Friday, August 8, 2008

Gov’t to shun US security confab

Gov’t to shun US security confab
Posted By Staff On August 8, 2008 @ 5:10 am In News | 15 Comments

- Stabroek News - -

The Guyana government will not be taking part in the US Embassy-sponsored Guyana Civil-Military Relations Conference because it does not reflect suitable input from the government, Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon said.

Asked at his post-Cabinet press briefing yesterday to confirm if indeed the Guyana government was not taking part in the four-day conference scheduled for the Grand Coastal Inn, Le Ressouvenir from August 11, 2008, Dr Luncheon said that the government, its departments, agencies, employees and functionaries would not be participating.

He said that the government was “not of the opinion that the actual programme itself reflects a suitable input from the government of Guyana. We questioned the absence of our integral involvement and we would not be participating.”

The four-day conference is the second such event being held under the auspices of the United States Embassy in Guyana, and US Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM).

A US Embassy release said the objective of the conference is to expand the understanding of defence strategy and the role of non-traditional actors in security policy. Topics for discussion include the rule of law and its relationship to security implementation mechanisms, strategic resource prioritization and management, public diplomacy, and other leadership concepts necessary for establishing security in a democratic society.

Invitees will include regional and national security sectors, members of Parliament, active duty and retired members of the Guyana Defence Force, representatives of the British and Canadian High Commissions, regional military leaders, members of academia, media executives, and other relevant public and private sector representatives who have an important stake in security issues.

The Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies (CHDS) at National Defense University (NDU) in Washington, D.C. will facilitate the overall agenda for the conference with assistance from the US Military Liaison Office and the Guyana-based Institute of Security and International Studies (ISIS).

The release said the conference was being held following the success of the first one in December 2007.

The conference, described as non-partisan and apolitical, is intended to facilitate an emerging national and regional public-private partnering process with the goal of defining and addressing relevant security challenges that the United States, Guyana, and its Caribbean neighbours continue to face, the release said. It noted too that in a world of limited resources, such challenges to public defence and security require a broad dialogue, fresh approaches, and meaningful action.

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