GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT TO THE 14th BIENNIAL CONGRESS
 
 
 
Mr. Oscar E. Clarke
General Secretary of the People's National Congress Reform

 

 

Comrade Chairman, Comrade Leader, Members of the Central Executive Committee and the General Council, Esteemed Delegates, Observers, and Specially Invited Guests. 

Please permit me to add my own words of welcome to all Delegates, Observers and specially Invited Guests to this 14th Biennial Congress of your Party, my Party, our Party, the Party of the present and the future; the Party with the historic mission to mobilize all Guyanese, regardless of Race, Class, Religion or Social Standing – into one mighty force, willing and ready to introduce the changes necessary to bring about orderly progress and development in our Nation.

Since our last Biennial Congress August 16 – 18, 2002, our Party has undergone many significant changes.  First and foremost we elected a new Party Leader at a Special Congress of the Party convened on February 1, 2003, following the death, in office, of our late Leader Mr. Hugh Desmond Hoyte.  Today a mere eighteen (18) months later our new Leader, Mr. Robert Herman Orlando Corbin has not only taken up the mantle of his predecessors but has brought a new dynamism and sense of urgency to the tasks, which face the Party and the Nation.  Let me take this opportunity to thank our Party Leader for the excellent address he gave at the opening session yesterday; it has indeed set the tone for this congress and provides very clear guidance and direction as to the future course to be traversed by the Party under his leadership.

Strategic Retreat of the Party’s Leadership

Immediately following the conclusion of the Special Congress of the Party at which Comrade Robert Corbin was elected Leader, he commissioned a Strategic Retreat of the Party’s Leadership.  The aim was to critically examine, review, revise, change the terms, the language and the tone of the political debate, focusing on the issues that will educate our people and move them to action.

The Retreat was held at the Ocean View Convention Centre on the weekend of Friday 14th February to Sunday 16th February 2003, and was attended by over fifty (50) members of the Central and Regional Leadership of the Party. 

This three (3) day exercise was conducted by a professional team headed by Dr. Aubrey Armstrong Management Consultant.  Participants were facilitated in the discussion of critical issues and new and strategic options of the Country and Party were examined and analyzed in depth with frankness and honesty and under conditions of open debate.

The Retreat was highly interactive with emphasis on encouraging maximum participation.  Methods included in depth team discussions, video presentations, short power point presentations and workshop exercises.  Brief background notes were also circulated.  A climate of frank exchange and problem solving was created to ensure that all voices were heard and there was ownership of the outputs.

The key results of the Retreat can be summarized as follows:-

Over the three (3) year period 2003-2006, the party must consolidate its position, expand its base, continue to reach for excellence in serving the Guyanese people, and seize every opportunity that presents itself for returning to Government.  Six major areas of concentrated activity were agreed upon

  1. Restructuring and re organizing the Party

  2. Strengthening the Party’s communication capability by upgrading its information/documentation and institutional memory

  3. Organize for financial Independence of the Party

  4.  Working together with others to ensure victory at the next election and to lead the next Government

  5. Continuous promotion of the Concept Shared Governance

  6. Greater focus on Education, Training and Re-orientation of our members and supporters

The State of the Party

Against the background of the recommendations of the Strategic Retreat of the Party’s Leadership, I now discuss the state of the Party.  The Central Executive Committee undertook an in depth examination of the organizational structure at the Leadership level, that is necessary to successfully implement the recommendations of the Retreat.  The concept of a Leadership Team an important outcome of the Retreat, influenced the final structure which provided for the following:-

Department of Mobilization including the following divisions: - Vincent Alexander

  1. Party Organization

Amna Ally

  1. Education and Training

Aubrey Norton

  1. Sports & Culture

Dr. Faith Harding

  1. Trades Union & Labour 

Basil Williams

  1. Special Outreach ( Non Traditional Supporters)

Clarissa Riehl

  1. Outreach (Civil Society)           

Deborah Backer

  1. Hinterland

Dr. George Norton

  1. Department of Human Services

Volda Lawrence

  1. Department of Public Communication 

Supriya Singh

  1. Policy Development Department     

Deryck Bernard

  1. Finance & Economic Activities Department including the following Division

  1. Economic Ventures

  1. Budget & Finance

(Hamley Case)

