Earlier in our newscast, we brought you highlights of the Prime Minister’s Independence Day speech. We now look at the Leader of the opposition’s speech. Hon. Francis Fonseca mentioned the need to work in unity and gave the illustration of the BTV and commended them for their patriotism.
Francis Fonseca: Indeed there are important lessons to be drawn from the past 34 years, but today for me, the more important question is what will we make of the next 34 years? What is our national vision for this next chapter of our young nation’s life? And are we, each of us, prepared to work, and sacrifice to achieve that vision and create the society we say we aspire to. The spirit of unity and sense of purpose was on full display for all the world to see just a month ago on August 16th when a group of some 200 Belizeans, under the banner of the Belize Territorial Volunteers, gathered in Baranco Toledo and journeyed to the Southernmost boundary of Belize on the Sarstoon. This journey was a peaceful, powerful statement that Belize, all of Belize, from Rio Hondo to Sarstoon, from our cayes and atolls, to our Western Border, is ours to protect and defend. A clear strong message of unity and determination in the face of the unfounded Guatemalan claim.
He mentioned some of the struggles that the nation is experiencing at 34 years and the need for a recommitment to good governance to address the issues.
Francis Fonseca: 34 years into Independence. Our efforts to combat poverty, and inequality, demand and require an equal sense of purpose and unity. True development calls for profound qualitative change, not only of the economy, but also of the society. Central to this change is governance reform. Governance is the hallmark of a democratic, peaceful, just society, and is fundamental in eradicating poverty and corruption, bringing about economic growth, and social progress. It is concerned with the rules, regulations and procedures that apply to the decision making process. Decisions made in our governance systems and structures, determine how the collective wealth and resources of the nation is managed and allocated, and ultimately the quality of life of each and every Belizean. 34 years after Independence, 17 years of PUP, 17 years of UDP, our responsibility and obligation is to work together in good faith, to change improve and strengthen. To change, improve, and strengthen the failing systems and structures we have in place to govern and develop Belize. On this independence day, let us embrace governance reform by committing to the appointment of the 13th Senator, to reactivating the integrity commission and to restructuring the public accounts committee, On this 21st day of September let us resolve to renew our commitment as a nation and people, to build a society based on equality, justice and opportunity.
The September Celebrations ceremony was followed by the annual citizen’s parade through principal streets of the capital city as on lookers cheered on the floats of their favorite schools, ministries, and businesses.