The 'Declaration of Mission Barbados' was announced yesterday by Prime Minister Mia Mottley, at the Barbados Workers' Union (BWU) annual May Day Rally at the National Botanical Gardens, with the objective of setting out clear goal posts to steer the country in the coming years.

This comes off the back of recent years where Barbados has been "knocked from pillar to post" in the words of the Prime Minister. The Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, a hurricane, volcanic ash and the war in Ukraine have all had an effect on the global economy, and directly on the cost of living in Barbados.

Social partnership representatives – government, labour movement, private sector and civil society – agreed to the six missions. Signatories to the declaration included the Prime Minister, the chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association, Trisha Tannis, secretary general of the BWU, Toni Moore, president of the Barbados Secondary Teachers Union, Mary-Anne Redman, president of the National Union of Public Workers, Kimberley Agard, and Minister of Labour Colin Jordan.

The Prime Minister urged Barbadians to 'get on this train'. She said: "We know it is not an easy world and that challenges still face us, but we stand today convinced that we can make it if we do it together".

Trisha Tannis said: "If we are to achieve the long-term sustainability of this mission-centred approach to nation building, everyone must feel there is something in it for them, and actualise tangible benefits in one form or the other, if not in the short term."

The focus of Mission Barbados is to transform the country into a fully sustainable island-state by 2035, for citizens to be empowered to transform the country by 2030, improve public health and public safety by reducing non-communicable diseases and crime, improve wealth creation and by 2030 transform the country into a high-functioning, resilient society. Prime Minister Mia Mottley elaborated on this by presenting six objectives: 

  • By 2030, become a clean and beautiful large-ocean state, championing sustainable development locally and globally – with the goal of all domestic activities becoming 100% sustainable by 2035.
  • By 2030, transform Barbados into a country of active, involved citizens. All Barbadians will feel empowered and engaged in the social, economic, and cultural development of the country as confident, creative, compassionate and entrepreneurial citizens.
  • By 2030, ensure that every Barbadian has equitable and reliable access to clean water and nutritious food that are affordable.
  • By 2030, create a society that prioritizes wellness and happiness. Improve public health and safety, leading to a 50% reduction in new cases of non-communicable diseases and a 50% reduction in crime.
  • By 2030, empower and enfranchise all Barbadian workers and families by creating opportunities for ownership and wealth creation that enable Barbadians to take better care of themselves and each other and reduce the rate of poverty by 50.
  • By 2030, transform Barbados to be a high-functioning, resilient society with seamless access to services and meaningful digital inclusion for all Barbadians.

The Prime Minister reiterated: "This is a commitment to all Barbadians, that all sectors are ready and willing to work together and create the environment for our country and its people to be the best version of themselves".

The focus will clearly be on the next steps and the implementation of the Mission. Prime Minister Mottley said: "We will spend the next two months identifying the steps for each mission. We have given ourselves that seven year period because we believe mission transformation is possible in seven years."