  1. International Relations

R.H.O. Corbin

  1. Legal Affairs   

Raphael Trotman

  1. Parliamentary Affairs 

E. Lance Carberry

 
In addition the Party Leader will have oversight of the following:-
  1. The Committee on Shared Governance

James Mc Allister

  1. The committee on elections      

Sherwood Lowe

The General Secretary and the staff at the Party’s Secretariat would be responsible for providing services and support to meet the operational needs of the various departments.

The specific concerns of the Youth and the Women of the Party will be catered for by the Guyana Youth & Student Movement and the National Congress of Women respectively.

Departmental Performance - Mobilization
The Party group – the Basic Unit

Since the coming into being of the re-organized structure, responsibility for the resuscitation of Party groups rests with the Party Organization division of the Department of Mobilization.  The division’s outreach programme has had commendable results in that party groups have been re-organized in every Region in the run up to this congress. 

While it is true that the number of groups re-organized in some regions in relation to the total group structure is still relatively small it is, none the less, encouraging to be able to report that 199 groups with a total membership of 9,302 are represented at this Congress. 

This Department of the Party is also responsible for revolutionizing the Regional Party Structure.  Much work has already been done with the Coastal Regions 2,3,4,5,6 and 10 in formalizing the new structure and Region 4 has led the way in organizing its Neighbourhood and District organs.  The department continues to work with the other regions to secure the implementation of the agreed structures and also to discuss with the Hinterland Department and Regions the most appropriate structural model for achieving best results.

The performance of the other divisions within this department with the exception of the Trades Union and Labour division has been unsatisfactory in the sense that their plans have not yet permiated down to the membership or the constituencies with which they are expected to interact.  True enough initial preparatory work has been undertaken including the elaboration of action plans, but the party is yet to feel the pulse and see tangible results of their work. 

The Trades Union and Labour division has, since its establishment, been quite successful in its programme of reaching out to organized Labour and establishing a central coordinating body through which to maintain contact on an ongoing basis. 

Visits have been made to some regional centers with the aim of establishing mechanisms for feedback on situations affecting organized labour in particular and industrial relations in general. 

Plans have been drawn up for sponsoring its first seminar for prospective trades union cadres from within the ranks of the Party.

The Department of Human Services has been quietly but effectively promoting the best interests of the Party.  Through its active resource mobilization programme, it has managed to respond to needy and distressed families throughout the length and breath of Guyana in the following ways.

 

  1. Distribution of Food items in Regions 1,2,3,4,7,8,9 and 10

  1. Hospital visits and Medical Assistance for both local and overseas treatment of Party members/supporters in the first instance, as well as, to other needy cases in general 

  2. Rielief to fire victims – during the biennium the department responded to twenty-one (21) fires and assisted thirty four (34) families (including fifty nine (59) children for whom school uniforms and other school requisites was provided)

  3. Provide funeral grants and other forms of support to needy cases

  4. Sponsor annually

  1.  A Regional Senior Citizens Christmas Luncheon

  2.  Distribution of Christmas hampers to Senior Citizens

  3. Secretary’s Day Luncheon for the Party’s Secretarial Staff

  4. Visits to Centenarians on their Birthdays to help them celebrate 

This year the department inaugurated its school uniform voucher distributed programme in response to the desperate situation which many families are experiencing at present and the inability or unwillingness of the state agency to meet their needs.  Over 1.2 dollars were mobilized towards this effort. 

During the past year also this department undertook visits to various Regions to establish Units and organized a central training seminar for unit representatives from Regions 2,3,4,5,6,7 and 10. 

