Approximately 200 persons drawn from government departments, civil society organisations and the religious community participated in a consultation, which had as its theme The Changing Barbadian Society: Shaping a Brighter Tomorrow on September 1st and 2nd 2012, held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. .
For Barbados to remain the kind of society of which we all can be proud, those who are interested in pursuing what is good must outweigh those who are interested in pursuing what is wrong. This was the view expressed by Freundel Stuart, Prime Minister of Barbados. The PM suggested that if all Barbadians had their material wants satisfied, it would still not be enough to create the kind of society needed for Barbados.
He suggested that society is held together by a set of values which denote right and wrong, good and bad, just and unjust, fair and unfair and who is blameless versus who should be blameworthy. As such, he said core values which are collectively shared must be passed on to future generations to ensure the creation of the best society. While it is not possible to stop society from changing, action must be taken to change it for the better, he added.
“There are a number of things that have worked for us over the years… they’ve kept us together, they’ve built us, they’ve reinforced us, they’ve changed us continually for the better.
“Let us be very careful about those values, those norms, those aspects of behaviour, those standards and so on that we are prepared to discard, because we may…discover that these are irreplaceable and that is another way of losing our society as we know it. That is another way of society getting to the stage where, rather than changing for the better, it changes for the worse,” he said.
Several members of the Barbados Muslim community participated in the Consultation. Proposals from a recently held Religious Summit presented by Secretary of the Barbados Muslim Association, Suleiman Bulbulia.
The recommendations gathered at the two -day consultation on “The Changing Barbadian Society: Shaping a Brighter Tomorrow,” will be compiled and forwarded for consideration by Cabinet.
However, given the number of recommendations, they will have to be prioritised, observed Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, during his wrap up of the consultation sessions
The Government’s decision to host this consultation was lauded by many Bajans, describing it as an excellent initiative which is critical and timely.