The Paris agreement: throwing in the towel is not an option

After the First World War, armed with a ‘progressive’ fourteen-point plan that called for, among other things, the formation of a ‘general association of nations’, United States President Woodrow Wilson landed in Europe and was able to convince the relevant world that such a body (the forerunner of the United Nations) would be a useful international tool.

The Paris climate change agreement

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) which concluded last Saturday 12th December in Paris succeeded in delivering a universal framework agreement that concretises the direction of the climate change discourse and more importantly affirms the scope of the problem and the directions in which solutions should be sought.

Power relations at the Climate Summit

Notwithstanding the fact that most states are said to be independent and sovereign and the governments of small and weak countries are usually not bashful in laying claims to this status, global political economy suggests a different story.

Paris Climate Summit requires raised ambitions

On 30th October 2015, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) published its Global Response to Climate Change Keeps Door Open to 2 Degree C Temperature Limit, which synthesized the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) from some 146 countries, including all the developed and three quarters of the developing countries, including Guyana.

Managing the global commons

A few weeks ago, this column drew attention to the upcoming Paris Climate Summit (COP 21), which will be held under the aegis of the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) between November 30 and December 11 (UNFCC Paris 2015: the meaning of success.

UNFCC Paris 2015: the meaning of success

A few weeks ago, in accordance with its commitment made under the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC), Guyana published its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), stating how it was prepared to help to prevent the climate change disaster that is likely to engulf humankind unless we immediately take more radical action to protect the earth’s resources and utilise them more carefully (Gov’t identifies three priority sites for hydro -ignores Amaila.

Should Guyana join the Rio Pact?

What President Granger recently referred to as the “extraordinary and abnormal” presence of Venezuelan troops on Guyana’s border and the Venezuelan government’s flagrant incursions into Guyana’s territory with maritime presence in the Cuyuni river, when added to Venezuela’s decades’ long harassment, which has stymied Guyana and particularly the Essequibo region’s development, are clear indicators of the level of intimidation our larger neighbour is prepared to reach in pursuit of its spurious territorial claim.

What did PM Nagamootoo mean?

If the leaders of the opposition, Mr Bharrat Jagdeo, and his close associates have stolen even half the amount of public funds they are alleged to have, they would have had the good sense to employ some of the best minds in the world to hide it.

The Guyana/Venezuela Border Controversy – Who’s Who

On 3rd December 2014, as Guyana and Venezuela were still wrangling over Venezuela’s audacious entry into Guyana’s territorial waters, the towing away of the seismic survey ship the RV Teknik Perdana and the arresting and charging of some of its crew, thousands of miles away, the portrait of Friedrich Fromhold de Martens (1845-1909), whose alleged activities stand at the heart of the modern border controversy between Guyana and Venezuela, appeared on a stamp of the Russian Republic in recognition of his contributions in the field of international law.

Contextualising the education sector

A 2010 McKinsey follow-up study, ‘How the world’s most improved school systems keep getting better’ made the obvious but yet noteworthy point that improvements in the education system are possible from any level of development.

Best school systems in the world

A path breaking study by McKinsey & Company for the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) repeated what has now become received wisdom: ‘The capacity of countries … to compete in the global knowledge economy increasingly depends on whether they can meet a fast-growing demand for high-level skills.

The minister should eschew short term fixes

As the Minister of Public Health Dr. George Norton completes his fact-finding walkabout, sooner or later he will have to put to us some holistic organisational solutions to the problems in the health sector as he envisages them.

Political majoritarianism must be broken

While facilitating a necessary changing of the political guards, in terms of creating the level of national cooperation that is required if Guyana is really to take off, the recent elections have not provided the minimum of what was expected.

New government should avoid the wrong fork in the road

Political relations in countries such as Guyana never cease to surprise. What at first appeared to me only a political ruse by the PPP/C to save face has been transformed into a significant problem which, if a political solution is not quickly found, is likely to undermine the entire programme of the new government as we go forward.

The PPP’s narrative needs major revision

Important elements of the wider strategy that finally brought down the PPP were: internal subversion to discredit the regime; various forms of economic pressure which, contrary to PPP propaganda, at best led to economic stagnation; more electoral manipulation, this time in the form of the imposition of proportional representation which favoured the opposition forces and the resuscitation of the long concluded Guyana/Venezuela border dispute as a backstop in the event that the PPP was still able to prevail.

The forgotten alliance

If the APNU/AFC coalition can seek succour in the failed Jagan/Burnham attempt to form a national movement, it would well be reminded that it also has much in common with the 1950s alliance between Forbes Burnham and Dr.

It is time to fix the road

Even those of us who are not particularly religious have been socialised into putting great store upon the notion of individual responsibility, based essentially upon a belief in “good” and “evil”.

Stealing is not the worst crime in politics

It appears to me that the political parties that were involved in the APNU/AFC coalition formation proceeded as if the PPP is so broken and discarded that its responses would not matter or would be worth very little.

A time-bound coalition programme is essential

Last week I argued that to be successful, the opposition coalition must be bolstered by a creative strategy in which the first order of business must be the establishment of a comprehensive and properly focused programmatic platform.

The coalition must be bolstered by a creative strategy

Readers of this column will know that it has continuously advocated coalition between the opposition forces as a possible and necessary condition for the removal of the PPP from government, and the institutionalisation of a more adequate national governance arrangement.

The PPP will not be a pushover

After the opposition won the majority of seats in the National Assembly in the 2011 general elections, I was left bemused by the notion that had it taken the advice of those of my ilk and formed a pre-election arrangement with a single list, the PPP/C would have lost government.

Double jeopardy?

Double jeopardy? Most of us adhere to some basic moral principles that we take for granted and which, if we are observed violating, can result in all manner of moral, legal, conceptual and practical difficulties and confusion.

Rohee cannot weasel out of his responsibility

When a seasoned and combative politician such as Minister Clement Rohee, who is always on the lookout for public kudos, took off at the speed he did in denying any involvement of himself and his ministry in the promotion of two of their employees, it is a sure sign that he suspects that all may not be well with the promotions and that he sees no advantage in being associated with the process.