- November 8, 2021
A mind-blowing speech dripping with impact
On 1st November 2021 during the ongoing COP26 conference at Glasgow, Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, made her way to the stage when it was her turn to address the conference. Confident. Poised. She stood behind two goose-necked microphones propped onto the pulpit, and what followed were about eight minutes of a powerful and moving speech that would soon go viral.
Mia Mottley delivered her speech straight from her head without reading it. Each word marched out of her mouth armed with factual insights and a call to leaders to step up to the plate, for their people. She did not balk at calling out leaders. “When will leaders lead?” “Are we so blinded and hardened that we can no longer appreciate the cries of humanity?”, the Barbados Island leader asked as world leaders led by U.S. President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson watched on.
Barbados is facing the threat of rising sea levels. A two-degree Celcius rise in temperatures would be a “death sentence.”
“We do not want that dreaded death sentence,” she spoke with authority and conviction, “and we have come here today to say ‘Try harder’”
COP26, The UN Climate Change Conference
The UN Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26 (The Conference of Parties), is the 26th of its kind. It was first held in 1995, a platform that would annually bring together world leaders and climate experts to act with nimble thinking in the wake of the climate crisis. This formal setup acts as a negotiating session for countries, represented by their leaders, to reinforce their commitment and actions with regard to the now ‘code red for humanity’ climate crisis. They discuss the crisis and the solutions, for climate now sits at the top of the world’s agenda list.
Parlous impacts of the climate crisis have unforgivingly pounded the world, threatening to snatch away our home. There is no planet B. Countries must work hand in hand to cut the Gordian knot and save our beloved planet from the death-bearing claw of climate change, which to a large extent, is our own undoing.
Our personality of the week
Mia Mottley is an inspirational woman of quality leadership and powerful and influential rhetoric.
Where does she hail from, and what has her journey to becoming leader of Barbados- an island that has all ducks in a row and will in a few days peel away from the reign of the Queen- been like? A woman of firsts, she makes our personality of the week.Leaders must not fail those who elected them to lead ~Mia Mottley, P.M. of Barbados Click To Tweet
Mia Amor Mottley was born in Barbados Island on 1st October 1965. She attended school in Barbados and then went to U.N. International School in New York. Later she joined Queen’s College in Barbados, proceeding to get a Law degree from the London School of Economics.
Mia Mottley, a lawyer by profession, was admitted to the Bar of England, Wales, and Barbados─ and at some point in her career, she sat on Belize’s Court of Appeal. According to the genius author Malcolm Gladwell, in his bestselling book Outliers, outliers are classed differently. More than just passion, talent, and hard work, the environment outliers grew up in has a weighty say when it comes to success. True to Malcolm’s idea, Mia Mottley is an outlier who credits the environment she grew up in. In her Twitter bio, she writes, “I was brought up in my father’s home believing in #democracy and trusting the will of the people.”
Her family, starting from her grandfather, has a track record and history in political leadership.
A woman of firsts
Mia Mottley’s career so far has been a successful stretch of firsts. She was:
- The first female leader of Barbados Labour Party
- The first female leader of the opposition in Barbados
- The first female Attorney General of Barbados
- The youngest to ever become Queen’s Counsel
- The first woman Prime Minister of Barbados
Entry into the political arena
Mia Mottley first made an appearance in politics in 1991, at the age of twenty-six. A worthy competitor, she lost the elections to her opponent by close range. Her opponent won with only less than 200 votes. Mottley then continued with her stretch of excellence; serving on several committees that dealt with Praedial Larceny and Domestic Violence.
Barbados Island’s history records that she was the youngest ever, at age twenty-nine, to hold a Ministerial office. She served as the Minister of Education, Youth Affairs, and Culture. She co-authored “Each Child Matters”, a white paper establishing and explaining the link between education and job fulfillment, and is celebrated as the visionary behind EduTech in Barbados. EduTech works to increase the numbers of young leaders chiming in their contribution to sustainable social and economic development.
I will become the first female prime minister
In 2002, she became the second female deputy Prime Minister of Barbados. She wasn’t done yet. Many years back, stories tell of a young Mia Mottley who had confidently told a secondary school teacher that she would rise against all odds to become the first female Prime Minister of Barbados. On May 25, 2018, Mia Mottley was elected the first-ever female Prime Minister, her prophecy coming to fruition.
She was also nominated to serve as chair, in November 2020, of the Development Committee for the joint committee of World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Mia Mottley is nothing short of an inspiration to both the older and younger generations. Her rich political heritage and hard-as-nails head-on tackle on issues affecting her people are both encouraging and inspirational. The world is in desperate need of her type, in numerous numbers.
If you are wondering what sort of books tickle her fancy, in 2019 she openly recommended My Political Journey, a memoir authored by Jamaica’s sixth Prime Minister, P.J. Patterson. Mia Mottley recommended it to “any student of politics.”
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