The Department has established links with donor groups in New York and Toronto and wishes to acknowledge donations received from these sources.  Special thanks to Mrs. Otto of the New York Group and to the Toronto Group and Rev. Fisher for their support.  Equally the department wishes to thank all the many local donors without whose generosity it would be unable to fulfill its mandate. 

The Department of Public Communication is ham strung by its limited facilities both technical and organizational.  Since its establishment a conscious effort is being made to address the problems and some gradual improvements are discernable.  For example the Party’s website is being updated more regularly and more current information is being posted. 

The weekly Press Conference and Nation Watch programme continue to be quite informative; however, the department’s efforts to reach regional audiences with these programmes have been largely unsuccessful due to a combination of factors including cost and lack of access to the state media.

In the immediate future the Party must find a way to dedicate more resources to this department since its operations are crucial to the success of the Party’s mission. 

The work of the Policy Development Department is ongoing and is focused on updating and refining Party Policy both nationally and sectorally.  The need to ensure that Party policies benefit from and confirm to current international trends and technological advances, is a prime concern of this Department.

The Finance and Economic Activities Department has been focusing on three areas of operations viz

  1. Designing an up to date budget format for assessing the real cost of financing the Party in a normal year.

  2. Preparing an up to date assets register and elaborating plans to economically utilize the Party’s assets to ensure beneficial returns.

  3. Sponsoring economic ventures and other fund raising efforts.  Work is progressing on all three fronts.  During the past year project documents have been prepared for various economic ventures most of which await adequate financing to be implemented.

The International Relations Department has had some moderate achievements mainly due to the activities of its Chairman, the Party’s Leader, Mr. Robert Corbin.  During the year the department held meetings and set itself the task of producing a Foreign Policy Document setting out the major areas of focus of the Party as regards Foreign Relations.  Of crucial importance to the party is the role of the Diaspora in the achievement of the Party’s objectives.  The department continues to critically examine the foreign policy initiatives of the Government in order to inform the Party’s approach to the issues. 

The Legal Affairs Department was called upon to do a lot of pro bono work during the period under review.  Some seventy-five (75) matters most of a personal nature, were referred to the department by the Party’s Secretariat. 

More substantively, some members of the Department were actively involved in the preparation of the Party’s submission to the Disciplined Forces Commission.  Recently some members of this department have been assigned the task of reviewing issues regarding the ownership and use of the Party’s properties on the East Bank of Demerara. 

The Department of Parliamentary Affairs provides services to the Party’s Parliamentary Group – Relations with other opposition parties in the National Assembly are facilitated by this Department.

The Party’s Shared Governance Committee is headed by Mr. James Mc Allister.  This Committee produced the Party’s Paper on shared Governance, which forms the basis for the Party’s ongoing discussions with organizations and interest groups both national and international.  The Party’s shared Governance Document has been widely circulated and has received favourable comments from national as well as international organizations and individuals.  Copies have been distributed to participants of this Congress and are recommended for compulsory reading. 

The Party Committee on Elections matters is headed by headed by Mr. Sherwood Lowe.  The Committee has been very active during the period under review.  It has continued to follow closely the activities of the elections Commission and its Secretariat and from time to time has issued statements in relation to the commission’s activities.  On this issue I can do no better than to repeat what was said in the last statement on August 5, 2004.

“Due to the highly sensitive responsibilities for which GECOM has charge under our constitution, it is imperative that it does all in its power to win and retain public confidence and the confidence of the Country’s political stakeholders in its operations.  To this end GECOM must strive to keep all concerned continually informed and updated on the state of its general preparations, as well as, on any steps it may be taking to resolve the specific legitimate concerns of stakeholders.

Against this background, the People’s National Congress Reform is disquieted that GECOM has not recently been as forthcoming with the information in relation to several aspects of its work.  These include:-

  1. The progress made in implementing the measures proposed by various experts on tightening the physical and technical security systems of its Information Technology operations.

