PM HARRIS LEADS PRESENTATIONS ON CARIBBEAN ISSUES AT GOVERNORS’ MEETING WITH WORLD BANK


Governors’ Meeting with World Bank in Washington D.C.  


Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 11, 2016 (SKNIS)—Debt reduction, loss and/or increased cost of correspondent banking services, mobilization of diaspora flows/remittances, and a call for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to develop stronger partnerships with Caribbean member states were among issues addressed by Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, at the recently concluded Governors’ Meeting with World Bank Senior Vice President of Operations, Kyle Peters, held on Saturday October 8, 2016.


The meeting with the World Bank in Washington D.C. came on the heels of the 2016 Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting (CFMM) held at the Headquarters of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington D.C. on October 6.


 (L-R): Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris; Prime Minister Allen Chastanet



In his introduction at the Governors’ meeting, Prime Minister Harris, who was designated lead Caribbean speaker, focused on the main imperatives for the Caribbean, while he made special reference to the significant progress that St. Kitts and Nevis has made by reducing its record high debt-to-GDP ratio. He cited the IMF’s August 3, 2016 report which stated that: “….The Federation’s economy is in a good state of health and that the debt-to-GDP ratio is on a downwards trajectory which will see it plummet to the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union’s (ECCU) 60 percent target in 2017, well ahead of other member states….” Dr. Harris noted that this ratio has declined from 159 percent in 2010 and is projected to reach its 60 percent target in 2017.

 

While drawing attention to the significance of this remarkable achievement, Dr. Harris outlined some of what this means for St. Kitts and Nevis. He said that this lower debt load reduces the huge expenditures that St. Kitts and Nevis was incurring on the interest costs of financing the outstanding public debt. According to the prime minister, these savings are now made available for meeting basic human needs.

 

Additionally, the prime minister highlighted the difficult challenges that the region faces because of the termination and/or increased cost of correspondent banking services offered by the large commercial banks.  These higher costs, he said, adversely affect the flow of personal remittances from abroad which are critically important to our development.  He called on the IMF and World Bank to develop stronger partnerships with the Caribbean member states in addressing this and other major challenges that the Caribbean faces.


Lead Photo (L-R): Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Saint Lucia, Hon. Allen Chastanet; Minister of Finance of Jamaica, Hon. Audley Shaw; Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris

 

Prime Minister Harris’ introductory address was followed by presentations on “Correspondent Banking” by Dr. the Honourable Carla Barnett, Minister of State for Belize; “Energy” by the Honourable Allen Chastanet, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance for St. Lucia; “Fiscal and Debt Sustainability” by the Honourable Audley Shaw, Minister of Finance for Jamaica; and “Climate Change” by the Honourable Camillo Gonsalves, Minister of Foreign Affairs for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

 

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SPECIAL ADVISOR IN MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS UNDERSCORES IMPORTANCE OF SAFETY AND SECURITY STANDARDS AT 39TH ICAO ASSEMBLY

Photo: Ms. Lorna Hunkins, Special Advisor in Ministry of Foreign Affairs



Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 5, 2016 (SKNIS): Special Advisor in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in St. Kitts and Nevis, Lorna Hunkins, has underscored the importance of safety and security standards in civil aviation at the 39th Triennial Assembly of the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization), which is being held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, from 27th September to 7thOctober, 2016.


Speaking to the Assembly on October 4, Ms. Hunkins said that “St. Kitts and Nevis is a proud member of ICAO. It values the work of the organization. As a State Party to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, we continue to implement and uphold the recommended standards, and principles and procedures, and support the proposals for increased membership on the Council and the Air Navigation Commission,” she told the Assembly, the United Nations Specialized Agency. “Major issues of concern such as safety, navigation services, security, environmental health protection and economic issues are all closely related.”


The Foreign Affairs Special Advisor said that the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, and in particular Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Mark Brantley, “would like to laud the ICAO for its strategic objectives: safety, capacity and efficiency, security and facilitation, economic development and environmental protection as they aim to create a serious sky and to promote collaboration between all stakeholders within the Civil Air Navigation Security.”


