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Let’s try to fashion solutions to our serious problems

Let’s try to fashion solutions to our serious problems

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Independence Message from the Governor-General The Hon. Sir Frederick Ballantyne – on the 29th Anniversary of Independence – October 27th, 2008

As we celebrate our 29th year of Independence, let us not only celebrate our achievements over the years but also seek new ways to build on the foundation which has made us a proud and successful nation.{{more}}

However, one cannot celebrate Independence without being concerned about the number of problems which negatively impact on our development and future progress.

Today, I will seek to highlight but two of these problems which I consider of paramount importance; these are:-

(1) The increasing incidence of crime in our society; and
(2) The current failure of the global economy

That the Caribbean has one of the highest murder rates in the world is shameful and the steady increasing incidence of violent crimes, often gun related and often involving young men is cause for great concern.

This more than anything else has the potential to destabilize the society and negate all progress we have made since Independence.

The weakening global economy would certainly leave our Government short of funds resulting in less money for social services, education, health services, roads, etc.

One can most certainly predict over the next year increasing unemployment which coupled with increasing food prices has the potential to drive many persons below the poverty line.

The challenge facing us is: how can we best cope with these two evils?

I submit that these challenges are so great that we need all Vincentians of good will who love their country to work closely together to fashion solutions which although they cannot solve the problems could help to mitigate them so that we can move forward with the confidence and dignity reflecting an Independent Nation.

May God bless us all on this Independence Day and always.