New Years Day Address Hugh Desmond Hoyte, S.C. -- 2001

It is customary and appropriate that at the end of the calendar year, we take stock of our lives and of our community to determine where we are and what we have achieved. It is also a time for making new resolutions and taking appropriate steps to correct the mistakes and problems of the year that is coming to an end and for taking positive steps to do much better in 2001. As we look back on the now conceded 2000 and prepare ourselves for the challenges of 2001, we can see that there are many things and countless issues which we can all agree were not as they should be.

We seem to have wasted another year in which we as a country have failed to attract the much needed foreign investment that can take Guyana forward as a vibrant economy. We have failed by and large to provide adequate employment and development opportunities for our young people. There have been far too many examples of corruption and incompetence in public and governmental life. Guyana has reached a new low level in terms often lack of respect and consideration which we receive in the international arena and in particular from our neighbours. There are still too many occasions in which the judicial and public security institutions are held up for ridicule and censure through their lack of probity and efficiency.

Yet in all of this there some causes for hope and optimism. The fact remains that we Guyanese are a hardworking and inventive people and we have proved in times past that we possess all the ingredients necessary to make us a modern and thriving economy and a humane and just society, one that will be the envy of our neighbours and an example to the rest if the developing world. AU that is necessary for this energy and creativity to be realised is for us to once again have governance that is honest, efficient, skilful, experienced and respected in the world. We can look forward to that kind of environment once again after the change of government that will result from free and fair elections in March of 2001.

For many people, the year 2000 brought personal tragedy and will leave sad memories. In particular we remember and share the pain of the relatives and friends of those members of our security forces who perished in such unfortunate circumstances as a result of the explosion Camp Grooms. As you mourn your loss, be assured of the moral and spiritual support of those of us in the PNC reform seek consolation in the fact that these men died doing their duty in protecting the security of their beloved land of Guyana.

There is much work to be done in 2001. Our health sector needs reorganization and reform if it is to serve the people effectively. The morale and efficiency of our public servants needs to be considered humanely and with a sense of urgency. Our land distribution system needs to be made efficient and transparent. We need to accelerate the development of leisure and sporting activity for our young people. Our tourism sector needs consistent and meaningful governmental support. Our rice industry still careens in the grips of a monumental crisis. The tendering and contracting of development works needs to be cleaned up and made transparent. The just cantos of our Amerindian and hinterland communities need to be addressed. Our towns and cities need to have relevant and meaningful development programmes. The city of Linden stands in dire need of a developmental rescue package. Out education system is not in a position to meet the needs of the new millennium and the global economy. Above an, Guyana needs a development programme that will allow us to join the brave new world of 2001 equipped to make use of the opportunities it is afforded by the exciting changes taking place in the world around us.

We in the PNC reform are not intimidated by these challenges. We are ready and equipped to meet and overcome them. We know that we can garner the necessary support from the international community. What is even more important is the resolve we must show as patriotic Guyanese for bold action, radical initiatives and forward looking vision. We know that we can do it if we pull together.

May God grant all of us peace in our homes and in our lives and may our beloved Guyana rise up and achieve all those great and noble ideals of which are capable. On behalf of my family and the Peoples National Congress Reform, I wish you all a prosperous and blessed 2001