|HRH Princess Anne delivering her speech as Prime Minister Freundel Stuart looks on. (Willie Alleyne/BGIS)|
Her Royal Highness Princess Anne received a warm welcome to Barbados during a reception yesterday held in her honour by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart at his official residence, Ilaro Court.
Princess Anne was in Barbados for a three-day private visit as president and patron of the inaugural Caribbean‐Canada Emerging Leaders’ Dialogue (CCELD), an initiative which supports the many close commercial and cultural ties between Canada and the Caribbean. It is built on proven models of executive leadership development, in particular, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Study Conference, established almost six decades ago.
In his address, Prime Minister Stuart said: "We in Barbados are particularly thrilled that you were able to find some time in your busy schedule to visit Barbados to preside over the CCELD’s closing sessions. Far too much time has elapsed since your last visit to these shores and we are much obliged to the CCELD for providing us with this opportunity to host you."
He congratulated Princess Anne for upholding the legacy of her father the Duke of Edinburgh by being the patron of "such a worthwhile venture as the promotion of leadership ideals among young people.
"To the various organising committees which themselves comprise alumni of the Commonwealth Study Conferences, I wish to say that I am confident about the future of the Emerging Leaders’ Dialogue Programme, given your unswerving support to its cause and your selfless contribution of time and energy to its success," Mr. Stuart stated.
He also expressed confidence in the future of the Programme and encouraged participants to continue building their communities and be effective leaders in their various fields of endeavour.
In her remarks, the Princess Royal thanked the Prime Minister for giving the CCELD "an opportunity to experience what this island has to offer," adding that Barbados was a very good place to conclude the Dialogue.
She said the Emerging Leaders’ Dialogue was instrumental in "supporting leadership development and [helping] a new generation of leaders in the public and private sectors develop vital personal contacts". She mentioned some of the challenges faced by the many emerging leaders who had to overcome a number of difficulties to make the programme come to fruition.
Princess Anne congratulated the Dialogue’s co-chairman for the Caribbean, Sir Roy Trotman, for his continued work in supporting the initiative, as well as all the supporters who had made the closing ceremony possible.
The reception was also attended by Bermuda’s Governor Sir Richard Gozney, members of Cabinet and the diplomatic corps, and featured performances by The Royal Barbados Police Force, The Mighty Gabby and the National Youth Symphony.
CCELD brings together 120 influential and emerging leaders from business, government, labour, and civil society from throughout the Caribbean and Canada to participate in a series of learning tours in varied cultures and communities. Under the theme Growth Through Connections: Enabling Sustainable Progress individuals share and learn from each other and strengthen ties between the region and Canada, as well as develop cross-cultural leadership skills".
The tours begin in Gatineau/Ottawa, Canada where all participants engage in two days of presentations, discussions and networking. Global leaders address participants, who explore with them the CCELD theme in its different dimensions. Participants are then divided into study groups of 12 participants that travel to different locations in Canada, Bermuda and the Caribbean to visit communities and workplaces from the public and private sectors, as well as civil society.