OECS Congratulates St. Vincent and the Grenadines on 41st Anniversary of Independence

OECS Media Statement
Thursday, October 29, 2020 — The Commission of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) extends to the Government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines warmest congratulations on the occasion of the nation’s 41st Anniversary of Independence.

A virtual flag-raising ceremony was held at the OECS headquarters in Saint Lucia on Tuesday, October 27th 2020 to commemorate the event. The brief ceremony featured a recorded message from Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves; and addresses by the Director General of the OECS, Dr. Didacus Jules; and national of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Mr. Colin Huskinson, Operations Manager at Blue Waters Saint Lucia. The national pledge and national prayer were delivered by St. Vincent and the Grenadines nationals, Mr. David Robin, Oceans Governance and Fisheries Coordinator at the OECS Commission; and The Venerable Christian E. Glasgow, Archdeacon of Saint Lucia, respectively.

Prime Minister Gonsalves, in an address recorded for the momentous occasion, stated:

“Over the past 41 years, since the reclamation of our independence, our nation has made immense progress in life, living, production and good governance – particularly in the last 20 years.

“The considerable progress has been effected despite awesome challenges arising from the limitations of size and material resources, the debilitating legacies of history, the collapse of the preferential market in Britain for our bananas, the deleterious impacts of climate change and natural disasters, the global economic depression of 2008 and continuing, turmoil and contradictions in the global political economy, and the prevalence of devastating global pandemics including COVID-19.

“Despite all these challenges, and more, our people collectively have worked hard and smart to build their lives, their communities and their nation to a high level of human development according to the United Nations Development Programme.”

Addressing the virtual audience from the OECS Commission, Dr. Jules affirmed:

“The people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as the children of Chatoyer and Joshua, have over these past 41 years drawn on the historical resolve of their ancestry to chart an increasingly progessive path of national development.

In these 41 years, St. Vincent and the Grenadines has faced every adversity head-on, seeking to navigate uncertain and sometimes treacherous waters of international diplomacy, unfair trade practices and impositions by the dominance that seek to keep us in a condition of subordination.

The theme of your 41st Anniversary, ‘With Strength, Honour and Dignity, We stand Resolute at Forty-one and Beyond’, resonates at this point in our history, given the unprecedented challenges that we face today.”

He added:

“That St. Vincent and the Grenadines, at the tender age of 40 in the life of nations, was able to secure a seat on the United Nations Security Council, is a tribute, not only to the strategic foresight and resolution of its leadership but also to the competence and capability of its people.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in these 41 years, you have demonstrated your strength, you have displayed your honor and you have defined your dignity.

Every one of your leaders on this path has paved their own portion of this road and so we salute them all for the resolution with which you now stand at 41.

Given this trajectory, we expect that the next 41 years will be ones of exponential accomplishments that will demonstrate to the world that the power of a nation truly lies in the strength of spirit and character of its people and the strategic resolve of its leadership.”

In closing, national of St. Vincent and the Grenadines resident in Saint Lucia, Mr. Colin Huskinson, remarked:

“Fleeting circumstances do not change us, they do not break us, and no matter what the world throws at us, in 2020 and beyond, we will together, as a nation, continually renew our independence.”

The Commission looks forward to continuing in the service of the Government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the ongoing quest for the realisation of their development aspirations and extends very best wishes for continued good health, peace, progress and stability.

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