|Student essay winners: Leyshan L. Grant|
|Written by Leyshan L. Grant/Champions For Christ International|
|Thursday, 16 February 2012 14:28|
Editor’s note: Ten teenagers were awarded a 10-day trip to London for their essays on the topic “A 21st Century relationship between the U.K. and the TCI.” We will be publishing the winners’ essays in this and upcoming issues.
While the Turks and Caicos Islands remain a developing country, we are cognizant of Article 6 as stated in the United Nations Articles of Basic Human Rights: “Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law”. Therefore we strive for recognition. To be seen not just by our size and recorded population but by our significance.
As a developing country we may at times be dependent and even in need of encouragement, however, the present relationship between the UK and the TCI is one that is left to question. It is one that is filled with one-sided stories, lack of representation and uncertainty. One may emphatically state that the history is repeating itself once again. We are free in spirit but in bondage by law!
Seeing that Great Britain is our mother country it is expected of her to take on the responsibilities that is too great of a task for the local government. Unfortunately, the disregarded onus was placed on the local government, which is presently dissolved by Britain, the predicament we are now placed in. The one-on-one relationship diminished leaving us with a one-sided correspondence with each other. As a result of our existing relationship between the TCI and the UK, major factors pertaining to the TCI seems to be neglected by the UK, outward investments being the most predominant. As a result of lack of outward investments, the TCI is now faced with an unsustainable economy, relying solely on tourism, exportation of lobster and conch and construction. With the absence of outward investment we are also lacking inward new investments. Being hit with the present devastating global economy, added an oppressive amount of strain to the country and an imbalance in the circulation of money with in the country. The question today left unanswered is, “Has our mother country forsaken her duties or responsibilities, forcing the Turks and Caicos to attempt to handle a job that might have ultimately been too great, according to the then constitution?” Instead of answers we were bombarded with taxes and a non-afforded opportunity to share our views or perspectives with the UK. “It is like a delayed parade on our camp that captivates the silence of our nation”.
In addition to the neglected outward investments the Turks and Caicos also struggles with the lack of representation. It is of great importance for the country to be represented before Britain rather than by Britain. Furthermore, greater engagement is needed between the TCI and the UK. We should be afforded the opportunity to sit before the UK and negotiate financial policies, laws to govern the nation, etc. There should exists more transparency with the UK Government, not to effectively enforce new regimes and guidelines, but to give the adverse effect for not having them in place, more so the benefits to the people of having them hastily implemented. We, as a nation should be afforded more say as it relates to our future. A future that is dependent on what we make of this relationship. Partnership and cooperation will be needed between the Turks and Caicos and the United Kingdom. In order for both countries to obtain a strong cooperation and an effective cooperation, the UK must first visualize the TCI as equals. We are rightfully due the respect to be seen as a colony; a community as defined by the United Nations of each sovereignty of basic human rights. Article 6 of the United Nations articles of basic human rights further reiterates this fact.
“Because the TCI remains a developing country all general departments are in need of further development and training, most importantly, development in a genuine government-to-citizen relation”. Taking into consideration that we are a British Overseas Territory, I think the UK can best work with the TCI in these areas by reinforcing the basic human rights, allowing us institutional education and detailed training for those, especially working in government departments, to be excellent in their course and “more advanced” so to speak within the chosen occupation. Basically this is saying that the UK should make available to us on the job training which will cause us to be more advanced in our area of work.
As a youth of the TCI I understand that we are under British leadership thus making us inferior to the UK, however, the method in which they go about their leadership is one that presently resembles that of a dictator, overpowering the position in which the TCI stands as a partner; rather opposition within this 21st century relationship. Taking into consideration all that was stated above, sums up this 21st century relationship between the TCI and the UK. There is much need for improvement!
In order for improvement to be made the UK firstly has to recognize the main issues or problem within the TCI and implement proper and fair negotiation systems such as:
Another major factor that can be improved is for the TCI not to be seen just as an associate member but a full member within an institution. Therefore, allowing us to experience the benefits afforded to those who are already full members. Moreover, this 21st century relationship can be altered, leaving no room for improvement by recognizing, implementing and respecting article 6 as derived from the United Nations articles of basic human rights; “everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.”
In conclusion, I say, as a nation who is determined to be recognized and seen as equal within this 21st century relationship, we must continue to press forward and bring about a renewed relationship between the TCI and her mother country, Britain.
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