Although the Caribbean has battled many crises, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said the region has excelled, and its resilience is a testament of a bright future ahead.

Speaking during the Eighth Annual Virtual Vatican Youth Symposium recently, Ms. Mottley painted a picture for her audience of a region that had weathered many challenges, on account of the climate crisis and other threats.

She added that the Caribbean had exited colonial rule “empty-handed without the type of development compact that many European and Middle Eastern countries were given”.

The Prime Minister contended: “Small populations fragmented across small islands, comprising largely of people whose ancestors were kidnapped and carried across the Atlantic, systematically stripped of their identity, families decimated and destroyed, miseducated for centuries and forced to live and work in constant fear of punishment and of death.

“Despite being the victims of the most heinous crimes in the history of humanity, we live, we thrive, and we excel.  This is the context within which the Caribbean exists.  We are a region and a people that provide the world with beauty, music, food and ideas, laughter, innovation, tolerance, happiness and scientific research….”

She added that the region’s existence was a living testament that humanity’s future can always be much brighter than its past and urged participants as they discussed the challenges and unforeseen opportunities of COVID-19, on advancing global sustainable development, to do so with optimism and conviction.

The Prime Minister reminded the audience that no matter what crises we faced, change would occur as it was an integral part of our existence.

“Change will occur….  It is a certainty….  It is an inevitable part of the cycle of existence.  What is not certain is whether the change that occurs will be for the better, because better means actual hard work…better means the work that demands from us as individuals, from communities, from institutions that we all collaborate and operate with that genuine spirit of fairness, of justice, of equality, dignity and respect,” she stated.

The symposium was held under the theme: Global Youth Movements Leading Change for the Good and Present and Future Generations.

julie.carrington@barbados.gov.bb

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