In his welcome remarks, the Party Chairman reminded Party leaders that the welfare and wellbeing of ordinary people was of paramount importance and a founding principle of the PNCR. The Chairman said that after twenty one years, the Peopleâ€™s Progressive Party/Civicsâ€™ 2014 Budget had nothing for the workers. He said that the PPP/C were aware of the following facts: â€œWe are the second poorest country in CARICOM; 36.1 percent of Guyanese live below the poverty level; We have the lowest GDP per capita ranking in CARICOM; of 186 countries Guyana ranks fifth from the bottom on the lowest human development index, and that more than 40,000 Guyanese are unemployed.â€ The Chairman said that after 21 years, â€œwe cannot but realize that we can expect nothing from the PPP/C to improve our lives.â€ He said that the PNCRâ€˜s primary motivation must be to win back the reins of Government.
General Secretary of the PNCR, Mr. Oscar Clarke presented the General Secretaryâ€™s Report. In his report to Council, the General Secretary outlined the work of the Partyâ€™s Secretariat during the period between General Council meetings. He reported on the work of the eleven Party regions and the Partyâ€™s Youth and Womenâ€™s arm. The main thrust of his report was on the Partyâ€™s preparations for its 18th Biennial Congress scheduled for July 2014; preparations for Local Government elections and building and strengthening the Party structures. The General Secretary said that the PNCR continues to prepare for Local Government Elections under the banner of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU). He noted that under the Peopleâ€™s Progressive Party/Civic Administration unemployment, especially youth unemployment continues to be pervasive throughout the nation. He reported that there were several complaints from Party regions of the PPP/Câ€™s Administration engaging in selected infrastructure development projects based on political patronage.
The feature address was delivered by Leader of the PNCR, Brigadier David Granger. He reminded General Council that the heart of the Party organisation was the group. In a call for Party unity, Brigadier Granger said that every Party member must work to resist efforts internally and by external forces to divide the PNCR. Brigadier Granger said that the PNCR must remain strong because it was the sword and the shield of the working man and woman in Guyana. He said that it was not by accident that 2014 was designated year for workers. He said that the PNCR will continue to work for unity in the labour movement.
General Council is the governing body and the second highest decision making forum of the PNCR between Biennial Congresses and meets once every quarter of each year.