- Our Pledge to our Public Servants
- Our Pledge to our Children
- Our Pledge to our Young People
- Our Pledge to our People with Disabilities
- Our Pledge to our Senior Citizens
- Our Pledge to our Diaspora
OUR PLEDGE TO OUR DIASPORA
Information and communications technologies have effectively blurred the lines between those Barbadians who live on our island and those who live abroad. Our Overseas Barbadians are now better informed and more up to date on developments in Barbados than ever before. In the Barbados Labour Party, we make no distinction between the two. Wherever you live you are, first and foremost, for us, Barbadians who love their country and want to see it prosper.
We have long recognized your tremendous contribution as a Diaspora to the development of Barbados, through your remittances, your investments and donations, your unpaid labour as Ambassadors for your country, your liberal sharing of skills, knowledge and experience in your fields of excellence and your abiding concern for our welfare.
Two decades ago, a BLP Government
created a Special Facility to incentivise
Barbadians who wanted to return home
to resettle or to contribute. The project
has evolved over the years, but we are
conscious that much more can be done
to engage you directly in social and
economic development opportunities
in Barbados, whether or not you chose
formally to relocate. It is our covenant to
you that we will engage you directly on
ways this can best be achieved in the true
sense of partnership and common cause.
Fundamental to achieving developed status
as a nation state will be a new emphasis on international diplomacy, enhanced trade policy
and a new investment strategy. We will seek to
ensure that the right mix of skills are strategically
located. We must return our international credit
ratings to investment grade and our human
development ranking to the premier spot it
previously occupied. Doing so gives us greater
power to determine our own position in the
world. Barbados must be at the table in all of the
major centres of international influence. If we are
not, it will place our citizens and our country at
A critical pillar in our economic growth and
development will be our ability to take full
advantage of the opportunities available for
export and transfers of technologies, and to
vigorously protect our existing exports from
unfair competition however that may manifest
We will craft new opportunities for our
domestic industry to take advantage of existing
international trade agreements. We cannot grow
by seemingly offering the ordinary to the world.
We must develop Barbadian designations and
intellectual property so that products and services
from Barbados can be better differentiated in the
international marketplace as special, helping
to turn them into powerful global brands. Our
agencies focused on business and trade will have
this as a strategic mandate.
The world economy is changing. New geopolitical
alliances with emerging new powers, which are
drastically different from our historical alliances
and traditional world powers, are being formed.
We must capitalize on these and seek to relocate
Barbados in this redefined world order. We must
forge international agreements with partners
from the new world economic powers in order to
attract additional and more varied capital to our
shores and create new avenues for the export of
goods, services and capital.
To implement these strategies, we must seek
to consolidate the process begun by the last
BLP Administration by widening our diplomatic
reach well beyond the traditional power
centres on either side of the North Atlantic.
This will require the deployment of dynamic,
highly-skilled, professional diplomatic and
trade representatives, capable of securing the
best outcomes for Barbados in bilateral and
international negotiations, and also of forging
strategic alliances with like-minded countries on
interests of shared priority concern.
As a small island developing state, we are
particularly vulnerable to both external
economic shocks and environmental threats such
as climate change, unbalanced exploitation of
the oceans and the degradation of the natural
world. We must seek out new and non-traditional
partnerships, externally as well as internally, to
help support efforts to reverse or mitigate the
effects of these developments. We must also
pursue such policies, programmes and personal
behaviours as will reduce the incidence of these
events and mitigate their impact on our society,
our economy and our environment.
We have in the past sided with the oppressed and disadvantaged people in the world, irrespective of race, creed or colour as a natural expression of our humanity. The high regard in which we are held in the international community derives largely from the fact that Barbados has consistently pursued a foreign policy based on principle, not expediency; a policy that has always been grounded in respect for human rights, democratic governance and social justice, and which has afforded us the freedom to organize against and speak truth to power in international fora whenever and wherever human rights, fairness, peace or international law are threatened. It is the strength of our conduct on the international stage which constitutes the best test of whether or not we can legitimately aspire to developed nation status.
We are confident that this new Barbados model which we are advocating and to which we are committing in this Covenant of Hope will capture the global imagination and once again establish our country and our people as global leaders.