Good tidings amid myriad challenges

St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Prime Minister Dr. Ralph E. Gonsalves says there are “good tidings amid challenges”, as the country celebrates its 31st anniversary of political independence.

“Our nation celebrates its 31st anniversary of independence on Oct. 27, 2010, at a most challenging time, occasioned largely by economic, financial and climatic events internationally, not of our making,” said Gonsalves in a message to nationals in the Diaspora.

“Yet, our small nation, with limited natural resources save and except the resourcefulness of our magnificent people, at home and abroad, has not only been weathering calmly the ill-winds from abroad, but it has been making admirable progress on several fronts,” he added.

“So, there are good tidings amidst the challenges at Independence Day 2010; much to be thankful for, much to rejoice about, but still we are not yet out of the woods and the road to be travelled holds perils,” he continued.

Gonsalves said national unity around desirable and achievable goals is necessary, more than ever, “despite the season of heightened political competition.”

“As always, this effort demands an enhancement of our strengths and possibilities and a reduction, as far as is humanly possible, of our weaknesses and limitations,” he said.

“This is not a time for excessive caution, despondency or learned helplessness. It is the time for boldness of action, creativity, optimism, and hopefulness grounded in the real condition of our people and our nation’s circumstances,” he added.

In moving forward, the prime minister urged nationals not to wait on perfect conditions “in this imperfect world.

“We must be pro-active in the world as we find it and seek always to advance our nation’s welfare in the interest of our people’s humanization,” he said, adding by quoting the Book of Ecclesiastes. “Farmers who wait upon perfect conditions will never plant; those who watch the clouds will not harvest”.

Gonsalves said since 2001, his incumbent Unity Labor Party (ULP) administration has “chalked up impressive accomplishments in all areas of public policy,” identifying among them, job and wealth creation; economic diversification; poverty reduction; education; health; housing; protection of the elderly; promotion of the youth; sports and culture; and telecommunications.