By SVG Diaspora Committee of New York, Inc.
Among the main planks that the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Diaspora Committee of New York Inc. (SVGDCNY Inc.) has sought to promote from its inception is the concept of unity among Vincentians residing in St Vincent and the Grenadines and those living in the Diaspora.
In observance of our country’s 34th anniversary of Independence, the SVGDCNY Inc. believes it is important that our political leaders and the institutions they represent reflect on the vital role they must play in forging unity in the Vincentian community. The leaders of the main political parties must take the lead to ensure that their activities are imbued with a sense of unity that could infect Vincentians in their communities wherever they dwell. Likewise, social groups (in SVG and the Diaspora), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), talk shows hosts, the clergy, judicial bodies, and the common man on the streets must all conduct themselves in a manner that will help to build the kind of cohesiveness necessary to transform SVG, from a fledging independent state, to one that transcends narrow parochial or partisan views. Human development must become the primary goal of all Vincentians. Our nation will only truly advance through the development of its most vital natural resource: its people, which will aid the country’s growth as an underdeveloped state, in spite of its size and economic inadequacies.
It is the view of the Committee, that unity can be achieved in the political, economic and social arenas, if political leaders were to promote constructive dialogues and engagements. Here are some examples that may help:
➢ Find common ground on legislation that can encompass diverse political views/policies;
➢ Use past or current experienced legislators to reform the parliamentary protocols and procedures that may usher in a spirit of cooperation, reconciliation and unity among parliamentarians, and by extension the Vincentian populace;
➢ Expand the role of NGO’s to act as intermediaries on contentious issues;
➢ Promote better programming on the talk radio circuits;
➢ Take a strong collective stance against criminal activities and in defense of a more peaceful society conducive to promoting a better social and economic climate;
In such an environment, creativity can be stimulated to provide employment, which is critical to any society. Employment brings dignity among people. The business sectors, in SVG and the diaspora, should be encouraged to identify pathways to employment. Linkages between the business sectors in the Diaspora and our Vincentian businesses at home should be developed to provide Jobs that can help in the development of SVG and its people. An employed people are a contented people. Similarly, it is the prevailing view of the committee that job victimization or victimization of any kind does not engender unity among a people and such practices ought not to be encouraged or promoted.
It is because of some of the issues listed above that the SVGDCNY Inc., in collaboration with the St Vincent and the Grenadines Consulate in New York, the Council of S. Vincent and the Grenadines Organizations U.S.A, and the Garifuna Coalition, organized a Roundtable Policy Consultation on “Unity within the Vincentian Diaspora” in June 2011. We in the Diaspora will continue to work in solidarity with other Vincentians and organizations to advocate for unity in SVG. We call on all Vincentians as we celebrate our nation’s 34th anniversary of Independence to reflect on the vital role that unity plays in our nation’s progress.