Roseau, Dominica: Prime Minister- Dr Roosevelt Skerrit extended warm wishes and greetings on the New Year, 2023, through a message filled with hope and peace. He reflected on everything Dominica faced in 2022 and looked to the future; two words came to his mind, Gratitude and Reset.
Describing the meaning of Gratitude and Rest, PM Dr Roosevelt Skerrit noted:
In a year that was extraordinarily difficult, during which the global population was faced with pestilence, war, and shortages of commodities, jobs and financial resources, God bore up Dominica and Dominicans. For this, people must express their gratitude.
Reset: The idea of Reset is not just about short-termism or a convenient slogan.
He said: Prime Minister Dr Roosevelt Skerrit said that for him, this is a strategic imperative for how they must operate as a country. Achieving this will demand the attention of all stakeholders. The Reset will involve a reassessment of the strategies and approaches to governance to deliver growth to our country and strengthen our social systems to promote the wellbeing of all persons.
As we reset, we will continue to do our utmost to protect and support our citizens in times of crisis and distress. More than ever, our children, women and elderly need us to speak up loudly on their behalf to shield them from abuse of all forms.
Domestic abuse must be treated as a public problem which requires us to respond to prevent and punish all acts of intimate partner violence and provide protection to the victims.
The Reset, therefore, calls on us to be more empathetic to the needs and circumstances of others; and carve out a role for every person in Dominica in the creation of a more peaceful, progressive country.
One of the lessons COVID taught us, is that we can neither live alone nor in isolation. Human beings need each other. We are at our very best when we have social interaction. Even a hello, or simple conversation with another person, can make a difference for us and for the person to whom we are speaking.
The Reset that I am advocating and envisaging will see Dominicans honouring our elders, supporting our youth, being our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers and acting with a sense of care toward our neighbours and fellow Dominicans.
While gearing people for 2023, PM Skerrit cited, “We should work to ensure that our streets, workspaces, communities and country become better places. God gave mankind the gift of His son. While we exchange store-bought gifts, the greatest gifts we can offer each other is the sacrifice of our time and ourselves to show kindness and caring.”
He added that Civil society organizations, rights groups and activists are called to embrace their function as advocates for positive change and the advancement of the shared goals and interests of the Dominican people.
Outlining the significance of God, he asserted, “Our Church must be proactive in our spiritual and social lives and our communities, bearing in mind that the Bible urges that we seek first, the Kingdom of God, and only then will all other things be added to us. My Government is grateful and humbled by the overwhelming mandate and confidence that Dominicans have reposed in us.”
Shedding light upon plannings for 2023, PM Skerrit asserted that they have committed to a National Reset that prioritizes people-centred, inclusive policy and decision-making. It is their intention to focus on building resilience; enhancing communities; strengthening our society; and bolstering our economy against the external and environmental shocks that threaten Dominica’s social and economic wellbeing.
“We will give priority to increasing citizen engagement, improving communication and fostering greater transparency and accountability. The world is a place of great uncertainty, and the prediction is that 2023 will be another difficult year, “said the prime minister.
He stressed that the Government of Dominica is working toward economic stimulation and job creation with a domestic infrastructural works programme, a resurging tourism product and new hotels. They expected the new airport, during construction and once completed, to contribute to improving the lives and livelihoods of Dominicans.