GDF will closely monitor potential threats to Guyana, ensure regional peace maintained – Pres. Ali

Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President Dr Irfaan Ali has asserted that Guyana will continue to encourage friendly relations within the region despite some “mischievous elements” that seek to cause conflict.

He made the pronouncements today during his address at the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Annual Officers Conference at the National Cultural Centre.

“Guyana will continue to promote friendly relations with other countries and their Defence Forces. But I am aware that there are mischievous elements who wish to ensnare Guyana into geopolitical conflicts…Guyana has no intention to become a part of this,” President Ali posited.

In this regard, he said the GDF will closely monitor any potential threats to the country and will work with its partners to ensure regional peace is maintained.

“We cherish deeply of friendships and our partnerships with our strategic partners and our alliances but we are also monitoring closely any threats, not only to Guyana’s security, but more importantly to the peaceful existence of this region,” the Head of State reasoned.

“We’ll partner with every single strategic partner that we have to ensure that this region remains peaceful and to ensure that our territorial integrity and security remains intact,” he affirmed.

The Guyanese President added, “but that partnership cannot and will not be a one-way street.”

According to him, “it requires our strategic partners and partners also, to work closely with us in designing an overarching strategy in which all the nations in this region must feel as if they are part of that strategy, must feel included in that strategy, and they must feel as if they will remain safe and stable in that strategy.”

“Not a strategy that is dictated or handed down, but a strategy that is crafted through consultation and participation,” he noted.

President Ali contended too that the GDF must take on a more strategic approach towards different kinds of threats, such as food security, climate change and natural disasters.

“How do we see ourselves in the context of the threats that come with climate for Guyana and the region?”

“We have to have our own thinking process, our thinktank as to what are the threats we see regionally and it’s not only from security perspective, because you can have in the future major disaster if we don’t have food security in the region,” he said.

“What are the potential threats for Guyana in terms of dealing with natural disasters? The oil and gas emergency response; are we thinking about developing a strategy into this? Have we defined our role in relation to this?”

Referencing the visionary gas to shore project that is expected to come on stream in 2024, President Ali expressed, “you look around the world you see how gas pipelines can become an instrument of threat to destabilise regions and countries, so we have to have our own strategy dealing with the protection of these assets, the management of these assets.”

Meanwhile, President Ali stressed that another important area of focus for the GDF is developing better approaches to different scenarios.

“We have to start doing scenario modeling. Not only workshops and the Officers’ Conference, the same on date format…long before the Conference, we should task specific units to come up with modeling and analyse different modeling of scenarios that could confront us and to develop a strategic approach to deal with different scenarios,” he explained.

The budgetary allocation for the GDF has increased to $17.6 billion this year for training and enhanced acquisition of vehicles and machinery.


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