  2. Its proposed approach to activate and utilize its database given the known concerns of various stakeholders.

  3. Its state of administrative, technical and financial readiness to execute the Continuous registration process.        

  4. Its readiness to entertain the concerns of the People’s National Congress Reform. With respect to recommendations contained in the Mike James Report on Close of Poll operations

  5. How it intends to safe guard its constitutionally guaranteed independence in light of ongoing attempts by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government to reduce it to the level of a live Ministry and thereby control its budget

These matters go to the core of GECOM’S ability to deliver timely and acceptable local and national elections.  Of course, the final arbiters of GECOM’s performance remain the ordinary Guyanese People.  The commission should not therefore be hesitant, elective or inconsistent in its interaction with the public, and with political stakeholders on vital issues. 

The People’s National Congress Reform intends to write the commission shortly elaborating on these concerns.  We also intend to seek an audience with the commissioners; at which time we intend to seek satisfactory answers, affirm our positions and offer our own proposals for resolving some of these matters.  As always the People’s National Congress Reform stands ready to cooperate with GECOM in its efforts to fulfill its mission in a manner that Guyanese can unquestionably accept and applaud”.  The Party has since written to the Chairman, GECOM requesting an urgent meeting to discuss the afore stated issues and we await a response. 

A key challenge in the operationalization of this new structure has been the establishment of Regional and or Area counterparts which will act both as initiators of actions in their area of operations as well as feed back agents to the headquarters.  Even as efforts continue to restructure and to modernize the Party the need for constitutional review to provide the legal frame work and bases for the mandated changes have become more urgent. 

Our twelfth (12th) Biennial Congress accepted the idea of the establishment of a working relationship with a Reform Component.  Two years later at our 13th Biennial Congress the Party formalized the name People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), amended the constitution to provide for the new category of Affiliated Membership and accorded affiliated status to the Reform Component.

The General Council and the Central Executive Committee have now mandated this congress to deliberate upon and to adopt wide-ranging recommendations for Constitutional review which are in keeping with the ongoing thrust of the Party to:-

Ø       Broaden its Leadership base

Ø       Provide more flexibility for Regions to adopt appropriate organizational structures,

Ø       Strengthen the relationship between the Party and its Youth and Women Arms and 

Ø       Provide a constitutional basis of involvement for Party members and Party organs which operate extraterritorially

 Central Executive and General Council

During the period under review the Central Executive and the General Council met statutorily on a bimonthly and Quarterly basis.  Several Special or Extra Ordinary meetings of the Central Executive Committee were also held to consider specific issues.  A significant pre occupation of these meetings was the issue of State sponsored Death Squads and the Party’s response to this phenomenon.  Several initiatives were taken by the Party including formal communication of the issue to the State President by the Leader of our Party and of the Opposition in the National Assembly, Mr. R.H.O. Corbin 

The Bharat Jagdeo administration did everything possible to dismiss the incessant call for a credible inquiry into this sordid affair until, forced by the international community, he unilaterally decided to set up a presidential inquiry with very limited terms of reference, thus making it incapable of finding out the truth about the existence of a State Sponsored Death Squad in Guyana. 

The issue of Local Government Elections also loomed large during the period and both the Central Executive Committee and the General Council deliberated extensively, on it.  It is important that we remind ourselves that Local government Elections was last held in 1994 and since 1998 the PPP/C Government has, towards the end of each year, been taking a bill to the National Assembly seeking the postponement of Local Government Elections.  It is indeed a fact that the process of Constitutional Reform of which Local Government Reform is an important component, did delay the holding of Local government Elections.  However, it should be noted that the PPP/C government refused to allow the legally mandated requirement of annual elections for Mayors and Deputy Mayors of Municipalities and Chairmen and Vice Chairmen of Neighbourhood Democratic Councils to be held.  Moreover it is the PPP/C representatives in the Joint Task Force on Local Government who deliberately slowed up the process of arriving at decisions on critical issues like the Local Government Electoral system.  Now that expert advice on this issue has been proffered, the People’s National Congress Reform is already on record as proposing for adoption as follows:-