“The issues highlight the diverse challenges that are faced by the Civil Aviation sector all around the world and underline the importance of close cooperation among countries. As regulations and standards of Civil Aviation are ever developing, all parties must have access to the latest information to ensure the safe, secure and sustainable code of the Civil Aviation Industry,” she said.


Ms. Hunkins said that the Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis express solidarity with countries that have suffered terrorists attacks at their ports and emphasized that “achievement of optimum security requires all to be vigilant” and that “failure by any one state to secure its borders or ports can wreak havoc not only nationally, but regionally, and internationally as well.”


She thanked the ICAO for the training that it offers but called on the UN Agency to offer more training especially within CARICOM (Caribbean Community) or the OECS (Organization of Eastern Caribbean States).


Ms. Hunkins also commended the Republic of Korea “for its ongoing efforts to enhance the safety level of all Member States, and for developing and distributing systems” that ensure high standards in Civil Aviation. She also commended Malaysia for offering training to Member States “which is critical for our industry.”


“Currently, our Ministry of Aviation is attempting to formulate a policy to govern the use of unmanned aircraft system and we request any assistance that ICAO or other Member States or organizations can offer in this regard. We would also welcome a regional approach if this is more profound,” said Ms. Hunkins. “The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis also pledges its support for the establishment of a global aviation security plan, which will address the needs of states and regions to assist in guiding all states aviation enhancement efforts and those of other stakeholders to assist in reaching internationally set goals and targets.”


In her closing remarks, Ms. Hunkins applauded the ICAO for “its no country left behind” initiative, but called on the agency to be more inclusive.


“It is imperative that all states involved in Aviation are a part of these efforts,” she said. “We hope to see the ICAO work towards inclusiveness of all stakeholders to achieve safe and orderly development of International Civil Aviation.”

She called on the UN Agency to be inclusive of countries such as the Republic of China (Taiwan).


“We regret the absence of some States, especially the country that controls the busiest East Asian Air Space from this Assembly. We deem it a major loss for the international community,” Ms. Hunkins said.


St. Kitts and Nevis will welcome regional and international counterparts later this year for the ICAO Technical Meeting, Ms. Hunkins said.


The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a UN specialized agency, established by States in 1944 to manage the administration and governance of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention).


ICAO works with the Convention’s 191 Member States and industry groups to reach consensus on international civil aviation Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and policies in support of a safe, efficient, secure, economically sustainable and environmentally responsible civil aviation sector. These SARPs and policies are used by ICAO Member States to ensure that their local civil aviation operations and regulations conform to global norms, which in turn permits more than 100,000 daily flights in aviation’s global network to operate safely and reliably in every region of the world.

 

In addition to its core work resolving consensus-driven international SARPs and policies among its Member States and industry, and among many other priorities and programmes, ICAO also coordinates assistance and capacity building for States in support of numerous aviation development objectives; produces global plans to coordinate multilateral strategic progress for safety and air navigation; monitors and reports on numerous air transport sector performance metrics; and audits States’ civil aviation oversight capabilities in the areas of safety and security.

 

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MINISTER BRANTLEY REPRESENTS ST. KITTS AND NEVIS AT THIRD ANNUAL OUR OCEAN CONFERENCE IN WASHINGTON D.C.

Photo: Minister Brantley sits down for interview with Andrew Gelfuso (Lead Photo)


Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 16, 2016 (SKNIS)—Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation, the Honourable Mark Brantley, represented the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis at the third annual “Our Ocean Conference” which took place in Washington D.C., U.S.A. from September 15-16, 2016, under the theme “Our Ocean, One Future.”


Minister Brantley attended the conference at the invitation of US Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry.


While in Washington D.C., the foreign affairs minister had fruitful discussions surrounding marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, marine pollution and climate-related impacts on the ocean.


On the fringes of the conference, Minister Brantley also held high level meetings with officials of the US Treasury Department and more specifically FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) on deepening the level of cooperation between the United States of America and St. Kitts and Nevis.


