UNC’s Political Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar:
“We are celebrating the 25th anniversary with humility and prayers because we, like our great nation-state of Trinidad and Tobago, are founded on moral and spiritual values that recognise the supremacy of God.”
POLITICAL LEADER’S MESSAGE ON THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE UNITED NATIONAL CONGRESS – APRIL 30, 2014
On a stormy day more than 25 years ago – on October 16, 1988 – tens of thousands of citizens stood in the rain and mud and gave our founding leader a mandate to form the United National Congress.
A few months later, the people gathered again – this time at the national Stadium in Port of Spain on April 30, 1989 – to formally launch our party.
Today as we celebrate the UNC’s silver jubilee I give thanks to all those patriots who stood up for equality, justice and freedom making those ideals the guiding principles of the people’s movement that Mr. Basdeo Panday founded.
We are celebrating the 25th anniversary with humility and prayers because we, like our great nation-state of Trinidad and Tobago, are founded on moral and spiritual values that recognise the supremacy of God.
Today our party is a family and for that we give thanks to Our Creator for brining us thus far in our journey as we continue to guide our country along the path of justice, equality and democracy.
Today we pay tribute to Mr. Panday and the dedicated women and men who worked tirelessly to build a people’s party from the ground up, by listening to the voices of the people.
The party they created has become a national institution and is only the second political party in Trinidad and Tobago to survive beyond two decades. Its resilience is because of its firm commitment to people and to democracy and its recognition of the supremacy of God.
Our party has always embraced everyone regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, socio-economic circumstance or geography.
Our founders ensured that every member could vote in the party’s elections in a one-person, one vote system that other parties have now adopted.
We demonstrated maturity in 2010 when you participated in the democratic process and elected me as our party’s leader; that transition was smooth and orderly in the true spirit of democracy.
The United National Congress has produced two prime ministers in our short lifetime and given Trinidad and Tobago two governments dedicated to performance and delivery.
The motivation for creating a party of the people remains today. All politics is guided by a determination to work for the people to make their lives better and to enhance our communities.
We have always shown a willingness to embrace change in a manner that is unique to the politics of Trinidad and Tobago. That is what motivated us to create the People’s Partnership, which is the realization of the UNC’s dream of celebrating unity in our diversity.
Today, 25 years since the formal launch of our party we continue to embrace the country’s diversity through the coalition of interests that we formed under my leadership. It brought together the widest cross section of the people of Trinidad and Tobago and remains today a beacon of hope and promise for a better life for all our people.
Our party also understands the need for continuous dialogue with our members and the national community because it was born from among the people through 57 public meetings and more than one hundred cottage meetings at private homes over a period of seven months.
As we celebrate 25 years as a national party I rededicate myself to the original ideals of our party. I pledge to continue to listen, then lead and urge everyone to celebrate with us and join us in our journey of service as we move forward to 2015 and beyond.
A quarter century is a short time in the history of our politics. The UNC is a permanent part of our landscape as the leader you elected I promise to continue to serve you based on four core principle:
- National unity as we celebrate our diversity
- An uncompromising commitment to good governance
- A commitment to listening to our people and making YOUR concerns the centre of government
- Taking all step to ensure the prosperity of our citizens
You will always be welcome in the UNC family, where the rays of the rising sun bring warmth and hope, and the promise of a new beginning with each new day.