 

a)                  That the system should consist of as many single member constituencies as possible.  The approach may be either to have a universal percentage of constituencies, which will ensure proportionality in each local government area or the disaggregating of the Local Government areas to provide for each area to have the maximum possible number of Constituencies. 

b)                  That the list should be an open list, thus enabling the electors to have that connectivity with the electorate as is envisaged by the constitutional provision on accountability.The People’s National Congress Reform notes that the Expert proposed that multi member constituencies would facilitate up to 70% constituency seats and 30% top up seats.  The People’s National Congress Reform therefore proposes the application of this ratio to the universal approach mentioned earlier.  A copy of the document entitled “Local Government Electoral System – People’s National Congress Reform Proposals” can be found in your folder; you are urged to study it.

National Congress of Women & Guyana Youth & Student Movement

The strength and vitality of any political movement such as ours can be gauged from the activism of its Youth and Women components.  All female adult members of our Party are constitutionally entitled to become members of the Party’s Women’s Arm.  “The National Congress of Women”.  Since the bulk of our Party members are women the NCW should be the most populous arm of the Party.  Yet, the NCW membership remains relatively small in proportion to the overall membership of the Party.  There can be no doubt that potentially the NCW is the most powerful Party agency and this fact has been demonstrated time and time again thought our Party’s History.  Let me therefore use this opportunity to once again challenge all the female adult members of our Party to join the NCW and become actively involved in its programmes of work. 

During the last Biennium the NCW though it’s National Executive sought to re focus its activities in order to ensure that they impact more directly on the economic well being of its members.  To this end the Congress sought to mobilize its members into economic units capable of producing for the market consumer items that are in demand.  This approach enabled many units to take advantage of grants and small loans that are available to such units from funding agencies.  It continued its skills training programmes at centers on the Essequibo Coast, the Corentyne, at Linden and in Region No. 4 including Georgetown.  Some of the items produced by trainers within this programme are on display and for sale at the NCW booth on the ground floor of the Secretariat building; I urge you to support them. 

Meanwhile, the NCW’s involvement with the national Democratic Institute in organizing and executing workshops to empower women in Local government continued and many members of the movement through out the country benefited from the training and orientation programmes designed to equip them for participation as councilors and for officers in the Proposed New Local Government thrust. 

The Guyana Youth and Student Movement the Youth arm of the Party has, during the period review, demonstrated its capacity to survive in the face of serious leadership problems.  Regrettably some of their problems sprung from attempts by some within the adult leadership of the Party to exercise undue influence over the young people in order to achieve narrow political advantage.

In preparation for their 12th Biennial Congress much work was done to mobilize and re-energize the movement and it is note worthy that there appears to be much more discipline and a sense of responsibility being displayed.  This can only to the good for all involved. 

Leadership training was a district emphasis of the movement over the last year and many members benefited from the training programmes held simultaneously with their General Council meetings at Camp Madewini. 

Additionally, two (2) Leadership Retreats were held during the Biennium. 

At the National level the Movement was involved in the UNDP organized Social Cohesion programme, also involving the PYO, which is aimed at building capacity and seeking tangible ways of building and achieving Social Cohesion in the Guyanese Society. 

Ms Kim Ash, a member of the national Executive, represented the movement at a Commonwealth Youth Exchange Programme in Trinidad and Tobago last month. 

The movement continues to undertake on behalf of the Party, the leadership role in national efforts to combat the AIDS pandemic.  Towards this end the National Chairperson of the movement Ms Lurlene Nestor, M.P. was one of the representatives of the Guyana Parliament at a recently organized meeting in Trinidad, which was intended to provide for a more focused involvement of Caribbean Parliamentarians on the question of the fight against AIDS. 

At the local level the movement continues to work in collaboration with many NGO’s in the execution of programmes to bring greater awareness among Guyanese of the ways to combat the dreaded disease HIV/AIDS. 

