Saint Lucia Youth is­sue Dec­la­ra­tion for Repara­tory Jus­tice

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By STAR Cor­re­spon­dent

The full sup­port of Saint Lucia's youth has been pledged for the process of tak­ing CARICOM's Repa­ra­tions Mes­sage to their peers and to the peo­ple of Saint Lucia and the Caribbean.

The pledge was made in a ‘Dec­la­ra­tion for Repara­tory Jus­tice' made at a CARICOM Repa­ra­tions Youth Rally held here last Satur­day, on Derek Wal­cott Square in Castries – and which was also broad­cast live on NTN (Na­tional Tele­vi­sion Net­work) and Ra­dio Saint Lucia (RSL)).

The Dec­la­ra­tion was read by Saint Lucia's CARICOM Youth Am­bas­sador Charde De­sir, who is also Dean of the CARICOM Youth Am­bas­sadors. The Dec­la­ra­tion pledged the “sup­port of the is­land's youth for and in­volve­ment in the cur­rent pro­gramme and process be­ing un­der­taken within CARICOM, to se­cure Repa­ra­tions for our peo­ple, as descen­dants or ‘as­cen­dants' of our an­ces­tors, who suf­fered the ex­cesses of Slav­ery and Na­tive Geno­cide, in ac­cor­dance with the Terms and Con­di­tions es­tab­lished by CARICOM Heads of Govern­ment and the CARICOM Repa­ra­tions Com­mis­sion (CRC).”

In the Dec­la­ra­tion, the par­tic­i­pat­ing lo­cal youth en­ti­ties at the rally or­ga­nized by the Saint Lucia Na­tional Repa­ra­tions Com­mit­tee (NRC) pledged to “Par­tic­i­pate as equal part­ners in the work and ad­vo­cacy of the Saint Lucia Na­tional Repa­ra­tions Com­mit­tee (NRC), en­sur­ing thereby that the youth of Saint Lucia are duly and prop­erly in­te­grated and their ideas ap­pro­pri­ately rep­re­sented.” The Dec­la­ra­tion also pledged the youth will “En­gage young peo­ple across the coun­try in pro­grammes and ac­tiv­i­ties that pro­mote greater aware­ness of the ex­cesses of slav­ery and na­tive geno­cide.”

The youth en­ti­ties promised to seek and share greater aware­ness of “the ways in which the lega­cies of these his­toric pro­cesses con­tinue to im­pact our lives, es­pe­cially in, but not con­fined to, is­sues of so­cial jus­tice, neg­a­tive self-worth, self-hate, crime and vi­o­lence among youth.” The Dec­la­ra­tion said the youth en­ti­ties and mem­bers will “as­sume full re­spon­si­bil­ity for en­gage­ment of the coun­try's youth in ac­tiv­i­ties to se­cure Repa­ra­tions for Slav­ery and Na­tive Geno­cide, in ac­cor­dance with and sup­port of the Terms and Con­di­tions es­tab­lished by the CARICOM Repa­ra­tions Com­mis­sion (CRC).”

The Dec­la­ra­tion iden­ti­fies some of the re­lated is­sues to be pur­sued, “such as the process of re­form of ed­u­ca­tion poli­cies and pro­grammes, gov­er­nance and so­cial is­sues, recog­ni­tion of Kwéyol lan­guage and cus­toms, as well as pro­mo­tion of pos­i­tive cul­tural and na­tional iden­ti­ties.”

The Dec­la­ra­tion says the youth will also “lobby na­tional gov­ern­ments to en­sure that ad­e­quate re­sources are pro­vided for Na­tional Repa­ra­tions Com­mit­tees (NRCs) as a demon­stra­tion of na­tional com­mit­ment to the process and without which the process will con­tinue to be marginal­ized and lack in­flu­ence and im­pact.”

Ac­cord­ing to the Dec­la­ra­tion, the youth con­cerned will also un­der­take to “create a Na­tional Pro­gramme of Youth Ac­tion on Repa­ra­tions, based on spe­cific and mea­sur­able ob­jec­tives to be achieved, with a man­date for reg­u­lar re­port­ing of out­comes to the Na­tional Repa­ra­tions Com­mit­tee (NRC).”

The “Dec­la­ra­tion of Castries” was sup­ported by the CARICOM Youth Am­bas­sadors, the Saint Lucia Na­tional Youth Coun­cil (NYC), the Saint Lucia Na­tional Stu­dents Coun­cil (NSC), Iyanola Coun­cil for Ad­vance­ment of Rasta­fari (ICAR), the Folk Re­search Cen­tre (FRC), the Od­san Youth Group and the Na­tional Repa­ra­tions Com­mit­tee (NRC).

Also present at the rally was a con­tin­gent from the CARICOM Sec­re­tariat led by Pro­gram Man­ager for Cul­ture and Com­mu­nity Re­la­tions, Dr Hi­lary Brown, who also spoke on why CARICOM is seek­ing Repa­ra­tions from Bri­tain and Europe.

The CARICOM del­e­ga­tion also in­cluded Re­gional Repa­ra­tions Co­or­di­na­tor Syd­ney Bart­ley and Re­gional Youth Co­or­di­na­tor Richard Ber­wick.

The Sil­ver Shad­ows Dance Academy staged two telling pre­sen­ta­tions at the CARICOM Repa­ra­tions Youth Rally that silently spoke loudly of the pain and suf­fer­ing of the past, as well as the joys of dreams of vic­tory.

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