Next year will mark the 30th anniversary of the AIDS epidemic. This milestone offers a moment to reflect -- and to renew our resolve.
Over the past three decades, AIDS has caused untold suffering and death. But another story has unfolded through the years, one of the global communities uniting with passion to take action and save lives. These efforts are making a real difference around the world.Fewer people are becoming infected with HIV. Millions of people have gained access to HIV treatment. More women are now able to prevent their babies from becoming infected with HIV.
The Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) has launched their re-developed website www.pancap.org which aims to be the primary source of comprehensive and up-to-date information about HIV and AIDS programming in the Caribbean.
The launching is timed to coincide with World AIDS Day 2010, today, and the website is funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), United States Government.
According to a release from the CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, it will be PANCAP’s main communication vehicle to inform a wide audience of stakeholders about PANCAP and so it will be regularly updated to include documents, project information, photos, news stories, activities and achievements from countries and partners across the region.
I don’t think anyone would disagree with me if I said that many young people are not encouraged to pursue the avenue of technical and vocational skills by their parents. However, when they excel in the traditional areas of academics, there is much joy and jubilation.
Despite the polite, lip service which we give to young people who are “better with their hands,” the fact remains that more support and recognition is given to those mainstream subject areas than to those of the technical and vocational field. In fact, many Barbadians still see subjects such as woodwork, plumbing and agricultural science and hospitality as a step down, and that persons who take up the technical strain are below their peers in intellectual ability.
As a country racing rapidly towards developed nation status, we must be cognizant of the fact that in order for us to go forward, we must prioritize the development and effective application of the innovative energies and potential of our young people. Of vital importance however, is that we recognize that much of that innovation and creativity will lie within our young, technically skilled persons.
As of tomorrow Wednesday December 1st 2010, passengers travelling on Air Jamaica will only be allowed 16lb (7kg) in hand luggage, while executive business-class travellers will see a reduction from three to two pieces.
Although executive business-class passengers will now only be allowed to check two pieces of luggage, the weight has been moved from 50lb to 70lb each.
The airline made the announcement on its website, but many passengers and even some travel agents are not yet aware of the changes.
In a quick move, Air Jamaica's competitor, American Airlines, has increased its checked-luggage allowance from two to three, capitalising on the change made by the island's national carrier. American Airlines also does not charge for checked luggage, in comparison to other carriers that fly into Jamaica's airports.
Fellow Barbadians, I am pleased to be able to greet you on this the occasion of our 44th Anniversary of Independence.
Forty-four years ago, the Democratic Labour Party in government decided to take Barbados into independence within the Commonwealth of Nations. Barbados had, by the year 1966, been a colony of Britain for 339 years.
Not everyone in Barbados at that time thought it wise to seek independence. Some there were, who thought that Barbados was too small and too poor to survive as an independent nation; others thought that nationhood would turn out to be too expensive an undertaking and should be avoided; still others thought that with nationhood would come those threats to the functioning of our democratic institutions of which we should steer clear at all costs.
We celebrate today the completion of 44 years of independence and have confounded the prophets of doom, by the great leaps forward which Barbados has been able to make in the economic, social and political spheres.
In the economic sphere, we have been able, quietly and without disruption, to transform Barbados from being an island with a one crop agricultural economy to a nation with a modern and more diversified economy, in which tourism, manufacturing and international business now play a more prominent part.In the social sphere, we have been able to use the instrument of increased and broadened access to education to release the creative energies and potential of our people, in ways that continue to claim the respect and admiration of people across our region and in the wider world.
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