Local and International Outreach

Over the past eighteen (18) months the Leader of our party has visited nine of the ten regions of Guyana and is expected to visit Region No. 8 before the year-end.   Accompanying the Party Leader on these visits are other members of the Leadership team from the center as well as Regional Leaders and Representatives of the Guyana Youth & Student Movement and National Congress of Women.  The whole idea is to ensure that during these visits all aspects of life can be scrutinized. 

These visits are in addition to those undertaken by other members of the Party’s Leadership who have been assigned to the various Regions. 

The assignment of Party Leaders to regions is a device intended to build up in the center a body of knowledge about each Region, with respect to its physical features, its economic base, the social and cultural life of its inhabitants, its major problems and prospects etc.  It is also a way of providing an ongoing vital link between the central and regional leadership and their masters, the people of the regions whom they are supposed to serve.  The Party Organization Division of the Department of Mobilization is responsible for putting in place a mechanism to monitor the frequency of visits by regional representatives to their assigned regions and to stipulate from time to time specific messages which the party desires to be to be taken to the people. 

The party now boasts of having a network of groups in North America thanks to an initiative taken by Mr. Corbin in response to various requests by our sisters and brothers overseas.  It is indeed heartening to be able to welcome to this 14th Biennial Congress, delegates from our groups in Florida, Atlanta, Washington DC, New York, New Jersey, and Toronto.  We welcome also the representative (s) from our groups in the United Kingdom.  There is no doubt that the Party is stronger with the establishment of this network of groups in the diaspora and it is therefore in our interest to ensure the fullest involvement of the members of our overseas groups in supportive work.  Since their inauguration all of the groups in North America have been contributing significantly to the party in both cash and kind and their contributions to this congress are exemplary.  Please join me in saying a big thank you to the United Guyanese Organisation (UGO) and the National Democratic Council (NDC) of Toronto Canada for providing all of the Delegates, Observers, Special Invitees and Staff Cards as well as, the plastic holders.  In particular I wish to single out for special mention Mrs. Beni Rayman and Mr. Bill Moore for their special efforts in this regard. 

In similar vein let me single out Mr. Larry London and the Florida Chapter for their contribution of Food Boxes, Plastic Cups, Forks, and Napkins as well as essential stationery for Congress. 

Special mention should also be made of Ms Valda Forsythe of the Washington DC, group who due to illness is unable to be with us here at Congress.  She is indeed a tower of strength and a keen competitor on behalf of the Party. Lest, our UK groups begin to feel left out let me say that the South West London Group and the UK Region of the Party have been with us for many a year.  They continue to make quarterly financial contributions to defray the cost of operating the secretariat and have both contributed financially to the success of this congress. 

One of the constant requests by the members of the overseas Party Groups and their supporters are for information from the party about its activities and its perspectives on the situation in Guyana.  In addition to accessing the Party’s Web Site (www.guyanapnc.org), which as stated earlier is being updated more often, regular visits by the party Leader and team to these capitals could provide the stimulus necessary to maintain interest in the Party.  In the past year the Party Leader and teams from the executive visited all the groups in North America and the United Kingdom, as well as, accepting invitations from Guyanese organizations in St. Maarten, St. Eustatius, Antigua and Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean to address them on the situation in the Country.  Independent reports of these meetings and visits indicate that they were all very successful.  Overseas Guyanese continue to maintain a deep interest in what is taking place at home.

National Congress of Women & Guyana Youth & Student Movement

The strength and vitality of any political movement such as ours can be gauged from the activism of its Youth and Women components.  All female adult members of our Party are constitutionally entitled to become members of the Party’s Women’s Arm.  “The National Congress of Women” .  Since the bulk of our Party members are women the NCW should be the most populous arm of the Party.  Yet, the NCW membership remains relatively small in proportion to the overall membership of the Party.  There can be no doubt that potentially the NCW is the most powerful Party agency and this fact has been demonstrated time and time again thought our Party’s history.  Let me therefore use this opportunity to once again challenge all the female adult members of our Party to join the NCW and become actively involved in its programmes of work.

