Former president Bharrat Jagdeo has been elected to serve as the first president of the Assembly of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in Seoul, South Korea where ceremonies establishing it as an international organisation took place.
A Government Information Agency (GINA) press release said Guyana is one of the founder members of the GGGI which was established to help shift the global model of development by drawing on working models of green growth and low carbon development.
At a media briefing on the day he was elected, Jagdeo acknowledged this, adding that most countries “don’t yet see enough evidence of how they can transition to new ways of balancing prosperity with combating climate change and other environmental challenges. GGGI’s role is to change this situation through practical help for countries in the developing world as they forge their own pathways to a better, more sustainable development model than was used in the past.”
Similarly, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said, “The GGGI can emerge as a pioneering institute that not only outlines a vision for a better future, but also delivers on the ground to realize this vision.”
In welcoming remarks United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the UN is committed to strengthening cooperation with GGGI. “I am confident that we can advance our shared struggle to foster sustainable growth, create more just and equitable societies, and protect our planet for generations to come.”
According to GINA, South Korea’s Ambassador for Green Growth nominated Jagdeo for president citing his pioneering Low Carbon Development Strategy. Other speakers also stressed the importance of national models for how economic development and combating climate change could be aligned. Jagdeo’s nomination was seconded by the Danish Minister for International Development.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett represented Guyana at the meeting. Jagdeo has been a member of the Board of Directors of the GGGI since 2010. The Board is responsible for steering the organisation from its initial role as a centre of excellence for green growth planning and implementation to the point where it is legally structured to become an international organisation.
President Donald Ramotar represented Guyana at the GGGI’s signing ceremony in June 2012, where he joined six other heads of state and government to initiate the process of changing the GGGI into a global organisation. Today, the Institute boasts 18 members from the developed world including the United Kingdom, Norway, Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines, Denmark, Ethiopia, Paraguay, Qatar, Vietnam, Cambodia and the United Arab Emirates.
Jagdeo’s first duty as president was to oversee the election of the GGGI’s Council. Denmark’s former Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen was elected as Chair of the council.