BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, SEPTEMBER 13TH 2013 (CUOPM) – Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of political independence, St. Kitts and Nevis is poised for progress by leaps and bounds and its institutions are stable and credible.
So says the Federation’s first career diplomat and current High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Dr. Kevin M. Isaac.
Delivering the 15th Annual Prime Minister’s Independence Lecture Series, on the theme “Stability, Creativity and Prosperity,” Dr. Isaac said differences of opinion cannot be allowed to obscure the imperative and merits of nationhood.
“I want to assure you that these thoughts are not the reflections of a naïve optimist. I am a child of this nation, a beneficiary its promise and a stakeholder in its incredible future. I believe in you and I believe St. Kitts and Nevis is poised to progress by leaps and bounds. But I also believe firmly that we must work together and that we are destined to rise and fall together as one people, as one nation,” he told a packed Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Auditorium.
Dr. Isaac told the audience which included the Governor General, His Excellency Sir Edmund Lawrence, Prime Minister, the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Hon. Curtis Martin, Members of the Cabinet, Ambassadors, senior citizens, students and a wide cross-section of the community, that he is alive to the robust political debates and vocal disagreements on the issues which are the hallmarks of a vibrant, living, breathing democracy.
“This I encourage. But we must also balance political activism with civic responsibility. Differences of opinion cannot be allowed to obscure the imperative and merits of nationhood and what it implies. We must strive to fullfil the promise of independence – “one nation bound together, with a common destiny,” said High Commissioner Isaac.
Reflecting on some of his personal stories framed by the legacy and character of this great little country, Dr. Isaac said:
“I see the promise unfolding. I think of a young lady from a village in Nevis who has served at very senior levels of private enterprise and public service and is today helping to shape hemispheric policies on development. I think of a young lady from Saddlers Village and a young man from Sandy Point who went off to Cuba and returned as a psychologist and physician respectively. I think of a young man I saw last month at the Tourism Demonstration farm speaking in fluent Mandarin. These are your stories, your lives, and your promise. These are the children of families whose lack of financial wherewithal could have completely muted their prospects and faith in the future. Yet, today they live the promise as medical doctors – many with specializations, some as entrepreneurs and other business people, nurses and teachers.”
He further called on nationals to emphatically applaud the achievements of the last thirty years, suggesting that all eyes should be focused on the next 30 with hunger for personal and national success.
Imparting advice to young people, the senior St. Kitts and Nevis diplomat said that Government alone is not responsible for prosperity.
“We all are. Each one of us is the face of growth, the face of stability, the pillars underpinning our national credibility and the seeds for any future prosperity. Each Kittitian and Nevisian has a stake in this federation’s promise and shares responsibility for its internal unity and weaknesses. We must be ready to demand more of ourselves, our churches, our government, our educational institutions, teachers, service providers, security forces and fellow citizens,” Dr. Isaac said.
He pointed out that as co-creators of an unfolding national destiny and journey far from complete; he encouraged all to celebrate the momentous occasion, but with the responsibility that nationhood implies.
“We coexist today in a truly interconnected space in which access to quantities of information which can be harnessed into knowledge lie literally at our fingertips. We live in a time, where despite our small size we are competing with larger developed countries. Our strongest competition may be several time zones away, business partners may be down the street or on another continent; but notably, opportunities for growth and personal development also exist in sectors yet to be defined,” said High Commissioner Isaac.
“I urge you to gaze briefly around this Hall, and I promise that, although you may not know it today, your eyes will likely have crossed paths with those of a future apps-developer, a leader of a local manufacturing or technology company, a restaurateur; a high commissioner perhaps, another big- thinker, an entrepreneur, innovator, or another successful politician,” he said.
In challenging the youth, Dr. Isaac urged them to think creatively of the possibilities and opportunities which await them on the remarkable journey called life.
“Instead, of worrying about finding a job, prepare yourself to become the next local employer marshalling the factors of production to generate new economic activity here in St.Kitts to take full advantage of the Partial Scope Agreement recently signed with Brazil,” he said.
High Commissioner Isaac said there are signs of prosperity and St. Kitts and Nevis and it institutions are stable and credible; but tomorrow’s St.Kitts and Nevis needs all our energy.
“There is still much to be done. We must pool our skills and resources and stand on deck, ready, to steady the ship of state. I believe that the task of lengthening the prosperity and maintain stability and credibility needs all of us,” said Mr. Isaac, concluding stating that “a huge opportunity named St.Kitts and -Nevis is knocking, I pray to God that we are alive to our strength and seize the moment with creative optimism, National self-awareness, pride and confidence.”