Minister Brantley capped off his short visit with a wide ranging interview at the Ronald Reagan Building with Andrew Gelfuso. The interview will be aired online and distributed throughout the US Congress and business community. In the interview, Minister Brantley spoke to challenges facing Small Island Developing States (SIDS), investment opportunities in St. Kitts and Nevis and the ability of a small nation such as St. Kitts and Nevis to successfully navigate the complex international issues faced today.


The St. Kitts and Nevis Foreign Affairs Minister was accompanied at various meetings by Her Excellency Thelma Phillip-Browne, Ambassador to the United States of America; His Excellency Dr. Everson Hull, Ambassador, Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS); and Consul General designate to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Mr. Justin Hawley. 


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CARICOM HAS MADE GREAT STRIDES IN HIV/AIDS REDUCTION BUT CHALLENGES REMAIN, PRIME MINISTER HARRIS TELLS THE UNITED NATIONS

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Photo Caption: Prime Minister Harris delivering address at 2016 United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS

Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 08, 2016 (SKNIS): Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis and CARICOM Lead Head with responsibility for Human Resources, Health and HIV/AIDS, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, has addressed the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS at the U.N. Headquarters in New York on June 08. The meeting runs from June 8-10, 2016.

In his address, Prime Minister Harris emphasized that the CARICOM (Caribbean Community) has made great strides in HIV/AIDS reduction but that challenges remain and that “CARICOM member States recognise that confronting the challenges for fast-tracking the response to HIV and AIDS collectively and in global solidarity is our best option for ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.”

Dr. Harris outlined that between 2006 and 2015, within Member States of CARICOM, the HIV prevalence rate has been halved from 2.2% to 1.1%; the estimated number of people living with HIV receiving antiretroviral therapy has increased from under 5% to 44%; deaths from AIDS-related causes declined from approximately 20,000 to 8,800; and the aspiration is to be the first region in the World to end mother to child transmission of HIV.

However, he said that the CARICOM “cannot be lured into a state of complacency” because many challenges still confront us.

“The Caribbean, for all its successes, is still second to Sub Sahara Africa in its prevalence rate,” Prime Minister Harris said, while highlighting that the vast majority of people living with HIV are concentrated in three Caribbean countries and that in these three countries, prevalence among the key risk groups are men who have sex with men as high as 32 % and that in many countries, data are revealing a spike in prevalence among women and girls, a trend he said must stop. 

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Photo Caption: L-R (Front Row): Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris; Hon. Wendy Colleen Phipps; H.E. Ambassador Sam Condor

L-R (Back Row) Dr. Edward Greene; Mr. Slater

Prime Minister Harris said that CARICOM Member States are committed to the achievement of the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals to eliminate AIDS by 2030.

“We are fortunate for the Global and regional leadership of UNAIDS. It has demonstrated what can be achieved by the coordinated policies to fast-track the response to AIDS, based on clearly articulated scientific information, multisectoral strategies, partnerships for global solidarity, and commitments to shared responsibility. We are fortunate too, for the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria without whose investments, many countries like ours in CARICOM would not survive these diseases. We are particularly indebted to the US-led PEPFAR, among other development partners for keeping the faith in the region as a whole as we move forward towards 2030,” he said.

He said that in order for CARICOM Member States to achieve this goal it is important to place greater emphasis on building capacity to gather and analyze reliable disaggregated data in a timely basis to inform policies; applying the lessons learned from the AIDS movement to strengthen health systems and consolidate an integrated public health response to health emergencies such as Zika, Dengue and Ebola; identifying the imperative of ‘health convergence’ and universal health coverage as mechanisms for effectively coordinating approaches and monitoring progress on a range of health and development issues; and placing emphasis on access to affordable medicines in fulfilling the right to health, thereby maintaining the momentum of activists in the early 2000s and the call by the Commission on HIV and the Law for using the TRIPS flexibility to achieve this end.

The Prime Minister said that through the initiative of CARICOM Ministers of Heath with the technical assistance of UNAIDS and PAHO, the Caribbean was the first region in the World to negotiate and sign an agreement with six pharmaceutical companies in 2002 in Barcelona.   

