President Bharrat Jagdeo met with several world leaders during his recently concluded trip to the US for the 64th United Nations (UN) General Assembly where he promoted Guyana’s stance on climate change.
The President returned to Guyana on Monday and told reporters at an impromptu press conference at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport that Guyana received a disproportionate amount of coverage and access given its size for “its progressive and leading stance on climate change,” a news release from the Government Information Agency (GINA) said.
Jagdeo stated that he participated in several events and was able to meet several business leaders, fellow Heads of State and academics. “I met with corporate America, with the head of Wal-Mart, Johnson and Johnson; Harrison Ford and some others to draw attention to the need, not just to address climate change, but the role that forests can play as part of a solution, and to say that the business community has an important role to play,” he was quoted as saying. According to GINA, he was referring to a media event that was held on September 21 in Greeley Square, New York to launch Team Earth, a cross-sector collaboration bringing together businesses, politicians, scientists, non-profit organizations, educators, individuals and children.
The President also said that he had meetings with the Prime Ministers of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg; Australia, Kevin Rudd and Great Britain Gordon Brown. The President also met UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon and the United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. “I had unprecedented access to a small group of leaders at the UN Secretary General’s dinner, discussing how we will break the deadlock – the President of the United States, the President of China, all the European leaders and the Prime Minister of Australia. There were just two small and developing countries (they had larger ones like Brazil and South Africa), Guyana and Kiribati, that were invited to that small group of about 30 leaders,” GINA quoted Jagdeo as stating.
The President also gave a lecture at Columbia University to try to get the support of the academic community for Guyana’s stance on combating climate change. Meantime, the World Leaders Forum programme, organized by the university’s Earth Institute and the Institute of Latin American Studies, featured a brief keynote address by Jagdeo on September 25, followed by a lengthy question and answer session with the audience.
The President joined a prestigious list of world leaders, which have included former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, to have addressed the special forum, where scores of persons, including many Guyanese, turned up to be part of a highly interactive session, GINA stated.