St. Kitts and Nevis Minister Leads Delegation to 9th Our Ocean Conference in Athens

Basseterre, St.Kitts (April 17th, 2024):-Hon Dr. Joyelle Clarke, the Minister of Environment, Climate Action, et al, continues to spearhead St. Kitts and Nevis’ engagement on the global stage, leading a delegation to the prestigious 9th Our Ocean Conference in Athens, Greece. The conference, held from April 15th to 17th, 2024, gathers leaders and experts to address critical challenges facing the world’s oceans.

Representing the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, Minister Clarke, along with key officials from the Ministry of Environment et al and the Department of Marine Resources, is actively participating in discussions aimed at raising awareness about the pressing issues threatening marine ecosystems. The delegation includes esteemed individuals such as Dallaries Spair, Colincia Levine, Tricia King, and Miguel Flemming, collectively bringing expertise and insights to the table.

The Our Ocean Conference serves as a platform to highlight the urgent need for action to combat unsustainable fishing practices, pollution, and the impacts of climate change on marine environments. Through interactive sessions and collaborative efforts, delegates from around the world explore innovative solutions and commit to concrete actions to protect and conserve our oceans.

At the forefront of Minister Clarke’s agenda is the promotion of marine conservation and sustainable development initiatives. With a focus on priority areas, including improving resource management, enhancing ocean resilience to climate change, and safeguarding ocean health, St. Kitts and Nevis aims to play a proactive role in shaping the global maritime agenda.

However, Minister Clarke’s participation in international events like the Our Ocean Conference comes under scrutiny amid concerns about the frequency of overseas travel by members of Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew’s cabinet. Reports indicate that ministers, on average, spend approximately 15 days per month traveling, with a per diem allowance of US$400. This level of expenditure raises questions about the allocation of resources and the necessity of such frequent trips.

While international engagements are essential for representing national interests and fostering international cooperation, it is imperative for government officials to balance their travel commitments with prudent fiscal management. Transparency and accountability in expenditure related to overseas travel are crucial to maintaining public trust and ensuring effective governance.

As Minister Clarke and her delegation actively participate in discussions at the Our Ocean Conference, the broader conversation surrounding government travel expenditures underscores the importance of responsible stewardship of public resources. Moving forward, a judicious approach to international engagements will be essential to uphold the interests of St. Kitts and Nevis while addressing pressing global challenges.

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