“This reduced the price of drugs by 85-90%. It started a process in collaboration with the Clinton Foundation, leading to a dramatic increase in the number of people on HIV treatment in low and middle income countries with very significant cost savings, estimated at USD 325 Billion to date.  Yes, the Caribbean takes credit for being a catalyst in this venture and is pleased to note that the Secretary General has appointed a high level panel to look at the challenges of access to medicines. We look forward to the outcome of their work,” Dr. Harris said.

Prime Minister Harris reiterated to the President of the UN Assembly that CARICOM Member States are committed to the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, even though there are financial constraints.

“As we move forward, we recognise that the political declaration from this High-level meeting provides useful guidelines. We realise too, that these global guidelines are most effective if we take into consideration the special cultural, political, social and economic circumstances of the regional and national communities to which they apply.  Our approach includes, among other elements, an emphasis on health of women, girls and adolescents in the “Every Caribbean Woman Every Caribbean Girl Initiative”, and complementarity between the PANCAP and the Caribbean Public Health Agency,” said the prime minister.

“CARICOM countries are making every effort to achieve the level of financial sustainability required to achieve the targets for ending AIDS.  Nevertheless, we will continue to advocate against the insidious classification based on GDP only, for access to concessional funding for HIV and other development areas. We take this view because such a classification fails to include other conditions and vulnerabilities that impede small economies like our own and those of other small island developing States. In this vein, we call on the international community, in particular, development partners to safeguard access to special funding and financing for middle income countries, in particular, those in the Caribbean, as we work to maintain the gains of our HIV response and commit to accelerate action towards ending AIDS by 2030,” he added.

Prime Minister Harris thanked the Secretary-General of the UN for his leadership which he said extended beyond the high-level meeting.

“We in the Caribbean pledge our support for the political declaration to be implemented, in accordance with our national circumstances and priorities, and acknowledging that it is part of a legacy to the World order, as well as a significant commitment to promoting the health and wellbeing of all of our citizens,” Prime Minister Harris said.

On the fringe of the UN Meeting, Prime Minister Harris, who is accompanied by the Honourable Wendy Colleen Phipps, Minister of State within the Ministry of Health, and His Excellency Sam Condor, Ambassador to the UN, met a breakfast caucus of representatives from the Region that included governmental, nongovernmental and development partners coordinated by the Pan Caribbean partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) in the Caribbean. 

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Caribbean-American Heritage Month Observed by Ambassador Condor at Ecumenical Service in Freeport, New York

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Photo Caption: Ambassador Condor delivers remarks

New York, June 08, 2016 (SKN Permanent Mission to the United Nations)—His Excellency Sam T. Condor, Permanent Representative of St. Kitts and Nevis to the United Nations, continues his mission of outreach with nationals in the Diaspora, as well as with his Caribbean counterparts.  This time, the Ambassador was the featured guest speaker at the Transfiguration Episcopal Church Ecumenical Service on Sunday June 5, 2016 in Freeport, New York, in honor of Caribbean-American Heritage month.

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Photo Caption: Ambassador greets Legislative Rep Laura Curran

The Long Island Caribbean-American Association has been hosting the Ecumenical service for the past six years. The goal of the anniversary service was to focus on mending fences and building bridges among Caribbean nationals, with a view to engender better Caribbean and American relationships. This year’s anniversary celebration included a small group of worshippers comprising nationals of Guyana, Grenada, Trinidad, Barbados, Jamaica and St. Kitts and Nevis.

In his brief address, Ambassador Condor expressed his sincere gratitude to the Association for the invitation in celebration of Caribbean-American Heritage month, noting that President Obama’s proclamation of the month long celebration ought not to be taken for granted.

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Photo Caption: Ecumenical Choir

“We celebrate the contributions of our Caribbean-American brothers and sisters, and we reflect on how they have bolstered our country and enriched our traditions. This month, let us honor the resilient heritage and rich history of Caribbean-Americans, and let us reflect upon the diversity of experiences that unites us as a people,” states President Obama in his proclamation.

