Posted on

Harness bright minds to forge a path forward

Harness bright minds to forge a path forward

Share

Fri, Oct 22, 2010

MESSAGE FROM HIS EXCELLENCY SIR FREDERICK N. BALLANTYNE, G.C.M.G., MD, DSc,
GOVERNOR-GENERAL OF ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES, TO MARK THE 31ST ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDENCE OF ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES

My fellow Vincentians, the challenges facing our Independent Nation as we celebrate this 31st Anniversary have never been greater.

We are currently faced with the worst economic crisis this young Nation has ever seen, with loss of markets for our crops, a significant decrease in tourism and a marked decrease in remittances from the Diaspora, factors which all lead to a decrease in Government revenue and rising unemployment.{{more}}

Added to the economic crisis, there are three other major factors which in my opinion impact significantly on our development. They are:-

(1) the marginalization of young men in our society;
(2) the increasing divisiveness among our people; and
(3) the increasing incidence of crime and violence.

One cannot help but notice the paucity of men in institutions of higher learning and at the graduating classes of our universities, a trend which if it continues can have serious economic and social consequences.

On the other hand, the divisiveness in the society and lack of consensus on any major national issue are in my mind one of the greatest obstacles to our continued development.

Our population is small and naturally has only a limited amount of talented persons. If we are to prosper we need to harness the resources of all of these not of fifty percent.

It is incumbent on us, therefore, to urgently harness all of these bright minds to forge a path forward which would guarantee that we protect the independence which we hold so sacred.

I am also very concerned that many Media Houses throughout the world are today highlighting the Caribbean as the area with one of the highest per capita crime rate.

This obviously influences the way people view us and their willingness to invest, visit and reside in our country.

In spite of all these major problems facing us, I remain optimistic that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

We Vincentians love to talk as evidenced by the popularity of all the call in programmes. We can certainly gain a lot if half of this talk time is spent talking about issues which impact our development; such as – what can we do to save money, how can we eat better to preserve our health, how can we save energy and protect the environment, what can we do to prevent many of our citizens from falling below the poverty line, how can we promote love and respect for our fellowmen, and how can we reduce crime and violence in our blessed land. Many of you I am sure can add to this list.

It seems to me that if we can summon the will, we can find a lot to talk about besides politics. Maybe our progress or lack of it rests in the hands of the talkers. You decide!

My family and I take this opportunity to wish you a Peaceful and Happy Independence.

LAST NEWS