Constitutional reform: the Ethnic Relations Commission

(This is my introduction to the National Conversation on Ethnic Relations 14th and 15th December, 2020)

Chair, members of the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC), ladies and gentlemen. Thank you to the ERC for inviting me to make this presentation on the challenges it faces and the way forward, because I am one of those who strongly supported me as an organization that could help bridge an ethnic divide / Guyana racist significantly. However, in the two decades of its existence, the efforts of the ERC and others have not had a marked positive impact on ethnic relations and the situation is arguably worse.

So how and why did we get to this point? What are the challenges that the ERC must overcome and how should it proceed? I argue that the ERC is held in the context of a permanent ethnic political affirmation that it could do nothing about and therefore its performance will remain highly subordinate. The history of Guyana can provide insight into this relationship and the path open to the ERC.