Ambassador Condor supported President Barack’s proclamation by adding, “As Caribbean nationals, we beam with pride in reflection of the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that our ancestors overcame. We are mindful of the numerous sacrifices mothers and fathers made to provide opportunities for their children.”

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Photo Caption: Association Members with Mission Staff

Condor too expressed confidence in the successes of Caribbean nationals abroad by speaking to their value and how their contributions have also integrated other communities, thereby helping to create economic, social and political prosperity in their adopted homes, such as America.

Ambassador Condor thanked the President of the Long Island Caribbean-American Association for inviting him to deliver a message of promise and hope for all people, but especially for nationals of Caribbean and American heritage.  He vowed to return to the community to see the continued blossoming of the work of Caribbean and American nationals in the Long Island area and across the North East.

Officiating at Sunday’s service was Reverend Raymond G. Wilson.  President of the Long Island Caribbean-American Association, Mr. Doug Mayers, his wife Darleyne Mayers, and members of the LICAA, helped to organize the Ecumenical Service. Legislator for Nassau County District 5, Nassau County Legislature, Ms. Laura Curran, was also in attendance.

Musical accompaniment was provided by the youthful and talented Quincy Dover.

Guests used the opportunity to fellowship with each other following the service.

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Ambassador Condor Delivers Remarks at Scholarship Jazz Luncheon in East Hanover, New Jersey

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Photo: H.E. Ambassador Sam Condor

New York, June 03, 2016 (SKN Permanent Mission to the United Nations)—On Sunday, May 29, 2016, His Excellency Sam T. Condor, Ambassador to the United Nations, delivered remarks to an enthusiastic audience attending the 26th Annual Thomas A. Nelson Jr. Scholarship Jazz Luncheon at the Hanover Manor in East Hanover, New Jersey. 

Ambassador Condor commended the Sons and Daughters of St. Christopher for “successfully managing to bring people from all walks of life together.” In fact, he stated “The visionaries of this robust organizations with the most noble of ideas, has passed the public service baton from one generation to the next by successfully growing an organization that has maintained its Kittitian and Nevisian heritage.”

Founded in 1942, the organizers of the Scholarship Luncheon, The Sons & Daughters of St. Kitts Benevolent & Charitable Society of New Jersey, Inc., aim to bring nationals of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis together while recognizing the value of the success of young people in academia.  The organization hosts various initiatives including a Bowling Party, a Calypso Dance, an Annual Summer Picnic and the Anniversary Celebration of the founding of the organization in March. This year marks the 74th anniversary celebration of the organization and no doubt, the members of the organization are already planning for the 75th anniversary celebrations in 2017.

Ambassador Condor marveled at the organization’s rich and long history positing, “This has been no easy feat and most likely has come to fruition as a result of self-sacrifice, moral and financial support and many sleepless nights.”

A number of scholarships were awarded to students during the Luncheon in recognition of their academic success. Ambassador Condor reminded scholarship recipients to “pay it forward.” Sow seeds of success in your academic pursuits and upon attaining success, impart the gifts you have been afforded to those who will come after you.”

In closing, he commended the Sons and Daughters of St. Christopher for their commitment to doing their part to effectuate change in the lives of all humanity through the various initiatives spearheaded by the organization over the years.

“I pray God’s continued blessings on your organization and the people whose lives your work continues to transform,” declared Ambassador Condor.

Ambassador Condor is slated to attend several other events hosted by nationals residing in the Diaspora.

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PRIME MINISTER HARRIS DISCUSSES BILATERAL COOPERATION WITH PENGHU COUNTY GOVERNMENT

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Photo Caption: Prime Minister Harris presents gift to Penghu County Magistrate, Kuang-Fu Chen

(L-R) Mrs, Amory; Premier of Nevis, Hon. Vance Amory; Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris; Mr. Kuang-Fu Chen; Attorney General Hon, Vincent Byron; Mrs. Byron; H.E. St. Kitts and Nevis’ Resident Ambassador to Taiwan, Jasmine E. Huggins

Penghu County, Taiwan, May 24, 2016 (SKNIS)—While in Penghu County, Taiwan, for a two day visit (May 22-23), Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable made an official call on leader of the Penghu County Government, Kuang-Fu Chen, Penghu County Magistrate, where he held talks about bilateral cooperation in the area of tourism and the fishing industry.

