The resounding theme of Saint Lucia’s 45th Independence Anniversary is focused on nation building and working together for the welfare of the citizens.
A comprehensive Calendar of Events have been unveiled, to highlight the upcoming occasion and the steps taken along the way as the country continues to aspire towards being a more caring, holistic and productive nation.
Emphasizing the theme: Douvan Ansam – Building a Nation through Unity, Resilience and Creativity – the Cabinet Secretary and Co-Chair of the Independence Committee Agosta Degazon noted that it requires a collective effort to take on the task of nation building and to establish a stage of power and security.
“Building a nation through unity must start from within and can only progress smoothly if we practice this from the smallest units,” he declared.
Notably, said the government official, such dialogue needs to be nurtured from conversations with “our families, amongst our neighbours ,colleagues at the workplace and within our communities”.
Added Degazon: “We must unify our groups and visons for a mature Saint Lucia by continuing to communicate at all levels. This has the potential to ignite a clear path as we approach middle-age as a nation, and will help with the global vision of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): to promote an inclusive and peaceful society.”
Within the wider context, he said, “there must be a drive towards more inclusive institutions, given the need for peaceful solutions.”
And so, this year’s Independence calendar of activities will feature “some exciting changes” geared to promote unity and inclusiveness.
Degazon said, a more united nation will help to promote resilience “to social and environmental shocks and disasters”.
Foremost, he noted, “as a country we must do our utmost to protect the future of our citizens.”
Commenting on the responsibilities within the public service, he said, “the public sector must be a sound example to the private sector and invest in capital that is clean and green. Such public investments will provide job opportunities and generate a more robust level of economic growth.”
Degazon continued, “It is becoming increasingly important to forge partnerships with global organisations to explore more sources of renewable energy and undertake initiatives to reduce the effects of climate change.”
While expounding on the creativity component, he said, “A deeper dive into our beliefs, values, and perception of what makes us Saint Lucian is very crucial in bringing out our creativity. Highlighting what makes Saint Lucia different from the rest of the world is crucial, given that tourism is the main sector driving our economies.”
He added, “Our heritage needs to be protected and utilized in opening opportunities for growth and diversification. “It is extremely important therefore that we formulate policies and enact laws to protect our heritage, both tangible and intangible.
“Preserving what is uniquely Saint Lucian will help us expand our creativity and generate business opportunities. These can be easily identified when done collaboratively, sustainably and with an eye for uniqueness and creativity.”
Degazon noted, “Given that the more mature Saint Lucian has greater wisdom from the past, there must be a connection between both generations to recite the story of what makes us Saint Lucian. This will encourage us as individuals and as a nation to fully embrace our uniqueness, spark innovation and sustain the transfer of knowledge across generations to come.”
To reiterate the theme for this year’s Independence activity, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Industries, Guibion Ferdinand spoke about the ability to bring out that “true ‘Saint Lucianess’ in us through self-expression.”
Noting that the Independence celebrations will be spread far and wide, he stated: “The spirit of Independence, the spirit of our celebration is being exhibited across the length and breadth of our island.”
Ferdinand asserted: “And so, as we celebrate, let us embrace the key values of tolerance, peace, and inclusion. But as we do so, let us not forget that our creativity and self-expression can become the key pillars for nation building and national pride.