Today, August 26, 2022 has been declared an “historic moment” in Vincentian history by Senator Keisal Peters, who was sworn in this morning as the country’s very first female minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
She is also the youngest person ever to serve as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the history of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Peters took the Oath of Allegiance, Oath of Office and Oath of Secrecy before the Governor General Dame Susan Dougan, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, Cabinet colleagues, family and friends in a ceremony at Government House this morning.
“It is not lost on me that we are making history here today and first and foremost, I have to acknowledge the goodness of God in my life because without him I am nothing and I believe that God had a plan; even before I was conceived…” Peters said shortly after being sworn in as this country’s foreign affairs minister.
She thanked the Prime Minister, her immediate predecessor in the role, for advising the Governor General on her new appointment, and for providing her with the opportunity to “serve the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines in a higher capacity with more responsibilities which I am ready for and which I know I am very much capable of”.
Peters was sworn in as Senator in the House of Assembly on November 16, 2020, following that year’s General Elections, in which the Unity Labour Party Administration formed government for the fifth consecutive time.
She was also sworn in at the end of that month as Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
The senator has since made public her interest in contesting the West Kingstown seat and the Prime Minister has declared her as “one to watch” as she has been gaining ground in that constituency.
In recent weeks, the senator has been the subject of discussion amidst an allegation that she bleaches her skin.
“My personal motto is ‘I aspire to inspire before I expire’ because at some point, we will all leave here and we hope that when we leave here, we leave a country with a solid foundation for the younger generation to carry on,” Peters said at today’s swearing-in ceremony.
She continued: “I have tried for the better part of my life to be an example and to be a role model for young women — and young people in general — and I want to thank the women, who over the last few weeks, have reached out to me, have encouraged me, have defended me, both publicly and privately and most importantly, constantly”.
Peters also thanked persons whom she has met virtually, and since her appointment, for their encouragement and reminders to “stay focused and to keep my eyes on the prize”.
“The irony is I usually encourage people to stay focused but that advice came to me strongly, swiftly, consistently over the last few weeks and I thank you for the encouragement,” she said.
The foreign affairs minister urged young people to not be derailed from their purpose, but rather pursue their hopes and aspirations vigorously.
“Be unwavering in the pursuit of your dreams and to some extent, you should be unapologetic in the pursuit of your dreams and be uncompromising in the pursuit of your dreams,” Peters said.
“Know what you are about and be what you are about and in all interactions with people, you must be unequivocal; meaning you must be clear, no doubt must be left as to who you are and what you intend to do and what you intend to achieve in life because there are people who will try to lead you down a path of unrighteousness and you will be wise not to do it so you have to know what you are about and stay focused.”
Governor General Dame Susan Dougan and Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves also delivered remarks at this morning’s swearing-in ceremony for the country’s first ever female and youngest foreign affairs minister.