“At home we are developing our fisheries industry and I note that you have strong assets in marine development and marine life and we would want to explore opportunities for bilateral cooperation in building vessels more suited for the sea,” Prime Minister Harris said, while adding that he will follow up to see how his Government could cooperate with the Penghu County Government in the area of sharing information, experience and assets in marine and maritime development with the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.

County Magistrate, Mr. Chen, noted the strong relationship that Taiwan had with St. Kitts and Nevis, and reiterated his good will to assist in the area of tourism and fisheries.

In particular, Mr. Chen said that Penghu County will host the Congress of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World in 2018 and issued an invitation to the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis to participate. Penghu’s bays and beaches have made it a main tourist destination and the island is a member of the International Organization of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World, which is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) supported by UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization), and tasked with promoting the protection of the natural and cultural resources of the world’s marine bays.

“Penghu is fast becoming a favourite spot in Taiwan. You mentioned the international conference in 2018 that is going to take place here. We also have some beautiful beaches and bays and we are looking forward to participating in that international conference to see how that could further advance our country as a premier tourist attraction,” said Prime Minister Harris to Mr. Chen, while noting that Penghu’s bays are now part of a global world recognizing the importance of bays and beaches but more importantly how they help to sustain the life of a people.

Tourism has become one of the main sources of income for Penghu, and Prime Minister Harris and his delegation were afforded the opportunity to visit the Penghu National Scenic Area that comprises most but not all of the islands and islets of the archipelago. Other historical sites visited in the island included the Ocean Resources Museum, the Marine Life Propagation Station, Erkan Historical Village, and a visit to the Penghu Ocean Fireworks Festival on May 23.

Prime Minister Harris thanked the Penghu County Government for sponsoring the two-day trip.

“We want to thank you again your excellency for that opportunity to meet with you and to say we had a wonderful experience with you and members of your government. We are charmed by the hospitality of your people, the beautiful vistas, seascapes and landscapes and we look forward to experiencing ever more of the beauty of Penghu. Thank you for making our trip a memorable one,” he said.

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Republic Of China (Taiwan) Donates To Nevis’ Cultural Preservation

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Photo caption: Republic of China (Taiwan) Ambassador to St. Kitts and Nevis His Excellency George Gow Wei Chiou (l) handing over a US$50,000 cheque, for the Nevis Cultural Development Foundation, to Premier of Nevis Hon. Vance Amory on April 19, 2016, at his Bath Hotel office
 

NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (April 19, 2016) — Republic of China (Taiwan) Ambassador to St. Kitts and Nevis His Excellency George Gow Wei Chiou presented a US$50,000 cheque to Premier of Nevis Hon. Vance Amory on April 19, 2016, at his Bath Hotel office in Bath Plain. The money will be used for equipment and training at the Nevis Cultural Development Foundation (NCDF).

 

In brief remarks, the Ambassador underscored the importance of culture to a people and described it as their treasure.

 

He noted that during the 33-year-old diplomatic relationship between St. Kitts and Nevis and Taiwan many collaborative projects were undertaken in the areas of agriculture, tourism, health but none is more important than the preservation and promotion of culture.

 

The ambassador said he was honoured to make the presentation to the Nevis Island Administration on behalf of his government and people added that the project would strive to preserve the soul of the Nevisian people.

 

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Photo caption: Premier of Nevis Hon. Vance Amory (l) hands over cheque from the Republic of China (Taiwan), for assistance to the Nevis Cultural Development Foundation, to Deputy Premier and Minister of Culture Hon. Mark Brantley on April 19, 2016, at Bath Hotel. Republic of China (Taiwan) Ambassador to St. Kitts and Nevis His Excellency George Gow Wei Chiou looks on

In response, Mr. Amory thanked the ambassador for what he described as a generous contribution and assured that it would be used in the preservation and development of cultural activity on the island.

 

He said Nevis is culturally rich and its history and heritage continue to be demonstrated over the years in dance, music and performing arts which make the island unique.

