legal, cultural, trade and economic relations. Cooperation concerning the academic exchanges is successfully implemented.[45]
 Greece May 14, 1979
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations on May 14, 1979.[4]
  • Greece is represented in Guyana by its embassy in Caracas, Venezuela.[46]
  • Greece has provided Guyana with development aid in the past.[46]
 Hungary 1975

Both countries established diplomatic relations on June 10, 1975.[4]

 Iceland 2005

Both countries have established diplomatic relations on March 10, 2005.[4][47]

 Ireland February 2, 2000
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations on February 2, 2000.[4]
  • Ireland has an honorary consulate in Georgetown, Guyana.
  • Guyana is represented in Ireland through its embassy in London, United Kingdom.
  • Both countries are full members of Commonwealth of Nations.
 Italy April 12, 1967

Both countries established diplomatic relations on April 12, 1967.[4]

 Latvia March 16, 2005

Both countries established diplomatic relations on March 16, 2005.[4]

 Lithuania January 25, 2012

Both countries established diplomatic relations on January 25, 2012.[4]

 Macedonia September 22, 2003

Both countries established diplomatic relations on September 22, 2003.[4]

 Malta March 12, 1976
 Montenegro 2011

Both countries established diplomatic relations on September 21, 2011.[4]

 Netherlands 1970

Both countries established diplomatic relations on May 15, 1970.[4]

 Norway 1979

Both countries established diplomatic relations on August 2, 1979.[4]

 Romania June 20, 1973
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations on June 20, 1973.[48]
  • Romania is represented in Guyana by its embassy in Caracas, Venezuela.[49]
 Russia December 17, 1970 See Guyana–Russia relations
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations on December 17, 1970.
  • Guyana is represented in Russia by its High Commission in (London, United Kingdom.
  • Russia is represented in Guyana by its embassy in Georgetown, Guyana.
 Serbia November 5, 1968
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations on November 5, 1968.[50]
  • Serbia is represented in Guyana through its embassy in Washington, D.C..[51]
 Sweden 1975

Both countries established diplomatic relations on June 16, 1975.[4]

 Turkey
  • Turkey is represented in Guyana by its embassy in Caracas, Venezuela.[52]
  • In 2010, Turkey's exports to Guyana totaled 5.5 million USD and its imports from Guyana were 2.5 million USD.[52]
 Ukraine 2001

Both countries established diplomatic relations on November 15, 2001.[4]

 United Kingdom
  • Guyana has a high commission in London.[53]
  • United Kingdom has a high commission in Georgetown.[54]

Oceania[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Australia
 Fiji 2014
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations on December 8, 2014.[4]
  • Both countries are full members of Commonwealth of Nations.
 New Zealand 1971
  • Both countries have established diplomatic relations on September 1, 1971.[4]
  • Both countries are full members of Commonwealth of Nations.
 Solomon Islands November 26, 1996
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations on November 26, 1996.[4]
  • Both countries are full members of Commonwealth of Nations.

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Welcome to guyanachronicle.com". Archived from the original on April 6, 2009. Retrieved July 9, 2007.
  2. ^ Guyana to experience ‘massive' oil exploration this year
  3. ^ Business: News in the Caribbean – Caribbean360.com Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 7, 2016. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ [3]
  8. ^ a b South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation
  9. ^ [4]
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 13, 2008. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 11, 2007. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 4, 2007. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
  13. ^ (PDF) https://web.archive.org/web/20160307101008/http://www.minfor.gov.gy/docs/other/diplomatic_relations_list.pdf. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 7, 2016. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ Guyana's Diplomatic & Consular Representatives
  15. ^ Non-resident ambassador of Guyana presents letter of accreditation to the President of Mexico (in Spanish)
  16. ^ Embassy of Mexico in Georgetown (in English and Spanish)
  17. ^ [5]
  18. ^ [ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 7, 2016. Retrieved 2016-07-16.]
  19. ^ "Embassy of the United States in Georgetown". Archived from the original on October 14, 2014. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  20. ^ "Relations with Venezuela". U.S. Library of Congress. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
  21. ^ "The Trail of Diplomacy". Guyana News and Information. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
  22. ^ China ministry of foreign affairs
  23. ^ a b c Indian High Commission Guyana Archived August 15, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^ Ministry of foreign affairs of Japan
  25. ^ Japanese embassy in Port of Spain
  26. ^ Wertz, Daniel; Oh, JJ; Kim, Insung (August 2016). Issue Brief: DPRK Diplomatic Relations (PDF). The National Committee on North Korea. p. 8. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 28, 2016.
  27. ^ Government of Guyana (January 13, 2011). "Statement by the Government of Guyana in Recognition of the State of Palestine". Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Archived from the original on May 12, 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-14. "The Government of Guyana has today decided to formally recognize the State of Palestine as a free, independent, and sovereign state, based on its 1967 borders."
  28. ^ "Guyana recognizes a Palestinian state". The Washington Post. The Associated Press. January 13, 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-14.[permanent dead link]
  29. ^ [6]
  30. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 7, 2016. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  31. ^ a b http://www.mofa.go.kr/ENG/countries/latinamerica/countries/20070803/1_24572.jsp?menu=m_30_30
  32. ^ Ministry of foreign affairs of Vietnam
  33. ^ Ministry of foreign affairs of Vietnam
  34. ^ Ministry of foreign affairs of Armenia
  35. ^ Ministry of foreign affairs of Croatia
  36. ^ Ministry of foreign affairs of Croatia
  37. ^ Cyprus Foreign ministry
  38. ^ Cyprus Foreign ministry
  39. ^ "Danish Consulate in Guyana". Danish embassy in Brasilia, Brazil. Archived from the original on October 8, 2011. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  40. ^ Embassy of France in Paramaribo
  41. ^ [7]
  42. ^ French ministry of foreign affairs (in French)
  43. ^ German Ministry of foreign affairs
  44. ^ Germany's embassy in Port of Spain
  45. ^ a b Ministry of foreign affairs of Georgia
  46. ^ a b Greek Ministry of foreign affairs
  47. ^ [8]
  48. ^ Ministry of foreign affairs of Romania
  49. ^ [9]
  50. ^ Ministry of foreign affairs of Serbia
  51. ^ Ministry of foreign affairs of Serbia
  52. ^ a b Turkish Ministry of foreign affairs
  53. ^ High Commission of Guyana in London
  54. ^ High Commission of the United Kingdom in Georgetown
  55. ^ Australia's High Commission in Port of Spain
  56. ^ Australia's Department of foreign affairs and trade