“If our young people are dying our country is also dying” – governor general calls for peace at Nobel Laureate Week 2014 launch

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“If our young people are dying our country is also dying” – governor general calls for peace at Nobel Laureate Week 2014 launch
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Governor General of Saint Lucia and Chairman of the Nobel Laureate Week Committee, Dame Pearlette Louisy. * Photos by David Vitalis

Nobel Laureate Week 2014 was launched at Government House on January 15, 2014 with messages of peace.

This year’s theme, “Youth and Community: Fostering Social Inclusion through Peace and Security” was highlighted in the synopsis of many activities presented to the invited guests and the media.

Launching Nobel Laureate Week 2014, Governor General of Saint Lucia, and Chairman of the Nobel Laureate Week Committee, Dame Pearlette Louisy, explained that the inspiration for the theme was provided by the UNDP 2012 Caribbean Human Development Report which highlighted the impact of crime on development in the region.

Louisy asked for peace and security for Saint Lucia’s youth.

In her special message for peace to the nation, to be read at churches island-wide on January 18-19, 2014, the governor general calls for peace and the rebuilding of communities: “My wish is for our young people to be filled with a sense of peace and hope.    They cannot grow and thrive in circumstances where they are always under threat. Unfortunately, the escalating violence, the deterioration of community and lack of opportunity has led to a hopelessness that is running rampant in our country.  Too many of our young people are dying and if our young people are dying, our country is also dying.   We cannot continue to allow this assault on our youth and on our country.”

The governor general asked the media to give our youth this message: “You have the ability to move away from negative influences and create a future where you and your children will feel secure.  You have the ability through technology to spread the good news that you can create in your minds and your hearts.  You must become involved in your community in a positive way so that you can learn to empathize and learn to care.   There are many ways to resolve conflict.  You can imagine a country where people are not afraid and you can build that country.”

She also warned that excellence cannot be achieved or even pursued when there is insecurity and unrest.

“I know that there will be forces that will encourage the negative.  I know that it is sometimes easier to just fall in line with what is happening around you.  Dare to be different and dare to live and say, ‘Let there be peace on earth, in our country and let it begin with me,” she said.

Nobel Laureate Week opens on January 20, 2014 with the launching of a Youth Ambassadors’ Programme.

A programme of events, ranging from the customary Derek Walcott Lecture provided this year by Professor Caryl Phillips, “American, without America: Derek Walcott’s American Odyssey”, takes place on Tuesday, January 21 at the National Cultural Centre from 7:30pm.

The Sir Arthur Memorial Lecture will be delivered by Professor Eric S. Maskin “Why Haven’t Global Markets Reduced Inequality” on Thursday, January 23 at the National Cultural Centre, starting at 7.30pm.

The Ministry of Education holds its annual National Awards of Excellence on Tuesday, January 21 from 10 am.  The Sir Arthur Lewis Community College has a number of events including Limyè Lapé (Light of Peace) An Evening with the Arts on Wednesday, January 29, 7pm; St Mary’s College’s Tribute to the Laureates has been scheduled for Friday, January 24, and the Dennery Development Foundation has produced a Literary Night and Awards Ceremony for Saturday, January 25, 2014.

Other activities included: RSL97 and GIS broadcast a series of programmes highlighting the life and works of Saint Lucia’s Nobel Laureates Sir Arthur Lewis and Derek Walcott; Government Information Services will provide the media with a series of questions relating to our Nobel Laureates, “Did You Know?” where members of the public can test how much they know about Saint Lucia’s laureates; a Schools’ Choir Festival; an Evening with the Arts with the National Youth Council (NYC); the Gala Premiere of a documentary film: “Poetry is an Island – Derek Walcott” by Ida Does and the St Lucia Chamber of Commerce Business Awards are also scheduled on the programme of activities.

The Nobel Laureate Week Committee thanks the following agencies and companies for their generosity in ensuring the success of this year’s activities: Sandals Grande St Lucian Spa & Beach Resort, Coco Palm; Auberge Seraphine, First Citizens Investment Services Ltd (FCIS), 1st National Bank, Bank of St Lucia, Financial Investment and Consultancy Services Ltd, (FICS), Ministry of Tourism Heritage and Creative Industries, Alliance Francaise, PeaceJam Foundation, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), OECS, and USAID.

Nobel Laureate Week 2014, which begins on January 20, 2014, is the first programme in celebration of our 35th Anniversary of Independence and our commemoration of the centenary of World War I, culminates on February 2, 2014 with the performance “Masquerade” by Silver Shadow Performing Arts Academy.

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  1. I know that her office is above politics but I believe that she should speak more often, as she represents our Head of State. I think people would listen to her.
    Brutal partisan-politics itself, is perhaps the most divisive thing in our society and people emulate their leaders. We need 'more love, let it fall down like rain.'

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