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Local govt system to implement Social Cohesion programmes

Minister of Social Cohesion Amna Ally.

Social Cohesion Minister, Amna Ally, says the holding of Local Government Elections (LGE) is instrumental toward fostering social cohesion and national unity in Guyana.

She made this assertion during her contributory presentation to the 2015 Budget Debates on Thursday.

In her presentation, Ally said that while a policy position for social cohesion and national unity has been formulated by central government “implementation has to be carried out by local structures.”

It is for this reason, she explained, that the Social Cohesion Ministry has commenced putting mechanisms in place to coordinate and facilitate the necessary work at the local level. The speeding-up of the hosting of local government elections, she iterated, is instrumental to the coordination and facilitation of the work needed to realise cohesion and unity.

She therefore “supports Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkhan, in efforts to hold LGE by December.” Without LGE, Ally says, “our attempts at building social cohesion, and by extension national unity may be unduly delayed.”

More than facilitating social cohesion, though, Ally says efforts to facilitate such cohesion must be sustainable, and that sustainability requires, among other things, the involvement of “communities in a proactive manner in the decision-making process and implementation of the programs.”

Explaining the importance of social cohesion itself, Ally said there is a clear nexus between such cohesion and national-building. “To achieve the good life Guyanese must be willing to cooperate with each other,” Ally said, while adding that Guyanese must “…work together to find creative ways to utalise the talents of people in the task of national building

This cohesion, she also said, will be facilitated around social-economic programs to improve lives, economic growth, a reform of the public service, and education on scientific

Pointing to the structure of Guyana’s representative political system, the minister noted that different Guyanese are represented by different parties and said that there are “bound to be differences of emphasis to a variety of matters.” At the same time, she believes that “Guyanese needs (an) overriding commitment to a joint national effort to reconcile our nation and improve its well-being for a good life for all.”

The ministry, the minister said, will “create the opportunities in partnership for stakeholders and Guyanese to empower Guyanese to response constructively and overcome the legacy of ethnic conflict.”