Tourism Minister assures UN forum that Government will investigate “credible” claims of Racial Discrimination

Tourism Minister assures UN forum that  Government will investigate “credible” claims of Racial Discrimination

Declaring that the Government has been investing heavily in the development of Afro-Guyanese since it assumed office, Minister of Tourism, Oneidge Walrond, has challenged anyone with credible evidence of discrimination against Afro-Guyanese to come forward, promising that the allegations will be investigated and swiftly addressed.

The Tourism Minister is leading the Guyana Government’s delegation currently in Geneva Switzerland at the Third Session of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent.

“I want to offer my assurance that any credible evidence of victimisation or negligence against any particular race or religious community in Guyana will be dealt with expeditiously because this is contrary to our One Guyana philosophy. It will not be condoned,” A statement quoted the Minister as saying.

Minister Walrond said the Government has been pumping millions of dollars towards local Afro-Guyanese groups to assist with their work in Afro-Guyanese communities.

“Some people are very good at playing the victim and labelling the government as prejudiced, but the evidence is clear. This PPP/C government has assisted IDPADA-G groups in community projects, lecture series, the establishment of mega-farms and block-making projects, training programmes and many other initiatives, all geared towards our commitment to the principles of fairness,” A statement from the Tourism Ministry stated.

Earlier in the day, Minister Walrond addressed delegates during the opening of the forum. During her address, she expressed Guyana’s support for the extension of the International Decade of People of African descent for another decade. 

“Guyana looks forward to contributing to the efforts toward improving the conditions of people of African descent both by supporting the work of this Forum and by continuing to craft and implement programmes that will redound to the benefit of Guyanese of African Descent,” Minister Walrond said. 

She noted that Guyana, as multicultural and multi-ethnic society is mindful of and keen to ensure that our population in its entirety, enjoys the best possible quality of life our country can afford.

She added that CARICOM has been at the forefront of demanding reparations for the descendants of enslaved Africans, a position Guyana remains fully committed to. She explained that a National Reparations Committee has already been established within the framework of a 10-point plan agreed by the CARICOM.

The Government has come under criticism from the International Decade of People of African Descent Assembly-Guyana, after it decided to stop providing the organisation with a subvention in the budget. Instead, the Government handed over the money to a number of other African organisations in Guyana.

The issue has even engaged the attention of the local Courts. A team from the International Decade of People of African Descent Assembly-Guyana is also attending the forum in Switzerland.

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