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Post Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:32 pm

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The curtains came down on the second US Guyana civil-military relations conference, with participants outlining a vision that they hope will see Guyana become a secure and well-governed democratic society that operates by the rule of law.The participants, who were mainly from civil society, hope to achieve this by the year 2013, through defence and security sector reform, as well as political and judicial reforms, with emphasis on the entire justice system and consensus among the major stakeholders.The recommendations were drawn up following a number of presentations from several experts from the Centre for Hemispheric Defence Studies (CHDS) over a three-day period at the Grand Coastal Inn, at Le Ressouvenir, East Coast Demerara.Presentations were made by Dr. Luis Bitencourt, Acting Dean of Academic Studies and Dr. Michael Gold-Biss, Associate Dean of Academic Studies of CHDS.Also making presentations were Dr. Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow – Centre for Constitutional Studies; David Granger, Director of the Institute of Security and International Studies; and Lt. Col. Garfield Prendergast of the Jamaica Defence Force.Among the topics discussed were Global and Regional Security-A Strategic Perspective; Defence and Security: Public Goods and Responsibilities; Legal Frameworks and Security; Guyanese Perspectives on Security; Jamaica National Defence Strategy; Building Civilian Military Relationships and Partnerships; Governance and Security and Guyana: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.Civil society was praised for its contribution to the programme which was not attended by the government and its agencies.The seminar pointed to the need for civil society to organize itself, using the Centre for Hemispheric Defence Studies as one of the main catalysts to achieve the vision outlined.They also agreed that there is need to promote communication and establish a network that will reach the masses, who make up the entire civil society.Among the channels identified to push this initiative were non-governmental organizations, international financial institutions and the Guyanese Diaspora.It was noted that there is a great need for the implementation of strategies adopted since the Guyana Government is known to have reneged on several consensual measures.A typical example was the recent stakeholders meeting following the Bartica massacre, the recommendations of which have been left in limbo.Lt. Col. Steven Stanley of the United States Military Southern Command, who coordinated the seminar, which was held under the theme ‘Civil Society in Guyana: Partnering for a Secure Nation’, told the audience that the deliberations were a great success.He assured that the United States of America will continue to help build civil society in Guyana.According to Lt. Col. Stanley, his government will continue to facilitate local civil society members through the Centre for Hemispheric Defence Studies, in which Guyana has alumni.“The Alumni Association of Guyana will be formed and supported. I think that this conference has been a smashing success,Air Max 90 Pas Cher Destockage,” Lt. Col. Stanley said at the conclusion of the programme yesterday.

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