Editorial: Beyond the Bahamas experiencePOSTED: 11/16/11 4:20 AM
Just a day ago we publicly agreed with Vice-Chairman of the Council of State for the Kingdom Herman Tjeenk Willink that the future of the Kingdom cannot be left in the hands of the politicians and civil servants alone. We even went further and said that management of the country’s core issues cannot be left in the hands of those two institutions. On Tuesday we were handed a very clear example that in some instances that joint work of tackling a national issue is taken very seriously.
The example we speak of is the country’s 14 member delegation to the Caribbean Conference on HIV/AIDS. That group is a mixture of ministers, civil servants, the business community and young people. All of these people represent varying interests, but they all understand that if the rate of new infections is to be curbed, stigma and discrimination is to be reduced, and we are to prevent AIDS related deaths, we must all put aside our individual interest and collaborate.
This coming together is, we agree, beneficial, but the commitment must continue even after the delegates return from the Bahamas. The information garnered there must feed new ideas and forge new partnerships. It must also inform the process of completing draft policies and improve medical care. The information gathered must lead to greater participation and help us continue the march to zero.
It is not enough that a broad-based delegation attends another conference in another great location. The true value of the Bahamas experience is in the gains that are made either directly or indirectly from the meeting.