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Saint Lucia’s UN Embassy calls for unity among citizenry in facing economic challenges

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Contact: Bevan Springer


Thursday, 26 February 2009 – “A call to continue working together and reflecting on the country’s outstanding achievements while anticipating an inevitable resurgence in the world economy,” was the theme of a message delivered by Saint Lucia's Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations, Sarah Flood-Beaubrun on Sunday February 22nd 2009 in New York.

Mrs. Flood-Beaurbun spoke before a packed congregation at St. Matthew's Roman Catholic Church on Brooklyn's historic Eastern Parkway in both English and Creole as nationals celebrated 30 years of Independence, Flood-Beaubrun cried forth wisdom, unity and the marshalling of resources to keep Saint Lucia on a sustained path of prosperity.

"We have the resources: our people, our sand, sea and sun tourism product, a good standing in the financial community and a Saint Lucian Diaspora with the resolve to make things better for themselves and our country," she said, highlighting the accomplishments of statesmen Sir John George Melvin Compton and Sir George F. L. Charles in the political arena as well as Sir Arthur Lewis and Derek Walcott who have bestowed "The Helen of the West" with the highest per capita Nobel Laureate standing in the world.

"Today we have come to the right place; to place our needs before God, our Creator - and whether in the United States or Saint Lucia we recognize that our civil institutions and our countries' characters reflect our belief and adherence to the basic tenets of Christianity," the former cabinet minister told the attentive audience.

Over the past week, Saint Lucians in the New York Tri-State area have gathered in impressive numbers to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Independence from Great Britain through cultural presentations, poetry readings, a flag raising ceremony at Brooklyn's Borough Hall, and a lively reception hosted by Saint Lucia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Dr. Donatus St. Aimee.

Both Flood-Beaubrun and Dr. St. Aimee congratulated overseas-based Saint Lucians for their significant contributions to the development of the United States as well as of their home country through remittances for relatives, Christmas barrels, education of relatives which combined have added up to tens of millions of dollars, bolstering the local economy and giving hope and encouragement to those on island who are faced with limited resources. "You have truly taken on the mantle of responsibility that Independence means ... and have truly lived the meaning of Independence," said Flood-Beaubrun.

Ambassador St. Aimee delivered Prime Minister  Hon. Stephenson King's message to overseas-based Saint Lucians who this year are celebrating under the theme "A Journey to be proud of...A future to look forward to."

"You, by your own personal achievements and advancement in the world environment, in academia, commerce, culture, entertainment, sports and enterprise, have lifted Saint Lucia's flag even higher than the great nations of the world," noted Prime Minister King, who said this is why in recent times Government has thought it essential to place renewed importance on ensuring that the Diaspora plays an even greater part in the process of national development. The Government of Saint Lucia has established an Office of Regional Integration and Diaspora Affairs, specifically to support its citizens residing overseas, who continue to demonstrate an interest in Saint. Lucia's national development agenda.

The Prime Minister warned, however, that as Saint Lucians celebrate their individual and collective achievements, "we must endeavour to explore new opportunities and possibilities that present a platform for further and future advancement. While we may be proud of the past, we cannot be contented with our achievements of the past and must therefore continue to strive with even greater ethos, purpose and energy, as we venture further on our journey.

"You must keep your faith in God, and trust, that you will be able to use the talents that He has given you to navigate your way with confidence through the mist, the fog and the turbulence that punctuate the journey," the Prime Minister noted, calling on nationals, regardless of political persuasion, to look with confidence towards the future and be prepared to play their part in shaping it.

Father Caleb Buchanan, chaplain of Brooklyn's One Caribbean Radio, said Saint Lucians across the Diaspora had much to contribute to peace, unity and reconciliation at home as well as at the level of the international community.

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