President Ali calls for climate-centric defence strategies in Latin America, Caribbean

Head of State and President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali stated that the new world cannot develop defence strategies without considering the effects of climate change, especially in the Latin American and Caribbean regions.

President Ali made the statement Wednesday afternoon while delivering a presentation at the National Defence University in Washington, DC, USA.

President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali

The head of state highlighted that climate change is one of the most significant vulnerabilities in the region and noted that adapting to climate change requires an annual investment ranging from $80 billion to $110 billion.

“This issue is devastating not only to economies and people, but infrastructure, and included in that infrastructure is the military infrastructure…defence against natural disasters, against enemies and your asset that is required to provide that defence,” he underscored.

In addition to climate security, food and energy security must also take precedence when formulating defence strategies. Research, development, and innovation are also some of the most crucial aspects of future defence and strategy.

The president emphasised the need for a regional approach to these discussions, noting that the National Defence University has the ability to analyse current threats, policy and investment landscape, and identify gaps.

He believes that through this analysis, the institution can create a comprehensive framework for dialogue and discussion, leading to the development of a shared policy and approach to address these issues.

“AT COP 28 for example, there should be a paper presented on climate and defence because it is one of the biggest problems of the world. We cannot divorce defence from the conversation. It is institutions like this that have that capacity and capability to provide analysis and this research that can lead this conversation,” the head state underscored.

President Ali is currently in Washington, DC for a three-day visit, where he is expected to meet with key stakeholders from the US Congress and the State Department, as well as engagements with the private sector, and university visits.

He will also be delivering a presentation at the Organisation of American States (OAS).

President Ali was joined by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hugh Todd, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond, Foreign Secretary, Robert Persaud, National Security Advisor, Captain Gerry Gouveia and Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Brigadier Omar Khan.

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