St.Kitts-Nevis Prime Minister Harris Highlights Development Concerns for the Caribbean at 71st UN General Assembly



BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, SEPTEMBER 25TH, 2016 (PRESS SEC) – Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris addressed the General Debate of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly yesterday, Saturday, September 24th, 2016.  Dr. Harris noted that the ‘five Ps’ – People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership – are “broad global issues that are of particular concern for our small island developing states of the Caribbean region.”

The ‘five Ps’ encapsulate the new global sustainable development agenda that strives to end poverty, promote peace and prosperity, and improve people’s health and well-being while forging partnerships and protecting the environment by 2030.

The Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis serves as the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM’s) Lead Head on Human Resources, Health and HIV/AIDS. Prime Minister Harris also chairs the Council of Ministers that oversees the seven-member Regional Security System (RSS).

“Mr. President [His Excellency Peter Thomson, President of the 71st Session of the U.N. General Assembly], we know that under your tenure the focus will be to strive towards those key millennium development goals for 2030: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership,” Dr. Harris said, adding that, “Indeed, many of the problems facing our world today are linked and should be addressed holistically and multilaterally.”

The Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis continued: “Today in various corners of the world, we see masses of people losing faith in the ability of established institutions to defend their interests or to respond adequately to their needs.  Almost on a daily basis, we witness increasing incidents of violence perpetrated against innocent people. We look on seemingly helpless, as large groups of people are alienated and isolated in their own countries; some forced to uproot with their families and risk their lives to escape armed conflicts in search of security and better opportunities.

“It is clear that the root cause of many of these problems can be attributed to years of social neglect and entrenched economic inequities. We simply cannot resolve these problems by:

  1. a) Dismissing their fears,
  2. b) Stereotyping,
  3. c) Resorting to isolationism, xenophobia and protectionism.

“Our response must be to forge greater partnership and find common ground.  Global challenges demand that we build bridges not walls.  We must strengthen our commitment to multilateralism and cooperation.  We must empower international institutions, civil society and the private sector to play a much greater role.”

The Honourable Prime Minister’s impassioned call at the United Nations General Assembly – for empowering international and community stakeholders to play a much greater role in contributing to the capacity building and development of human and social capital in their respective countries – came just days ahead of the annual St. Kitts and Nevis National Consultation on the Economy.

The annual National Consultation on the Economy brings together representatives from civil society, as well as the public and private sectors, and encourages them to formulate strategies, share perspectives and make recommendations for the further growth, expansion and diversification of the economy.

The Ministry of Finance will host the 2016 National Consultation on the Economy at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort Ballroom on Wednesday, September 28th from 9:00am to 1:30pm.  The theme for 2016 is Working Together – Accelerating Growth and Building Resilience.

This year’s format will see small group discussions aimed at stimulating increased participation and exchange of ideas among the stakeholders in attendance.

“Each group will be led by a facilitator, and a rapporteur will report back to the plenary session,” Mr. Calvin Edwards, Deputy Financial Secretary, told the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service (SKNIS).  “We feel that this format will lend itself to input from people rather than lecturing to them,” Mr. Edwards added.

Prime Minister Harris, who is the Minister of Finance, will deliver the Feature Address and the Financial Secretary, Mrs. Hilary Hazel, will present on the state of the economy.

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