His Excellency, The Honourable Mr. Hugh Desmond Hoyte, S.C.
Hugh Desmond Hoyte, former President of the Republic of Guyana (1985-1992), is currently Leader of the People’s National Congress.
Between 1969 and 1984, Mr. Hoyte held many Ministerial posts including those of Home Affairs, Finance, Works and Communications, and Economic Development. In 1984 he became First Vice President and Prime Minister, and served as President of the Republic from August 1985 to October 1992. During his Presidency, he initiated far-reaching electoral and economic reforms which strengthened the bases of the democratic culture of Guyana, promoted market-oriented policies and stimulated economic growth.
As a Minister of Government, he had at various times responsibility for African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) affairs under the Lome Convention and was the ACP spokesman on sugar for 1981 to 1983. His portfolio also included Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Affairs. As a member of its Conference, the Heads of Government of CARICOM charged him with responsibility for promoting freedom of movement within the Community and for co-ordinating Caricom’s policy on the environment for the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992 and generally. He was also nominated Caricom’s spokesman on sugar.
Prior to his full-time service as a Government Minister, he held many public offices from time to time. He was Chairman of the Legal Practitioners’ Committee, a statutory body which deals with disciplinary matters relating to members of the legal profession; Chairman of the Timber Grants Wages Council; Chairman of the Customs Tariff Appeals Tribunal; and a member of the Elections Commission,
among other offices. He was also deeply involved in the Trade Union Movement and was Legal Adviser to the Trades Union Congress and several member Unions.
In his ministerial capacity, Mr. Hoyte has served as Guyana’s Governor on the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank and headed many delegations to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the Caribbean Committee for Development and Cooperation, the Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting, ACP/EEC Meetings and other regional and international conferences on economic, financial and developmental issues. He was Guyana’s chief representative at the deliberations which led to the establishment of the Latin American Economic System (SELA) and was a member of the Latin American Council from 1975 to 1983. He has maintained a strong interest in regional and hemispheric affairs and has spoken and written widely on this subject.
Mr. Hoyte has a keen interest in ecological and environmental matters. In this area, he has worked closely with the London-based Commonwealth Human Ecology Council and has written and spoken on these issues, both locally and internationally. He is the architect of the Iwokrama International Rainforest Project in Guyana, which he initiated at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1989.
Born in Georgetown, Guyana in March 1929, Mr. Hoyte received the B.A. and LL.B. degrees from the University of London. He is a British trained lawyer, a Barrister-at-Law of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple and a Member of the Guyana Bar. He was appointed to Queen’s Council in 1969, which designation was changed to Senior Counsel in 1970 when Guyana became a Republic.
Mr. Hoyte is a Life Senator and a member of the Supreme Council of the Presidency of the International Parliament for Safety and Peace, which has observer status with the United Nations; a member of the Advisory Board of the Women’s Federation for World Peace; a member of the international Advisory Board of the Hemispheric Congress of Tourism; and an Honorary member of the Board of The Americas United Foundation. He is also a Patron of the Errol Barrow Memorial Trust Fund (a regional Trust established in honour of the late Barbadian Prime Minister) and a Patron of the Commonwealth Human Ecology Foundation based in London.
Mr. Hoyte is married to Joyce Hoyte.