Influencing the trade debate

A statement by President Bharrat Jagdeo to the effect that the Caribbean are the losers in the recently concluded negotiation of the Economic Partner-ship Agreement (EPA) with Europe has been welcomed by a group of prominent Caribbean personalities, including academics, NGO activists and union leaders.

Political surprises

One of the minor pleasures of this year’s US presidential campaigns has been the frequent stumbling of highly-paid and supposedly knowledgeable pundits.

Barbados and the integration movement

As with elections in other countries of the Region, it is natural that the question should be asked as to whether, with the change of government in Barbados, there will be any change in the attitude of the new Democratic Labour Party administration to the regional integration movement.

What we need to know

Presiding over the security sector’s year-end performance review, Minister of Home Affairs Mr Clement Rohee boasted that it was his understanding that the Guyana Police Force has been doing “much better” than its Caricom counterparts.

The GDF lockout

Thursday’s lockout of the media from the annual officer’s conference of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) was another in a series of ominous signs for the fourth estate epitomized by the government’s assault on press freedom via the withdrawal of state advertisements from this newspaper.

ALBA

On Tuesday we reported that Dominica had joined the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, generally referred to by its Spanish acronym of ALBA.

The continuing culture of violence

Mind-boggling atrocities, many committed against children, are being attested to as the trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor proceeds in The Hague.

Living the dream

Next Monday Americans will celebrate Martin Luther King Day. It is a national holiday for a national hero, the only black man to be so honoured in the United States.

The party faithful

If campaign rhetoric is anything to go by, the next American president – regardless of which party eventually prevails – will be a deeply religious person.

Cheap lives

Is the killing of a fisherman by a posse of pirates or the killing of a businessman by a gang of bandits, so different from the killing of a suspect by a squad of policemen?

Air sickness

As with its state of unreadiness at the onset of the catastrophic flood of 2005, the Civil Defence Commission’s capacity to cope with an aviation calamity in this country is practically non-existent.

Absolute priorities

Friday’s commissioning of an $86.6M mobile drainage pump at Hope, East Coast Demerara must have lifted the spirits of residents in the area.

National priority

Reporting last week on the performance of the education sector in 2007 Minister of Education Shaik Baksh acknowledged that the literacy level is declining across the country.

The Necessity for Power Sharing in Guyana

The so-called Westminster model of democracy has been an unmitigated disaster wherever it has been practiced in ethnically, or racially or religiously mixed societies.

Primary Colours

Four years ago, the election returns from Iowa ended the presidential hopes of Senator John Kerry.

Democracy, growth and social reform in Latin America

Following the “Year of Elections” in 2006 and the rise of the populist left in Latin America, 2007 was a fascinating year for political pundits and all those interested in the region’s stability and growth.

Wrong about rights

What is really going on in Camp Ayanganna nowadays? Is the Guyana Defence Force running some sort of military Gulag?

New Year external uncertainties

Would the Caribbean people be wrong if they indicated a feeling, as the year 2007 has come to an end, that all is not well with our regional foreign policy-making?

Lost opportunities

Public safety initiatives that had been incubating in 2006 during the tenure of Ms Gail Teixeira as minister of Home Affairs slowly metamorphosed into an insufferable incubus by the end of 2007.

The US and Pakistan

The United States government has admitted to brokering Benazir Bhutto’s ill-fated return to Pakistan.

Human rights and the public

On December 10 last year, a year-long celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was launched by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour.

2007

The year 2007 provided little cheer for Guyanese, although it did have two major high points in the form of World Cup Cricket and the decision of the International Convention on the Law of the Sea Tribunal.

The Bali Road Map and its implications for Guyana

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and its Thirteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 13) held in Bali, Indonesia from the 3rd -14th December 2007, agreed on a Road Map which requires Parties to the Convention to take individual and collaborative action during a two-year negotiating process 2008-2009, which seeks to finalise a post – 2012 successor Protocol Kyoto, that is reflective of the need for urgency in addressing the several core issues.

Paradigm shift

The Guyana Defence Force high command last week suggested that there needed to be a “paradigm shift” in its approach to security and a “revolution” in its professional culture.

Decency and the rule of law

There are two pointed dilemmas posed to the Minister of Local Government, Mr Kellawan Lall and the government as a result of the infamous bar incident a month ago.