While most would agree that infrastructural development is imperative for prosperity, Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves believes crime reduction has to play a major role in any conversation about sustainable development.

The politician said as much this morning when he addressed an energy conference being held at the Guyana Marriott under the theme, “Harnessing energy for development.”

Gonsalves said in so doing, various sections of society have to work together for the common good as development cannot be left to the government alone.

He said, “A society which consist only or largely of atomized individuals that is to say individuals who see themselves as atoms, separate and distinct from others is a not sustainable.” In other words, sustainability is highly dependent on unification.

Gonsalves said one common developmental problem in most Caribbean jurisdictions is crime or citizen insecurity.

He said resources derived from energy can help to address crime. But, “If we think that resources alone can fight crime and insecurity, we are fooling ourselves.”

Gonsalves said parents have to play their role and be sure to instill values in their children especially males because they are the ones committing the serious crimes.

He added that schools have their role to play “but lots of teachers are getting lots of certificates and degrees but not building the critical faculties in the students. They become receptacles of facts rather than critical minds receiving and transmitting universal culture but with a Caribbean particularity.”

Gonsalves said oil money will help Guyana to buy more police equipment, train police ranks better and give them more vehicles, “but police work is not the cause of crime. If you look, young males who do not get proper education, drop out of school, families don’t pay attention to them, churches fail them.”

The longtime leader said in Guyana’s developmental journey, every single person has to play his or her part even for the building and maintenance of families as strong families are also important for development.


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