St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ successful steel band-based initiative of “Pan Against Crime”, involving that nation’s young people, could be shared with Barbados in yet another example of forging deeper ties between two of CARICOM’s closest neighbours.
This offer comes as Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves expressed his keenness to have St. Vincent and the Grenadines strengthen its bilateral ties with Barbados and establish more people-to-people exchanges, particularly in the areas of education and culture.
Prime Minister Gonsalves discussed this and other initiatives during the formal accreditation of David Comissiong as Barbados’ non-resident High Commissioner to that country on June 4, 2019.
According to Prime Minister Gonsalves, young Vincentians have embraced the idea of being identified with the various steel pan groups.
He stated that the initiative implemented in 2008 has taken a unique approach to fighting crime by helping young people in the country turn toward a life of music, by learning how to play the steel pan.
In turn, High Commissioner Comissiong welcomed the possibility of the two countries collaborating on this initiative.
He also referred to the historical connection shared and proposed that people-to-people exchanges could occur through organized “Edutainment” tours involving students, youth, church and private groups.
Additionally, High Commissioner Comissiong suggested participation in each other’s national events and festivals.
He noted that with St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ upcoming celebration of its 40th anniversary of independence in October, it could be transformed from one day of celebration into a month-long celebration patterned after the Barbados Model.
While in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Mr. Comissiong participated in the launch of the Prime Minister’s latest book “The Political Economy of the Labour Movement in St. Vincent and the Grenadines”. He also held talks with the Speaker of the House of Assembly, the Honourable Jomo Thomas.
Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines established diplomatic relations on October 27, 1979.