During the last biennium the NCW though its National Executive sought to refocus its activities in order to ensure that they impact more directly on the economic well being of its members.  To this end the Congress sought to mobilize its members into economic units capable of producing for the market consumer items that are in demand.  This approach enabled many units to take advantage of grants and small loans that are available to such units from funding agencies.  It continued its skills training programmes at centers on the Essequibo Coast, the Corentyne, at Linden and in Region No. 4 including Georgetown.  Some of the items produced by trainees within this programme are on display and for sale at the NCW booth on the ground floor of the Secretariat building; I urge you to support them. 

Meanwhile, the NCW’s involvement in the National Democratic Institute by organizing and executing workshops to empower women in Local Government continued and many members of the movement through out the country benefited from the training and orientation programmes designed to equip them for participation as Councillors and for officers in the Proposed New Local Government thrust. 

The Guyana Youth and Student Movement the Youth arm of the Party has, during the period review, demonstrated its capacity to survive in the face of serious leadership problems.  Regrettably some of their problems sprung from attempts by some within the adult leadership of the Party to exercise undue influence over the young people in order to achieve narrow political advantage. 

In preparation for their 12th Biennial Congress much work was done to mobilize and re-energize the movement and it is note worthy that there appears to be much more discipline and a sense of responsibility being displayed.  This can only redound to the good for all involved. 

Leadership training was a district emphasis of the movement over the last year and many members benefited from the training programmes held simultaneously with their General Council meetings at Camp Madewini.

Additionally,  two (2) Leadership Retreats were held during the Biennium.

 

At the National level the Movement was involved in the UNDP organized Social Cohesion programme, also involving the PYO, which is aimed at building capacity and seeking tangible ways of building and achieving Social Cohesion in the Guyanese Society. 

Ms Kim Ash, a member of the National Executive, represented the movement at a Commonwealth Youth Exchange Programme in Trinidad and Tobago last month. 

The movement continues to undertake on behalf of the Party, the leadership role in national efforts to combat the AIDS pandemic.  Towards this end the National Chairperson of the movement Ms Lurlene Nestor, M.P. was one of the representatives of the Guyana Parliament at a recently organized meeting in Trinidad, which was intended to provide for a more focused involvement of Caribbean Parliamentarians on the question of the fight against AIDS. 

At the local level the movement continues to work in collaboration with many NGO’s in the execution of programmes to bring greater awareness among Guyanese of the ways to combat the dreaded disease HIV/AIDS.

Conclusion

Comrades, a new ERA is dawning for the People’s National Congress Reform and for Guyana.  In this new and revolutionary dispensation, which our Party the PNCR will spearhead, every significant political group will be welcomed as we proceed to build a platform from Peace, National Cohesion and Reconstruction.

For us in the PNCR this new period will present enormous challenges. But thankfully will also offer significant opportunities.  The greatest challenge will come from within our own Party as we seek to confront the doubts and fears, which are the result of bitter experiences of the past and the present.  We of the PNCR, leaders and members alike, must show ourselves bold and courageous; we must be prepared to seize every opportunity to engage our fellow citizens in new and constructive political debate focusing on the issues as it relates to the new vision for Guyana adumbrated by our Party Leader in his keynote address yesterday.

 “I have a vision that in the very near future we will have in Guyana”. 

Ø       A participatory Government freely and fairly elected, working in a shared Governance model with all other freely and fairly elected parties to the National Assembly of our country, and representing the interests of all classes, groups and persons who have a stake in the         and who share widely in decision making.

Ø       A Guyana that enjoys fraternal relations with all its neighbours and share in the goal of fostering closer Caribbean Unity.

Ø       A Society where there is Inclusive Governance, through Shared Governance, that is enshrined in a Constitution that guarantees transparency, social justice, law and order workers’ rights and the promotion of Greater Women’s Rights.

Ø       A modern Country that is built around ONE GUYANA THAT IS AT PEACE WITH ITSELF. 

LONG LIVE THE PNCR
ONWARD TO VICTORY.

 

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia,
Georgetown, Guyana
Friday, August 28, 2004

 

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