Trinidad and Tobago PM receives ‘Democracy Medal’

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar

St John’s, Antigua — Trinidad and Tobago’s prime minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, has been awarded the 2013 “Democracy Medal” by the 46th World Conference of the International Association of Political Consultants during an event in Antigua. The prime minister who did not attend the award ceremony due to a heavy work schedule at home; instead sent a written letter of thanks, which was read to the participants attending the event.

The IAPC awards its Democracy Medal to an individual or organisation who, in the judgement of its membership, has worked courageously to foster, promote and sustain the democratic process anywhere in the world. Past recipients of this award include Lech Walesa, Nelson Mandela, and more recently, Viktor Yushchenko of Ukraine.

The IAPC has two primary goals. First and foremost the organisation is committed to fostering democracy and the democratic process throughout the world. Secondly, the organisation has remained true to its original mission of fostering the growing and diverse profession of political consulting as well as the practical aspects of democratic elections.

Conference chairman, Mathew McMillan said, “Mrs Persad-Bissessar is a true trailblazer in the Caribbean region. The IPAC believes that her rise to power in Trinidad and Tobago is a testament to the progress of women both here in the region and around the world. Her policy initiatives have been revolutionising and her commitment to the development of her country and the Caribbean has been uncompromising.”

In her acceptance letter, which was read to the membership of the IAPC, the prime minister sent greetings to the conference on behalf of the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago and stated that she was honoured to have been recognised by the conference.

“Perhaps at no time has the democratic tradition been more evident than this year, 2013, when our country witnessed four separate elections; all of which were conducted without incident and within the timeframes specified in our constitution and with the avid participatory of our citizens.”

The prime minister continued, “There is not a morning that I wake up when I do not think about what is in the best interest of the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. It is their will that guides me in every decision that I make. It is the gift of Independence that ensures our freedom to be empowered to make choices and decisions that benefit ourselves.”

Persad-Bissessar said that she looked forward to continuing to work with world leaders and with all Caribbean stakeholders, to forge solutions in the interest of the global community, regardless of size or income.

The award features a burnished rendering of Acropolis, etched in relief on the face of a large bronze medal. The backside contains the engraved name of the recipient and the year it was bestowed. Appropriately, the certificate which accompanies the medal includes this universally recognised definition of democracy.

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