Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has been conferred with Guyana’s Order of Roraima by that country’s president, David Granger.
The national honour was presented to Ms. Mottley on Monday when she paid a courtesy call on President Granger at his Georgetown office, as part of a one-day visit to that country, primarily to meet the staff at the headquarters of CARICOM, of which she became Chairman last month.
Noting that the award was for her “dedication and demonstrated commitment and contribution towards the strengthening of the Caribbean Community, President Granger said: “The Government and people of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana recognize your unflinching efforts in representing the interest of the Caribbean region as it pursues socio-economic development and your advocacy for the furtherance of the Caribbean Community’s Single Market and Economy.”
The president also told persons attending the brief ceremony that the national honour was not just a “legalistic formality”, but a clear recognition of the excellent fraternal relations that have existed for many years between Barbados and Guyana.
He recalled how Barbados and Guyana worked together for the formation of CARIFTA in 1955; both attained independence from Britain in 1966; they established a joint high commission in London soon after independence; and the founding fathers of the two countries, Errol Barrow and Forbes Burnham, were among the four leaders who signed the treaty establishing CARICOM in 1973.
“Prime Minister Mottley, you have distinguished yourself as an ardent advocate for the Caribbean Single Market and Economy,” President Granger added. “You have combined your almost 30 years of political activism with your personal enthusiasm and your country’s legendary leadership in regional integration.
“We applaud your leadership. We applaud your stewardship. We applaud your willingness to partner with the Caribbean states. We commend you on your assumption of office as Chairman of … the Caribbean Community.”
In accepting the award, Prime Minister Mottley said she did so humbly, on behalf of all Barbadians, recognizing that the relationship between the two nations long predates her, with linkages that have contributed immensely to the development of both countries.
She recalled that as recently as 2007, official figures showed there were more than 32,000 Guyanese living in Barbados. While that number has declined considerably, she explained, the strong links between the two countries remain.