 

Mr. Amory used the opportunity to tell the ambassador the friendship between both islands would continue and strengthen.

 

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Photo caption: Deputy Premier of Nevis and Minister of Culture Hon. Mark Brantley hands over the cheque from Premier of Nevis Hon. Vance Amory from the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Chief Executive Officer of the Nevis Cultural Development Foundation Keith Scarborough at the Premier’s office in Bath Plain on April 19, 2016

Meantime, Deputy Premier and Minister of Culture Hon. Mark Brantley, moments after he received the cheque from Mr. Amory also expressed gratitude for the gift from the ambassador and described the gift as a tangible contribution to culture and a tangible demonstration of the ongoing friendship to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.

 

He thanked the ambassador and his government for their quick and favourable response to the request.

 

Mr. Brantley also took the opportunity to thank the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NCDF Keith. He said the donation would not be possible if the CEO did not take the initiative to seek assistance.

 

Also present at the ceremony were Cabinet Secretary Stedmond Tross, Junior Minister in the Nevis Island Administration Hon. Troy Liburd and Counselor at the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) David Y.T. Yu.

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Nevis Premier calls on visiting diplomats to use their skills to help small developing states

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Photo caption: Premier of Nevis Hon. Vance Amory delivering welcome remarks to visiting diplomats to Nevis on April, 06, 2016, as part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Diplomatic WeeWeek

NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (April 07, 2016) — Premier of Nevis Hon. Vance Amory urged members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps to use their diplomacy to find solutions to challenges faced by small developing states like St. Kitts and Nevis and other Caribbean islands that would prevent them from becoming neglected and relegated to being countries which are unable to look after their people.  

 

Mr. Amory made the comment when he gave welcoming remarks to a group of 40 diplomats during a one-day visit to Nevis on April 06, 2016. The visit to Nevis formed part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ schedule of events for Diplomatic Week 2016.

 

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Photo caption: Premier of Nevis Hon. Vance Amory waiting to welcome diplomats to Nevis at the Botanical Gardens on April 06, 2016, as part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Diplomatic Week

“My charge to you is through your discussions, through your guidance of your country’s foreign policy, your country’s economic policy and the partnerships, we have asked you, through the theme to forge with us and among yourselves, that you will see these challenges as opportunities for you to exercise your considerable diplomatic skills to find resolutions which will help us in the Caribbean, help St. Kitts and Nevis and countries like ourselves, to rise through the storm so that we can survive the economic storms which are facing us especially from the [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] OECD countries,” he said.

 

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Photo caption: Diplomats arriving at the Botanical Gardens on April, 06, 2016, as part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Diplomatic Week

Mr. Amory pointed to the blacklisting of jurisdictions in the region and more recently, the near threat of correspondent banking for the business sector. He said if the latter happens it would be harmful to international trade and the survival of the islands.

 

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Photo caption: Diplomats visiting the Museum of Nevis History during their visit to Nevis on April, 06, 2016, as part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Diplomatic Week

The matter of climate change was another area which Mr. Amory spoke on. He said the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis is dependent on tourism and the effects of climate change could be detrimental to the ecology and marine life.

 

He expressed hope that coming out of the COP21, a Paris-based Climate Change Summit in 2015, that resolutions and solutions would be found that would help developing countries to have a real chance to survive.

 

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Photo caption: Diplomats arriving at the Golden Rock Plantation Inn in Gingerland on Nevis on April 06, 2016, as part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Diplomatic Week

According to Mr. Amory, in countries like St. Kitts and Nevis, where the populations are small, the people there look for the same quality of life, health services, education, social services which afford them dignity as human beings to provide for themselves, their children and generations yet unborn.

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Photo caption: Diplomats treated to lunch by Premier of Nevis Hon. Vance Amory at the Four Seasons Resort while on Nevis on April 06, 2016, as part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Diplomatic Week

He also encouraged the visiting diplomats to recognise that if there is poverty or any disregard to human rights anywhere, that they are threats to safety and peace everywhere.

