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Vincy Valedictorian calls for Embracing of CSME

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by Hans King

Halimah DeShong, Vincentian Valedictorian at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, has called on members of the 2004 Graduating Class to embrace the Caricom Single Market and Economy(CSME).

Delivering the Valedictory Address at last Saturday’s afternoon Graduation Ceremony at the Sir Garfield Sobers Gymnasium, Deshong said the CSME challenge, and all other unifying processes within the region, must be embraced as part of a civic and moral obligation to Caribbean people. {{more}}

She said the stakes have grown higher on the need for a political solution to the region’s security, ecological and development woes.

“…we must articulate participate in articulating the art of the possible.” Deshong said.

“We can choose for a public discourse, quiet diplomacy, or for awareness seeking. Civic disengagement and indifference must be avoided,” she said.

Deshong noted that the competitive challenge in this world order remains high, and a range of competencies is required. She said the grouping of disciplines into faculties is a phenomenon that has its place within institutions of higher learning; but as we continue to pursue our ambitions, it is important that we embrace our complementary functions.

“We needed the biologists and the engineers; the social scientists and the historians; the joiners and the artists; the medical doctors and the managers; the IT specialists and the lawyers; and of course, the translators, poets, griots and sages.”, said Deshong.

The 25-year-old New Montrose resident said the energy expended will not matter if this is not harnessed to serve a unified Caribbean civilisation’s purpose.

“We also have a responsibility to assist those territories affected by natural disasters as part of our regional duties.”, she added.

Deshong, who is a national netballer, was one of two Valedictorians for the 2004 Graduating Class at the Cave Hill Campus.