Photos courtesy of St Kitts & Nevis Press Secretary Office
New York, NY, USA, September 24, 2023 (Press Secretary, PMO)- The Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis delivered a compelling address during the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) General Debate, under the theme “Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity: Accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all.”
In his speech, the Prime Minister articulated the vision of Saint Kitts and Nevis towards becoming a Sustainable Island State by 2040, emphasizing the need for a more inclusive and compassionate approach to multilateralism.
“Our vision is buttressed by seven pillars: food security, green energy transition; economic diversification; sustainable industries; the orange economy; COVID-19 recovery, and social protection. These overarching areas include environmental sustainability; sustainable lives and livelihoods; health and wellness and fiscal and debt resilience”, said the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew.
Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew presenting at the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly General Debate
In outlining the measures undertaken by his St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Administration to advance towards its objectives, Prime Minister Drew highlighted substantial progress. He noted, “To this end, we have made strides toward geothermal energy production and utilized loans from the Caribbean Development Bank for this national development project, along with collaboration with the Atlantic Council and the PACC30 initiative. Health care delivery and management have been strengthened; we have learned the lessons of the pandemic and are now better prepared for crises in health even though more work is needed.”
One of the key focal points of the Prime Minister’s address was the concern over glaring global inequalities persisting despite repeated calls for global cooperation. He highlighted specific nations facing unique challenges.
The Prime Minister expressed deep concern for the Venezuelan people, emphasizing the hardships caused by unilateral sanctions. He urged constructive dialogue between the Governments of Venezuela and the United States.
“Venezuela has been placed in a precarious situation as a result of the application of sanctions, and its people continue to bear the brunt of these unilateral measures. We therefore strongly urge constructive dialogue between the Governments of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the United States, to relieve the hardships these impositions have caused the Venezuelan people”, he stated.
(L-R) (Front) Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kay Bass; Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Action, Environment et al, Hon. Dr. Joyelle Clarke; Minister of Foreign Affairs et al, Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas, (Back) Senior Foreign Affairs Officer, Samuel Berridge; Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Naeemah Hazelle; Permanent Representative of Saint Kitts and Nevis to the United Nations, Ambassador Nerys Dockery at the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly General Debate
Prime Minister Drew stated that St Kitts and Nevis stood in solidarity with Cuba, calling for an immediate end to the embargo and the removal of Cuba from the unilateral List of State Sponsors of Terrorism. He added, “Cuba which has been a generous global partner, is caught in the clutches of an unjust and continuing economic, commercial, and financial embargo, which has caused suffering on a people who do not deserve it.”
The Prime Minister also advocated for Taiwan’s rightful participation in multilateral institutions and emphasized the importance of representation.
“Taiwan should be allowed to make its contribution to the work and budget of multilateral institutions such as the United Nations and the World Health Assembly in furtherance of common global goals, and it is our hope that the right of its 23 million people to adequate representation can be realized”, emphasized Dr. Drew.
As he continued to highlight the existing global inequalities, the Prime Minister acknowledged Haiti’s historic struggle and called for a political resolution, along with measures to reverse the country’s legacy of underdevelopment.
“Haiti, the first free black republic in the Western Hemisphere, continues to grapple with an unimaginable scale of human suffering. A political resolution is urgently needed, while also recognizing that appropriate measures must be taken to reverse Haiti’s legacy of underdevelopment. We cannot move forward on the acceleration of Agenda 2030 if we continue to knowingly and deliberately leave some people behind.”
Additionally, the Prime Minister stressed the imperative for reform within the UN Security Council, underscoring the growing influence of the Global South. He asserted that adapting the Security Council to contemporary geopolitical realities is essential for enhancing its effectiveness.
The speech concluded with a powerful statement, encapsulating the urgency and responsibility of the moment: “We know what is. We understand what could be. Ours is the challenge to ensure peace, prosperity, progress, and sustainability for all. St. Kitts and Nevis accepts the challenge and remains a ready and willing partner in our collective quest for a better world that we all deserve.”
The Prime Minister’s address at the 78th UNGA General Debate reflects Saint Kitts and Nevis’ unwavering commitment to global solidarity, equity, and sustainable development, reaffirming the nation’s role as a proactive agent for positive change on the international stage.