Renewal at 40!
by Dr. The Hon. Ralph E.
Gonsalves, Prime Minister of
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
This year marks a very proud moment in our Nation’s history, as we observe our 40th anniversary of Independence on October 27. It is undoubtedly a time for joyous celebration by Vincentians living within the geographical boundaries of our multi-island State and those who reside in the Diaspora but whose hearts are forever attuned to the symphonies of the homeland.
We celebrate because we have much for which to thank Almighty God. Our myriad achievements all flow from His grace and favour, generously bestowed upon this Nation and its people. While we are not always faithful in our service to Him, He remains ever-faithful to us. He has spared us from disasters and catastrophes, naturally occurring and otherwise, and has given us the means to rise above adversities, setbacks and limitations. We are grateful.
Over the decades of our Independence, and particularly over the last 20 years, this country has experienced a deep and far-reaching socio-economic transformation which has resulted in vast improvements to the standard of living and the quality of life of our citizens. The policies which have driven this strategic and well-conceptualised transformation are rooted in social inclusiveness, equitable access to State resources and services, poverty alleviation and gender equality. Further, these policies have fostered the participation of all Vincentians, including youth, women and girls, the elderly, the disabled, the farmers and fisherfolk, the working class and individuals from all ethnic and socio-economic sub-groupings.
Many of our citizens who originate from social groupings which had previously suffered discrimination and marginalisation as a result of prejudices perpetuated by colonial, patriarchal and other types of pernicious discourse have been supported in achieving success in a vast range of disciplines and endeavours. As a result, they now occupy their chosen spaces with well-earned confidence, commanding the attention of the region and the world. This is perhaps best reflected and symbolised in this country’s election to a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, proving that, as a people, we refuse to be circumscribed by size, limited natural resources, vulnerabilities to multiple and diverse threats, and the legacies of a history significantly shaped by nature, genocide, enslavement of Africans, slavery and colonialism.
Our spirits are buoyed by our successes to date and remain undaunted by the current threats facing us and the huge tasks which lie ahead as we forge ahead with focus, renewed vigour and commitment to the development of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and its people. Thus, we Renew at 40!
Happy 40th anniversary of Independence, SVG!