Guyana and the European Union (EU) met on Monday for wide-ranging political dialogue which included the death penalty, LGBTI persons and domestic abuse.
Georgetown has long been pressed by European countries to abolish the death penalty and concerns have been raised in the past about the rights of LGBTI persons here and the high rate of domestic violence.
A joint release from the two sides said that the Sixth Round of the European Union-Guyana Political Dialogue in the framework of Article 8 of the ACP-EU Cotonou Agreement was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The previous round of the Political Dialogue occurred in October, 2017.
The Guyanese delegation was headed by Foreign Minister Carl Greenidge and included Audrey Jardine-Waddell, Director General; Troy Torrington, Director, Multilateral & Global Affairs Department and other Heads of Departments within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as representatives of key Government Ministries.
The EU side was headed by the Ambassador of the European Union to Guyana Jernej Videtič and Ambassadors of the UK, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden.
The release said that the objectives of the Dialogue are to exchange information to foster mutual understanding and to enable the establishment of agreed priorities and shared agendas, “in particular by recognising the existing links between the different aspects of the relations between the parties and the various areas of cooperation as laid down in the Cotonou Agreement”.
The release added that two sides held constructive, wide-ranging and frank discussions on issues such as political developments and economic affairs; EU-Guyana and regional development cooperation; consular matters, governance and human rights issues including the death penalty, children’s rights, women’s rights, LGBTI issues, domestic abuse, prison conditions; trafficking in persons; security, climate change, and regional integration.
“The two sides expressed their continued commitment to an international order based on multilateralism and undertook to continue cooperation in this regard and welcomed the forthcoming initialling of the Voluntary Partnership on FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) which will represent a milestone in cooperation on sustainable management of the forests.
They also discussed the possible accession of Guyana to the International Energy Charter”, the release added.