There is power in unity – CARICOM Youth Ambassador, Barbados
Friends, it is with immense pleasure that I address you on the observance of CARICOM Day. To CARICOM nationals here in Barbados, across the Caribbean, and in the Diaspora – greetings. It is 47 years today since the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas, a document that articulates a regional integration movement, striving to bring the richness and diversity of members and associate states under a single institutional umbrella.
Today, as challenges stemming from our historical legacy and modern-day realities crash upon our shores, it is imperative that we adhere to the principles and pillars of CARICOM, so that together, we may rise.
Moving across the length and breadth of Barbados, I am cognisant of the severe challenges facing young people, which are synonymous with other youth across the region. Indeed, the harsh environment brought on by COVID-19 has increased these challenges tenfold. This pandemic disproportionately affects young people with shocks to education, training, and employment. These are uncertain times for us all, but persevere we must. As we honour generations gone before, let us display our creative skills and youthful energies to wrestle with and solve the issues that confront us. In this way, we hasten the dawn and bring a quick end to the dark night.
So on this CARICOM day, as we reflect, I encourage participation in active thinking as we consider how best to mobilise ourselves and embrace the four pillars of success, equality, moral justice, and best practices, right here in the Caribbean.
We, the young people within CARICOM, must seek every opportunity to use the organs of CARICOM to show the international community that we cannot be all equal if some are seemingly more equal than others. Therefore, we must work diligently, ensuring that we neither hold nor posit myopic, insular views that compromise success but rather, strive to live embracing principles of partnership and cooperation.
For all of us, this road we trod is winding, and the load is heavy. Heavy for 300,000 Barbadians, 300,000 Bahamians, 700,000 Guyanese or even three million Jamaicans, but if we use our collective strengths as 16 million CARICOM citizens, then together we can carry this load.
Let us today, take a moment to celebrate this significant milestone, demonstrate gratitude for the work done before, and agree amongst ourselves that our destiny is bound in the task we must discharge. Accepting that it is only together we can succeed, let us strive together, leaning forward toward the prize of this noble calling. Felicitations and may God bless the Caribbean Community.
Chad Monerville – CARICOM Youth Ambassador, Barbados
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