Prime Minister Mia Mottley appears to be carefully monitoring current tensions between the United States of America and Iran and its implications on Barbados’ economy and society amid the ongoing process of recovery.
But despite the uncertainty, Mottley today renewed her commitment to spearheading the rebuilding of Barbados and she urged Barbadians to play their role in guarding the country from those things, which threaten to “choke” it.
Addressing a packed congregation at the St Lucy Parish Church for the first We Gatherin’ 2020 “service of faith”, the Prime Minister declared that the country’s greatest challenge over the next “few years” would be the management of change.
“Whether we like it or not, life does not remain static. One week ago, I did not have to worry as Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs about the prospect of instability in this world that may lead to the increase in oil prices. This morning, we do, because actions have been taken globally that go way beyond anything that we on a small island state can control,” Mottley said.
She was referring to heightened global tension over the killing of Iranian General, Qasem Soleimani by the US in Baghdad. The threat of conflict in the oil-rich region has so far resulted in sharp increases in oil prices and threatens severe disruption in the global market.
While Mottley has acknowledged that small states like Barbados often become “victims of circumstance” in the face of such conflicts, she said the way we respond and manage change is completely within our control.
She admitted: “I know people will be anxious. Sometimes I am anxious. I know people will have doubts. Sometimes I have doubts. But I know that after reflection and consideration, that sometimes we have to put one foot in front of the other and the next one in front of the other and the next one in front of it.”
During the service, Prime Minister Minister Mottley received a torch from Rector of St Lucy Parish Church, Rev Curtis Goodridge. She then passed the torch, which symbolizes the light of the We Gatherin’ 2020 campaign to Member of Parliament for St Lucy, Peter Phillips. The congregation, filled with representatives of numerous faiths lustily sang the song “Go Light Your World”.
The Prime Minister, suggesting that hard times still lie ahead, stressed that national progress would depend heavily on how much the population is prepared to “carry and bear”.
“Regardless of how much I may have the desire, it is up to us now to bring as many people in the center and determine the true trajectory of where this nation shall go.
“We must begin to understand that this gathering is first and foremost therefore about giving flesh to a vision that says that Barbadians must be comfortable, happy, confident, educated and safe,” declared Mottley.
She added: “Barbados must work for all people whether Barbadians, Caribbean people or visitors. Barbados must sustain itself for generations yet unborn by making sure that those things that threaten to choke us, whether it be the fleshly things of debt or those things in our environment like lack of water, like pollution on land or sea, that we come to begin to understand that our role is simply that of guardian rather than of exploiter at all cost,” the Prime Minister urged. (KS)