On Friday 27th October 2023, the land of my birth, St. Vincent and the Grenadines will celebrate 44 years of Independence. Thus, as we mark this momentous occasion in our nation’s history, it is a time to celebrate the resilience, commitment, and aspirations of the nation within the Commonwealth. It is also an opportunity for young leaders like me to reflect on our journey within the Commonwealth, to be inspired, and to continue advocating for a more equitable, just, and sustainable world.
My experience in the Commonwealth
The Commonwealth, with its rich tapestry of nations, offers a unique opportunity for young leaders like myself to connect, collaborate, and advocate for the change we wish to see in the world. Through the Commonwealth Youth Gender and Equality Network (CYGEN) of which the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) is the Secretariat, I have had the opportunity to address critical issues related to gender equality, advocating for the inclusion and empowerment of women and marginalized groups. Having entered the network as a campaign lead for the #Reform53 campaign, then serving as the Executive Committee lead for Youth Transitions and having recently completed my tenure as the Coordinator of CYGEN, the network has served as a platform for knowledge sharing, capacity building, and forging lasting friendships with fellow young leaders across the globe. It is a testament to the power of collective action and the strength of the Commonwealth's diversity.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Commonwealth
St. Vincent and the Grenadines, nestled in the southeast of the Caribbean Sea, has its own unique aspirations within the Commonwealth. With our recent volcanic eruption and unique vulnerability to climate disasters, the nation is committed to promoting sustainable development, environmental conservation, and climate resilience. In line with the Commonwealth's values, St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been actively engaged in efforts to protect the environment and mitigate the impacts of climate change, showcasing the nation's commitment to a greener and more sustainable future. In my new role as the Chairperson for Climate Change within the Prime Minister’s Youth Advisory Council, this is a cause which I will continue to champion, particularly as it relates to climate finance and the loss and damage fund.
I am humbled to reflect on my journey as a young leader within the Commonwealth as it is within this diverse and dynamic organization that I have found my purpose, passion, and a platform to advocate for equality, justice and sustainable development. The Commonwealth is a place where aspirations, like those of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, can be nurtured and realized. It is a global family of nations working together to build a better future. As a young leader, I am proud to be a part of this journey and to contribute to a Commonwealth that values equality, justice, and positive change. Happy 44th Independence Day, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and here's to a brighter future within the Commonwealth!
The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Royal Commonwealth Society.