Media Center



  June 5, 2007

PANAMA CITY, Panama—Guyana today deposited with the Organization of American States (OAS) its ratification instruments for the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism, a hemispheric treaty the member countries adopted in June 2002. The Caribbean country has thus become the 23rd member state to ratify the convention.

Foreign Minister Rudy Insanally delivered Guyana’s ratification documents to OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza during a ceremony held against the backdrop of the Organization’s 37th General Assembly session. The annual meeting, which concludes today, brings together the region’s Ministers of Foreign Affairs and other Heads of Delegation for deliberations and consideration of a wide range of priority inter-American agenda issues, under the main theme of “Energy for Sustainable Development.”

Presenting the ratification instruments, Insanally stressed that joining the treaty “reflects the commitment of my government to the fight against terrorism. Unfortunately, terrorism has now become the plague of the twenty-first century.” He said Guyana “utterly condemns the practice because we don’t believe that violence solves anything.” Under the Charter of the UN and under the OAS Charter, he further explained, “we are committed to the peaceful settlement of disputes.” He went on to state that Guyana “will work with the United Nations and the OAS to strengthen our hemisphere against the insidious threat of terrorism.”

Referring to published reports about Guyanese citizens among a group alleged to have been conspiring to attack fuel pipelines at a New York airport, Foreign Minister Insanally assured those present that there is absolutely no connection between his country and the alleged events. He said the Guyanese authorities are working with the relevant authorities to clarify those issues.

Insulza applauded Guyana’s ratification of the convention, noting that although some countries have yet to ratify, “all the states in the region have been cooperating very strongly in the fight against terrorism.” He said a great deal of progress has been made in such areas as port security and personnel training, among other related activities.

The Secretary General welcomed the move by Guyana, thanking President Bharrat Jagdeo and the Guyanese Parliament for ratifying the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism, which was adopted during the OAS General Assembly in Barbados, in 2002. He urged those states that have not yet done so to ratify as soon as possible.

Others on hand for the brief ceremony included Panama’s First Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Samuel Lewis Navarro; Guyana’s Ambassador to the OAS, Bayney Karran; and Assistant Secretary General Albert R. Ramdin, as well as ambassadors and representatives of several member states.

Reference: GA-22-07