THANKSGIVING MESSAGE FROM HON. SHARLENE C. ROBINSON - PREMIER OF THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS

THANKSGIVING MESSAGE FROM HON. SHARLENE C. ROBINSON

PREMIER OF THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS

 

“O Give Thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth forever. (1 Chronicles 16:34 King James Version)

Gratitude is a boundless force. This infinite energy reaches beyond the borders of a single day. We can, however, utilize this annual opportunity to reflect on the myriad of reasons for which we, individually and collectively, have to be thankful.

Throughout our journey as individuals and as a nation, it is of utmost importance to pause, reflect and reassess to chart the course ahead; particularly with new challenges presenting new obstacles. It is imperative that God’s guidance is sought in tandem with our offerings of thanks and praise.

As we gather with our loved ones to share in joy and kinship on this National Day of Thanksgiving, let us be mindful of the many blessings bestowed upon us. May we keep at the forefront of our minds and prayers our neighbours and friends, both local and abroad, who have experienced loss and avail ourselves of every opportunity to reflect the compassion of our heavenly father.

I stand before the most high and the Turks and Caicos Islands with a heart overflowing with gratitude for his mercies; for what we have endured and for his grace on the road ahead. As leader of this great nation, I wholeheartedly embrace the opportunity to be of service and remain immensely thankful for the prayers and support offered on behalf of the leadership of these islands. I look toward our future with great optimism and as the most high continues to guide and protect us.

May God continue to bless the Turks and Caicos Islands and receive our sincere appreciation on this National Day of Thanksgiving.

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PREMIER ROBINSON ATTENDS UNITED NATIONS (UN) HIGH-LEVEL PLEDGING CONFERENCE

Premier Hon. Sharlene Robinson led a delegation to the CARICOM-High Level Donor Conference at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters on November 21, 2017 in New York. The objectives of the High-Level Donor Conference were to mobilize support and commitment of pledges, to help rebuild countries ravaged by hurricanes Irma and Maria and assist Small Island Development States (SIDS) with building resilience, given its inherent vulnerability.

The two-day conference explored how United Nation (UN) and CARICOM member states can cultivate a shared vision geared towards “Building a More Climate-Resilient Community”. The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) as a CARICOM associated member state, were provided the opportunity to deliver a presentation on the country’s recovery needs, priorities and recovery strategies following the impacts of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Premier Robinson in her presentation to the United Nations and CARICOM under the theme Vision for A Resilient Caribbean – Building Partnership for Transformation said; “...Hurricanes Irma and Maria impacted all islands across the Turks and Caicos Islands. The immediate challenge apart from the provision of the basic human needs of food, water and shelter, were to restore communications- most essential in an archipelago, restore electricity, water, provide support to the hospital and to aid in the safe departure of tourists. Humanitarian Aid Critical assessments have shown that four to five feet of coastal erosion was recorded at the popular Grace Bay Beach. This paints a lucid picture of the adverse effects on our coastal environment, that is hinged on our main bread winner - Tourism. There is an urgent need to engage in coastal protection efforts. Humanitarian aid, particularly development action is also critical for the Turks and Caicos Islands at this time, CDEMA’s Initial Damage Assessment Report revealed that 80% of the housing stock was damaged due to the impact of Hurricane Irma. Five hundred and eighty (580) households across the islands received Levels 1 through 4 damaged to their homes (level 4 being totally destroyed).

Premier Robinson also leveraged the opportunity to encourage experts with strong technical experience in urban and land planning and building code application; particularly, roofing design to assist the Turks and Caicos Islands in our rehabilitation process. Premier Robinson asked the conference to volte-face traditional development principles, such as, “relief first and development later.”

Premier Robinson ended her remarks by saying; “Building back better is expensive, not an easily attainable goal, especially when a high percentage of our population have been adversely impacted with no insurance benefits. I urge all partners to honor your pledge to the 2030 Agenda commitment which states “leave no one behind,” and collaborate with us in achieving a proactive, climate-smart, community driven, bottom-up approach to a more sustainable and resilient Turks and Caicos Islands.

The CARICOM-UN High Level Pledging Conference took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.