Small states have key role in fight against terrorism – Granger

President David Granger yesterday said that globall partnerships to fight terrorism cannot exclude small states, since conflict affecting a small state can endanger the peace of all countries.

The Head of State, who was at the time speaking on the side lines of the Arab-Islamic-American Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, said that the majority of the states of the world can be described as small states and, as such, the world cannot be made safe without addressing the threats faced by those countries.  “The international community, therefore, must be encouraged to work towards the establishment of a global security system, which would provide protection for small and large states,” the President said, according to a release from the Ministry of the Presidency.

Granger added that small states like Guyana, lacking the means to combat transnational threats, such as terrorism, must be able to rely on the protection afforded via international cooperation.

Small states, he said, lack the capability to effectively fight transnational security threats on their own and also face environmental dangers, such as the adverse effects of climate change and natural disasters, which can have implications for their security.

President David Granger (left), Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge (centre) and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Suriname, Yildiz D. Pollack-Beighle in conversation at the Arab-Islamic-American Summit, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (Ministry of the Presidency photo)  

According to the President, small states, with adequate international support and cooperation, can avoid becoming affected by the ideologies of extremism.  “Terrorist organisations can be extremely resilient. They are becoming diffused and when facing rout in one jurisdiction are shifting their operations to others, including small states.  Small states have been known to be recruiting centres for terrorists,” he said. As the current Chairman of CARICOM,  Granger said the regional body is a willing ally in the ‘just’ war against terrorism and extremism.  He added that Guyana welcomes the partnerships being formed to combat the global scourge.

Granger said that the Arab-Islamic-American Summit is a bold initiative that seeks new approaches to building effective security partnerships.

“Terrorism is an international menace. No state is safe from its reach. It endangers human safety, undermines national security and imperils the future of all peoples. The Arab-Islamic-American Summit is a unique interstate response. It could lay the groundwork for a comprehensive global partnership aimed at making our world a safe, stable and peaceful place,” he said.

To combat extremism, Saudi Arabia, today, inaugurated a Global Centre for Combating Extremist Ideology (GCEI), which will promote moderation, compassion and support the dissemination of positive dialogue. Participating in that ceremony yesterday, President Granger said it is a concrete expression of the approach, which defined the discussions at the Summit.

The Centre, he noted, offers a counter narrative to the ideologies of extremism.

“The Cooperative Republic of Guyana welcomes the inauguration of the Global Centre for Combatting Ideological Extremism.  Ideologies of extremism require both security and non-security responses. Extremism flourishes where international conflicts persist; is fomented where historic injustices are left untreated; is fostered where people are rendered stateless or are hindered in their right to self-determination and to a homeland; and festers where attempts are made to settle disputes through threats or the use of force,” the President said.

The Summit was also attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Suriname, Yldiz D. Pollack-Beighle, who travelled to Saudi Arabia with the Guyanese delegation.

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