Government is moving to establish a National Border Institute with the aim of conducting research pertinent to the maintenance of Guyana’s territorial integrity.
This was announced today, by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon during a post-Cabinet media briefing at the Ministry of the Presidency. The Minister of State said that the move was a “very important matter” since it will enable, “research to ensure the maintenance of Guyana’s territorial integrity, as well as to address issues pertaining to our airspace and continental shelf.”
Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon.
The minster added that it was agreed by Cabinet that the Institute should be semi-autonomous and managed by a Board, “with the Minister of Foreign Affairs as Chair, initially. Its directors are to be selected from key agencies, relevant to the agency’s objectives,” the Minister explained. These will include representatives from the Attorney General’s Chambers, the Guyana Defence Force, the Maritime Administration Department, the National Archives, the University of Guyana, the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority and the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission.
Assistance from former ambassadors and academics will also be sought, Minister Harmon added.
The facility will be the repository of all maps, charts and information pertaining to territorial integrity issues. Minister Harmon said that Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge described to Cabinet, the current facilities for the storage of the aforementioned documents and information, as being, “in a deplorable state”. The Foreign Affairs Minister also explained that there was heavy reliance on the institutional memory of persons who were previously involved in territorial negotiations.
Minister Harmon explained that there will be widespread consultations to attract contributions from those persons who have, “some input to make”. We want to ensure the institute becomes what it is meant to be. “In the years going forward, when many of us would have passed away, there must be some clear records there as to what happened in the past, in 2016 and in the years going forward so that institute will be an important part of our historical records,” the Minister noted.
The issue of funding for the National Border Institute will be brought before the National Assembly, for consideration.