The President of the Republic of Suriname, H.E Desiré Delano Bourtese and First Lady Mrs Bourtese-Waldring,

Vice President of the Republic of Suriname H.E Robert Ameerali and Mrs. Ameerali,

The President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, H.E Donald Rabindranauth Ramotar

The ACP Co-President of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly, Hon. Musikari Kombo

The ACP Secretary General H.E Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas

Honourable members of the National Assembly of the Republic of Suriname

Members of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly

Honourable members of the Council of Ministers,

Members of the Diplomatic Corps,

Honourable Guests

Ladies and gentlemen

On behalf of the Parliament and the people of Suriname, I am very pleased to warmly welcome you to our country for this 30th meeting of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly.

The fact that so many representatives of so many parliaments of the world meet here in Paramaribo, is an important and clear sign of our countries’ connectedness to the world. We are living in special times. Times of transition in many areas. We experience fundamental changes, not only in the global economic and political order, but even Mother Earth is now presenting us the results of centuries of human activity, in ways that will severely impact the lives of or peoples.

With this on our minds we as ACP countries should examine new ways of cooperation and mutual support that will enable us to netter face the challenges some of already experience and that we all will have to deal with in this century and probably even in the decades before us.

I welcome you once more to our country and wish you a fruitful meeting.