Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 06, 2018 (SKNIS): Today, June 06, officials from across the Caribbean, convened for the 29th CARICOM Heads of Social Security Meeting at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort to discuss matters relating to social security systems.
“It is critical that we become and maintain the posture of being adaptable, knowing that there are obvious changes and challenges, which will always be there to confront us and it is that ability to make the adjustment that will ensure that our social security systems continue to be resilient and sustainable,” said Senior Minister, Honourable Vance W. Amory, who is responsible for Social Security. “This is the key I believe to why we are here today to discuss those issues, challenges, [as well as] problems and to find solutions and make recommendations to people like myself, the ministers, who then have to create the policies to benefit your and our social security systems.”
Senior Minister Amory said that the meeting signifies the need to always meet, and more so, under the auspices of the CARICOM. He noted that these meetings center on the social security boards’ past endeavours, what they are doing now, and determine what they want to do in the future and how they will get there.
The senior minister noted that the social security systems have a significant role to play in the preservation of the social dignity of the people. He added that persons often have concerns about social security “folding up”, but he assured that this is not the case.
“I’m significantly more positive in regards to social security systems and I don’t think that there is going to be any folding up,” he said. “As we hear of those potential dangers, I think it impacts on us that we as ministers of social security, directors of social security and employees in the social security system recognize that we cannot afford to let our systems fail. …That is why I want to approach our discussions that here is a challenge for us that we are sworn to, and we are committed to the preservation of our systems to make sure that isn’t the case of St. Kitts and Nevis.”
Senior Minister Amory said that participants of the meeting should focus on how social security systems can play a positive and stimulating role in the longevity and the ongoing development of societies in the Caribbean and in Latin America.
This meeting comes at an opportune time as the St. Kitts and Nevis Social Security Board is celebrating its 40th Anniversary, said the senior minister.
“You have come at a time when we are celebrating as a social security board our 40th anniversary and in that period of time when the board has really performed very significantly in terms of its impact on St. Kitts and Nevis and the people and the economy of our country,” he said.
Mr. Timothy Antoine, Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank congratulated the St. Kitts and Nevis Social Security Board for attaining this milestone.
“That is indeed a milestone, you are coming of age and the development footprint of the board is etched indelibly in the Federation and wherever you go and you are to be commended for that,” said Mr. Antoine.
Other remarks came from Ms. Rosa-Mae Whittier, Free Movement and Labour Officer at the CARICOM CSME Unit; Mr. Reginald Thomas of Centro Interamericano de Estudios de Seguridad Social; and Dr. Omar de la Torre de la Mora, General Secretary of Conferencia Interamericana de Seguridad Social. Mr. Elvin Bailey, Acting Director of the Social Security Board, St. Kitts and Nevis, chaired the proceedings, while Mr. Oscar Walters, Chairman of the Social Security Board, St. Kitts and Nevis, gave welcome remarks.
The meetings are being held from June 06 to 09, 2018.