Repair division, ensure societal equality – outgoing US DCM

first_imgSaving served in Guyana for the past three years, Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States Embassy BryanOutgoing DCM Bryan HuntHunt urges the eradication of division within society and wants to see genuine equality of opportunity for all Guyanese.These were the sentiments expressed by the US Diplomat at a farewell reception held in his honour on Friday evening at the US Ambassador’s residence. His tour here comes to an end on July 8.Delivering what may be his last public address here, Hunt implored the gathering, filled with government ministers and other state officials, politicians, members of the diplomatic corps, the private sector and many other dignitaries, to make the right decisions that will see Guyana undergoing the impending transformation in a positive light.According to the outgoing DCM, there is no doubt that Guyana is a divided society whether it’s classified as racial, ethnic, or political. He pointed out that regardless of who sits in central government, there will always be half of the population that feels excluded.“This has to change. And bringing about that change requires going beyond conferences and workshops on social cohesion. Significant constitutional reform is essential. Power must be decentralised. The winner-takes-all system must be abolished. Communities must be given greater political control at the local level,” he remarked.Moreover, he underscored the importance of bringing an end to this social exclusion, noting that besides it being the right thing to do, it guarantees that Guyana has the full availability of all productive members of society.“Indigenous communities must receive the support that they need to see genuine socio-economic development and this has to go well beyond hand-outs of goodies during election years. Violence against women and children must not only be criminally prosecuted but must become socially and politically unacceptable,” he stressed.Hunt went on to outline that “anti-discrimination legislation must be expanded to protect the human rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and societal attitudes must change to embrace all people as equal, regardless of who they love or how they express their gender.”This was among several issues he raised, noting that he has all confidence that the Guyanese leaders have the skills to address them.The outgoing diplomat also took the opportunity to express gratitude and appreciation to his colleagues, new friends and associates here.On the other hand, Hunt was sent off with best wishes from US Ambassador Perry Holloway who remarked that they he could not have gone through the past nine months without the assistance and guidance the DCM.“I’ve never met anyone in Guyana who is not impressed with Bryan’s intellect or integrity. He is a great man who not only did things right but more importantly, he did the right things. On a personal level, I don’t know what I’ll do when I have to fly solo without Bryan… he is truly an expert on all things Guyana,” the Ambassador stated.Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo in reflecting on the stint of the DCM here, commented that the US official has seen Guyana through some difficult but rollicking political times.last_img read more