Address by Prime Minister The Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, at the Swearing-In Ceremony of the Members of Cabinet and Parliamentary Secretaries on May 27, 2018, Bay Street, Bridgetown.
Your Excellency Dame Sandra Mason, Governor General of Barbados.
My colleague Prime Ministers from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves and Prime Minister Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada; Prime Minister Chastanet who has had to leave us and Prime Minister Skerrit who also joined us earlier today for lunch before coming here. Members of the Cabinet of Barbados, Members of Parliament, members of the diplomatic corps, specially invited guests, fellow Barbadians.
Let me begin by extending a heartfelt welcome to my colleagues the Prime Ministers for joining us on this very special occasion. It is truly, truly gratifying to us that you have chosen to take time and to spend this day with us and we shall forever treasure this gesture.
Your presence here is clear testament to the strength of the spirit of Caribbean and equally, I give you my assurance that our Government is eager to restore and reinvigorate its partnership with you in pursuit of our vital regional integration goals.
Our Constitution speaks in the Barbados Labour Party to the pursuit of regional integration.
We have come here this afternoon to witness the swearing in of the new Cabinet of Barbados and to wish them Godspeed as they set forth to work for the people of Barbados.
We have also come here also to celebrate, with great pride and emotion, the unequivocal proof given to us on May 24th that in Barbados our democracy is strong, is resilient and is very much alive.
And so let me begin by saying thank you, thank you, thank you to every Barbadian! Thank you for standing up, thank you for speaking out, and, yes, thank you for showing up when it mattered most, to demonstrate the astounding power of your vote. Because of you, our country has just seen the most emphatic and unambiguous expression of the will of the people in its history.
Permit me to say, these fields and hills have resounded with the decisiveness of your message. You want change. You want a new direction. You want a Government that recognizes that its purpose, yes Uncle Jerry, is to serve. You want a Government that is competent and courageous enough to confront the challenges that we face as together, we begin that long walk back from the brink.
And so, finally, the new dawn is here. Collectively the people of Barbados are amazed at what has been achieved. But none more so than your new Government and your new Cabinet. We are profoundly affected by the extraordinary strength of the mandate that you have given us, and we are equally conscious of the overwhelming responsibility now placed firmly on our shoulders.
We acknowledge the solemn duty this demands of us; never to betray your trust, nor breach the sanctity of the covenant you have willingly entered into with us. For this my friends is truly a Covenant of Hope.
And it now falls to us to translate hope into action. As I have said to you before, there is no time for pause, and there is certainly no place for triumphalism and exultation. We have serious work to do and serious problems to solve. The dawn is fleeting and the soon the full glare of the tropical daylight will be upon us.
I have walked the length and breadth of this country these past few years and I have seen, first hand, how much our Nation has been battered, how dispirited our people have become. But spirits my friends can rise and wounds can be healed once we learn again to believe in ourselves, in our Nation, and in the fundamental values which have shaped us both. In what my dear friend Dr. Gonsalves has so eloquently described: “the idea of Barbados”.
Today, as your Prime Minister, I ask all Barbadians, all Barbadians, to accompany us on this journey out of the shadow of darkness and into the light. There is nothing wrong with Barbados that together, with vision and determination, confidence, and abiding faith, and discipline that we cannot make right. And I say to you, look at the sky, look at the ocean, look at the sand, look at the people, feel the breeze. Everything that is not man-made is still working in Barbados.
So we must get there if we work together, in our families, in our communities, in our schools, in our places of worship, in our places of work. We can get there with transformational policies, transformational thinking and transformational implementation.
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Prime Minister’s Office