 

The Premier used the opportunity to extend a hand of friendship to the diplomats and assured that their friendship and support is valued.

 

However, he told them that they have an increasingly important role to play in light of the trends in the world and the tensions which are developing in the Middle East and elsewhere.

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Photo caption: Diplomats dancing to string band music during a cultural presentation at the Nevis Performing Arts Centre on Nevis on April 06, 2016, as part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Diplomatic Week

While on Nevis the diplomats who were hosted by the NIA visited the Museum of Nevis History and the Bath Stream. They were given a guided tour of the Botanical Gardens, dined at the Four Seasons Resort, visited the Golden Rock Plantation Inn and were treated to a cultural presentation at the Nevis Performing Arts Centre (NEPAC) before departing the island early evening via ferry.

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ST. KITTS & NEVIS RECEIVE EC$12.5M FROM THE EU AS PART OF SUGAR ADJUSTMENT SCHEME, ANOTHER EC$12.5M TO COME LATER THIS YEAR

By: Valencia Grant, Press Secretary to the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis

Release No. 13 of 2016

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Photo Caption – PM Harris and United States Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Linda Taglialatela

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, APRIL 2ND, 2016 – Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris and Cabinet Secretary, Mrs. Josephine Huggins met with the European Union’s Ambassador to the Eastern Caribbean, OECS and CARICOM/CARIFORUM, Mikael Barfod in Barbados on Thursday morning.  The delegation officially learnt from the Ambassador that a disbursement of EC$12.5 million (4.2M euro) had been executed one hour earlier to St. Kitts and Nevis.

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Photo Caption – PM Harris and EU Ambassador to the Eastern Caribbean, Mikael Barfod

The reform of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy in 2006 prompted it to establish a sugar adjustment scheme called the Accompanying Measures for Sugar Protocol countries (AMSP).  AMSP supports restructuring initiatives in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries that traditionally exported sugar to the EU.

Ambassador Barfod told the Prime Minister and Cabinet Secretary the country is set to receive an additional disbursement of EC$12.5 million (4.2M euro) at the end of 2016.  This will mark the completion of the sugar compensation programme for St. Kitts and Nevis.

“The context is that when the World Trade Organization was created, it became clear that the quotas that the European Union provided to sugar-producing countries could no longer be maintained,” Ambassador Barfod said during an interview on Thursday.  “We decided to compensate the sugar-producing countries that were amongst our partners for this, which became the sugar measures that we have in place today,” the Ambassador added.

According to a press release from the European Union on Friday, “The previous disbursement supported the launch of a juvenile co-educational rehabilitation centre for 30 residents; reform of the Social Development Assistance Act so as to improve implementation of social protection programmes; updating of alternative energy legislation leading to a more competitive private sector and improve energy security for households; the establishment of a land registry; and training for technical and vocational professionals. It is also expected to strengthen St. Kitts and Nevis’ Public Finance Management System as well as the fiscal space available to government through budget support.”

Ambassador Barfod said during Thursday’s interview, “There will be more assistance from our side to our partner St. Kitts and Nevis over the next four or five years.” 

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The Ambassador stated that future assistance to St. Kitts and Nevis would probably come via the EU’s regional program, which he disclosed still has 350M euros.  He said the most recent tenders that are outstanding concern the provision of video surveillance and monitoring because this is the highest priority of the St. Kitts and Nevis Government.  “That should be delivered soon,” Ambassador Barfod said.
The Ambassador is scheduled to leave his post in September when his four-year term ends.  

Of St. Kitts and Nevis’ prospects, he said the European Union has observed that the country is now scoring an “enviable” growth rate.  “At this particular point in time, it looks like St. Kitts and Nevis has got it right when it comes to economic reforms,” the Ambassador added.

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Photo Caption – Centred are PM Harris and Canadian High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Richard Hanley.  Also pictured are Canadian High Commission staff and Cabinet Secretary Mrs. Josephine Huggins

The St. Kitts and Nevis delegation also held high-level meetings on Thursday with United States Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Linda Taglialatela and members of her staff; British High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Victoria Dean, and Canadian High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Richard Hanley and members of his staff.

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