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G. Friday: Address to Latin America Summit 2018

 Address to Latin America Summit 2018, São Paulo, Brazil, August 2–5, 2018

Thank you for inviting me to be a part of this wonderful meeting. I am here as the leader of the New Democratic Party, the oldest political party in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I am also the leader of the opposition.  I appreciate the responsibility that comes with such positions. It is humbling. I am continually searching myself and seeking to learn from others in an effort to be the best leader I can be. I am doing that also by being here.

A true leader must understand the Law of the Universe and follow it. The Law of the Universe manifests itself as morality. Applied to the family and the government, it manifests itself as ethics.

If we continue to violate ethical laws, it will lead to a destruction of our society just as if the planets deviate from their orbits. Our society is in decline and I believe that the root cause of this is the disappearance of the foundational values of truth and goodness and the appreciation of beauty in all people.

As a leader, one must focus on building a future society based on mutual cooperation and universally shared values: a society that is based on standards and values that must guide us and apply to all our citizens, transcending differences in culture, religion, political opinions, beliefs. In other words, they are universal in nature. We must foster true family values and build citizens of good character—citizens who seek to understand one another and who seek to resolve conflicts, not escalate them.

To this end, I commend the Universal Peace Federation, which establishes a vision of leadership at a time of global crisis. I cherish the core values of this organization. Those values, as I understand them, are:

  • We are one human family created by God
  • The highest achievements of men and women are rooted in spiritual in moral development.
  • The family is the “school of love and peace.”
  • Peace comes through dialogue, cooperation and principled action.
  • Service to others is the foundation of a good society.

By coming together to promote these values in gatherings like this and in the things we do in our daily lives, those of us in this organization can truly make a positive difference in the world.

We have taken an important step in my country, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. That is to say, in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, we inaugurated the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) on September 30,2017. I was out of the country on other business at the time, so I was unable to be at the inauguration event. However, other colleagues, members of parliament, attended the event. I support the aims of the organization. They are goals that all decent people, irrespective of nationality, culture or religion can and ought to support. 

The goal of creating a world that aspires to achieving peace across nations and religions is a noble aspiration worthy of our best efforts, individually and collectively. It is good that this conference has committed itself to that goal. As we leave, we must by our own efforts strive to realize that goal in our different countries.



To go to the Latin America Summit 2018 Schedule page, click here.