Prime Minister Freundel Stuart congratulates new Barbadian citizen Nazir Bham, while Immigration Officer 2, Tyrine Sealy, looks on. (A. Miller/BGIS)

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has reminded close to 200 newly inducted citizens to reflect on the importance of their role as citizens in helping to shape the future destiny of Barbados.

He threw out this challenge to the inductees today while addressing the second citizenship induction ceremony at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.??

Mr. Stuart reminded the audience that the ceremony signified the need for all Barbadians to celebrate the values on which the island had been built. "Barbados is a peaceful nation built over time by people sharing ideas, tolerating other views, exhibiting industry and self-reliance, compassion, trustworthiness and a respect for self and others," he said.

The Prime Minister suggested that these values, not only bind communities together, but were a necessary element in fostering good values in the home, workplace and institutions since they "are more effectively transmitted through our social interactions rather than by any formal exercises in a classroom setting".

Mr. Stuart also espoused the importance of respecting each other’s cultures, values and traditions and maintaining the stability of the nation by placing the community above ourselves.

"If we as a nation not so much retrieve, but maintain those core values that have largely contributed to peace and stability of our nation, we must, once again, act to put the community and society above self.?? We must recognise and respect the individual rights of other persons and seek to resolve issues through consensus rather than conflict.?? This should go a long way in helping different communities to live harmoniously with one another.?? Needless to say, it is a necessary condition for all to prosper," he surmised.

A section of the 200 new citizend inducted at the ceremony. (A. Miller/BGIS)

The Prime Minister added that the landscape had changed with the onset of globalisation and suggested that an active and involved citizenry was critical to combat these challenges.

"Active citizens are those who develop the skills, knowledge and understanding to be able to make informed decisions about their communities and workplaces with the aim of improving the quality of life in these areas. With the acquisition of your new Barbadian citizenship, you have an excellent opportunity to make lasting contributions to both your community and country," Mr. Stuart added.

He further stated: "Your efforts will help ensure that Barbados, not only is able to emerge from the challenges with which it is now confronted, but that it is able to do so in a manner that secures its continuing development and prosperity for generations to come."

The Prime Minister congratulated the new citizens and urged them to uphold the country’s laws and respect the rights of fellow Barbadians.

The new citizens were drawn from countries such as Greece, Turks and Caicos Islands, Honduras and other CARICOM countries.??



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