Months after the announcement of the completion of his eleventh book, Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has officially released ‘A Time of Respair Beyond COVID, the volcanic eruptions, Hurricane Elsa and Global Turmoil Fresh hope for St Vincent and the Grenadines’.
The Prime Minister’s latest piece of literature was launched on Thursday, January, 19, at the Methodist Church Hall, Kingstown attended by senior government officials.
During the lengthy discussion, chaired by Dr. Richard Byron-Cox, Head of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Capacity Development and Innovation Office, Gonsalves explained the motivation behind the title.
“…and why respair? I was looking for a frame of ideas. The word respair…means fresh hope. And that prompted me to write this and to use the 2022 budget to show people that out of all this body of ideas and reflections on history and all the circumstances, we have to do things real, we just can’t talk about them on the radio, loosely, we can’t just go by the rum shop or just write something and in some flippant way, this thing requires serious thinking. And for us to be in solidarity with one another naturally within a competitive political framework…”.
Prime Minister Gonsalves added that the book explores the theme of charting a path forward following “this period of extreme disruptions and dislocation” caused by the disasters of 2021 and the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’ve also documented the work not just of the central government, but of dozens of organizations which we have created, state entities, and the way we have reinvigorated existing organizations, he added.
“These institutions are critical in the entire process of respairing, not only the central government and I think that is a matter of great importance.”
The discussion also explored the topic of “political factionalism and other forms of divisiveness” which the Prime Minister noted in his words, has “wrecked” Vincentian society. He made a call for both political parties in SVG to seek out “compromises” despite differences in political opinions.
“All I can urge that we do on an ongoing basis and certainly from our side, and I’m asking for civil society, the intellectual class, let us see if we can agree on the basic set of facts.
And let us then have what opinions we want to have. This issue of compromises -and the compromises are vital in the parliamentary process, and to make the change from the colonial economy.
And in doing so, through parliamentary means, requires extreme creativity and knowledge as to how law can be an instrument of change.”
Persons attending the book launch all received free copies of the book signed by the Prime Minister. Entertainment at the event was provided by Rodney Small and Darren Andrews.