Sustainability must be underlined by social and economic freedom and can only be achieved by education which must be accessible, equitable and modern, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said on Saturday night in her address a Republic Day gala dinner in Queens, New York."When we combine the progress on all fronts, we can feel sure saying that our Republic stands great for today's people, and shall stand as the beacon for tomorrow's people," she added.
"As a people, this is another opportunity we have to ensure that, not even for the shortest moment, we allow ourselves to forget how much our nation has grown because of us, and indeed how much we have grown, as a people, because of Trinidad & Tobago."Persad-Bissessar said where education thrived, social inclusion also flourished which resulted in communities becoming stronger and people more confident in their own country.
"When all of these factors come together, we have people and communities less inclined to protecting, fostering or condoning crime, criminals and anti-social behaviour," she said.Commenting on the many hurdles this country faced, she said T&T had walked through them with dignity.
"Our advance in the face of challenges, continues with determination. We are now at the threshold of a very significant achievement in the area of education, which has come as a result of vision, commitment and keeping promises," Persad-Bissessar said.On Friday, the Prime Minister, who participated in United Nations General Assembly in Manhattan, said she had pleasure of speaking directly with leaders around the world and also listened to how some had been able to emerge from the proverbial ashes.
"And it is always refreshing to be able to sit among world leaders and think beyond simply the things that necessitate action within our borders, into things that require our participation beyond our borders," she said.In T&T's growing role internationally, she said, in just a few years this country had emerged as a "true and faithful" global partner in matters of freedom and democracy, the right to development, rights to safety and education, and the right to opportunity in an environment that celebrates diversity.
Persad-Bissessar said as a country that stood strongly on the side of social justice and equity T&T continued to be a supportive force in the region for justice and reconciliation."We continue to advocate, support and participate at any level where we can secure sustainable development by honouring the fundamental rights of all people to live free of fear and instability.
"We continue our call for a lasting solution to the decades-old Arab-Israeli conflict which caused tremendous loss of life and destruction of property in the Gaza Strip, and left emotional and psychological scars to those families who lost almost two thousand of their loved ones," Persad-Bissessar said.
She said in discussions with the UN on Friday, T&T called for implementation of all relevant security council resolutions geared towards resolution of the conflict and lifting of the illegal embargo imposed on the Palestinian people since 2005.
"We are optimistic that the resolution adopted by the Security Council at Wednesday's Summit on Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorists acts will be the catalyst for greater international co-operation in the fight against the terrorism virus," Persad-Bissessar said.