Twenty-seven years ago, tens of thousands of patriotic citizens gathered at the National Stadium in Port of Spain on April 30, 1989 – to formally launch the United National Congress.
Today as we celebrate the UNC’s 27th anniversary I thank God for all those courageous Trinbagonians who came together under the banner of one love and national unity to inaugurate a movement that would go on to positively change the landscape of our beloved Trinidad and Tobago.
Today I pay special tribute to Mr. Basdeo Panday and the founding members of the UNC who fearlessly toiled to build a people’s party. The party they created has evolved into national institution and is only the second political party in Trinidad and Tobago to survive and thrive beyond two decades. Our party’s resilience is because of its unwavering dedication to the people of this nation, the preservation of our Constitutional democracy and recognition of the supremacy of God.
Even as I acknowledge our party’s founders, I recognise the new generation of young UNC supporters who have joined the struggle and adopted the party’s mission to create a happy and prosperous country.
A truly inclusive movement, the UNC emulates the words of our national anthem “here every creed and race find an equal place” as we have embraced all regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, socio-economic circumstance or geography. As we were twenty-seven years ago, we remain a truly national party that reflects unity in diversity, as successive UNC governments have embraced the interests of other like-minded national stakeholders in the form of coalitions. When I first assumed leadership of the UNC in 2010, I pledged that I would be a magnet for unity and today I renew that vow to continue to embrace all who share our vision for a better T&T.
The UNC was born during significantly challenging times for the people of T&T – not unlike what we are dealing with today. However, as always, we will persevere in the face of oppressive governance.
As we celebrate twenty-seven years as a national party let us rededicate ourselves to the struggle for equality, unity, peace and justice. I invite everyone to celebrate with us and join us in our journey of service as we move forward under the standard of the rising sun.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP