WE DARED TO HOPE THAT THE PROCESS COULD BE A GENUINE PROCESS

Written by on December 23, 2017

RE: LAUNCH, NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN – REMARKS BY MS. JUDY WILLIAMS ON BEHALF OF SOCIAL PARTNERS

SOCIAL PARTNERS PRESENTATION AT LAUNCH OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN 2020-30

Social Partners, and certainly Civil Society, welcome the launch of this process for the development of a National Plan 2020 – 2030. What we are witnessing here this 27th day of May 2015 will be glorified by many as yet another first, to be added to the many firsts for Grenada as a leader in the OCES region; this might well be so, but from the outset let it be clear that the Social Partners represent here the old adage that the “the proof of the pudding is in the eating.”  This will be the yard stick to measure, not this staged activity, but the outcome of the product.

When we proposed the need for such a plan it was in the context of the Social Compact, because we are firmly of the view that a Social Compact – not withstanding how palatable, well intended and celebrated in Grenada or at the regional and international level – will not by itself address the endemic socio economic, political, cultural and spiritual issues we face as a nation.

It is an important step, yes, but new wine must be put into new wine skins.  We cannot only speak about change in attitude; it must be demonstrated by actions that are transparent.

Civil Society and other Social Partners once again affirm a commitment to a sustainable development path for our country.  The process to develop a National Development Plan requires a serious change in perspectives and values.  It is an opportunity for Grenada to take a pro-active, integrated well-grounded approach, guided by principles of equity, justice, sustainability and inclusiveness; an approach which guarantees the active participation of all its people.  Our engagement with this process is to serve the national interest and should not be construed otherwise.
This is, for the Social Partners, a bold, responsible people centered, bottom up approach by which we as Grenadians will determine for ourselves where we want to go and how we will get there.  The process of developing the National Development Plan  is not a project; It is  a process to look ahead and work deliberately for the future, to advance what we believe is possible – development that is sustainable, rights based, inclusive, participatory  and all embracing.

This process cannot be rushed; it must be prepared to allow for shaping and reshaping by our people as they vision for the short, medium and long term.  In that sense, the outcome should not be pre-set; but respond to all our people’s aspirations and the trends we see and can consolidate. This important initiative must advance the humanizing of the process of governance.  It is well established by the national poverty report that over 37% of Grenadians live in poverty and as such basic tangible needs are of immediate concern for many; however the intangible desire to participate is of concern to all, in particular those who have to live with unmet hopes, needs and aspirations.

Civil Society and other Social Partners do not intend to be toothless tigers in this process of developing the National Development Plan and we will spare no effort to ensure that this process is all embracing and participatory; and that its output, the National Development Plan becomes a living document that will contribute to meeting the needs and aspirations of the Grenadian people.  Already CSO has recommended that one fundamental objective of today’s activity should be to raise public awareness of the importance of the National Development Plan and to encourage public participation in the process.

I therefore seize this opportunity to invite individuals, community groups and organizations to become engaged. The power of change rests with us.  Let us take individual and collective responsibility, get involved, and contribute to humanizing the process of governance for a sustainable future for Grenada.

A colleague from Zimbabwe shared this poem with me some years ago:

“Future generations will curse the present

A legacy of disaster they will resent

Unless we in the present work to repent

Laying a foundation that accounts even for a cent.

This earth is owed to the future tenant we should be responsible at this moment”.

  1. Grenada Invites China to Help Plan National Strategy Bank has handed the blueprint

http://news.cbt9.com/blog/2017/12/22/grenada-invites-china-to-help-plan-national-strategy-bank-has-handed-the-blueprint/

” ….based on information Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research Institute official website on December 4 announced, “Grenada  National Development Strategy Plan” is to be the Government of Grenada request, the Chinese Foreign Ministry commissioned the National Development Bank project, designed to provide Grenada with a strategic planning project that recently passed the final review of the China Development Bank. After the project started in April 2015, a number of expert seminars were organized and a field trip to Grenada was conducted from August 21 to August 31, 2016.”

 

  1. For the first time in the world! The country has entrusted the national strategy to China

http://www.chinesemicronews.cc/a/197271.html

  1. A Delegation of the China Development Bank visits Grenada

From Chinese Embassy in Grenada– 2016/08/31

http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/wjb_663304/zwjg_665342/zwbd_665378/t1393500.shtml

  1. China set to move into United States’ backyard with national development plan for Grenada

Tiny Caribbean nation considering Beijing blueprint produced 34 years after being invaded by US troops

–  http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2124925/china-set-move-united-states-backyard-national

 


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