Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 13, 2019 (SKNIS): The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is on a path to further improve its economy for socioeconomic development, but realizes that it cannot do it alone, says Kaye Bass, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, appearing on the radio-television show “Working for You” on March 13, noting that bilateral relationships are integral to the country’s growth.
Ms. Bass stated that there are many benefits to be derived from bilateral relationships. She mentioned that one of the final goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda is to garner international partnerships.
“They listed 17 Sustainable Development Goals and one to 16 included health, education, climate change and gender equality. At the end, they realized a country cannot really achieve these on its own. It needs help, partnerships, friends and donors. Therefore the final goal of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda highlights the importance of international relations or partnerships,” she said. Goal 17 of the SDGs is “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.”
The permanent secretary highlighted the diplomatic relationship between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“If we look around the country, we see the influence and assistance of Taiwan. Their assistance has helped us to improve on our social programmes, helped us to improve in the area of energy and education and more. In fact, students have gone overseas to study,” said Ms. Bass.
Ms. Bass also emphasized the relationship between Cuba and the St. Kitts-Nevis Government especially in the area of education.
“So bilateral relations are very important because they can help us to advance our national agenda,” she said.
Bilateral relationships are also important because even though they may not be able to give something tangible, one can speak on the country’s behalf.
“When the region goes to the United Nations (UN) and we want to highlight the threat and challenges we are having with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), we had countries that may not be experiencing it themselves, supporting our cause. So you had a movement in that regard with CARICOM, European, African and Asian countries supporting our cause. This helped us to achieve our goal in the UN with respect to that initiative,” said Ms. Bass.
With respect to climate change, Ms. Bass stated that there are some countries that climate change is not posing an existential threat as it is in small island developing states. However, through bilateral relationships and through discourse they can support the cause when dialogues with international organizations like the UN or the OAS are to be had.