Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 13, 2019 (SKNIS): As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Aviation continues its efforts to liaise with diplomats both locally and internationally, the staff of the ministry prepares for the hosting of Diplomatic Week slated for Sunday, April 07 to Friday, April 12 2019, under the theme, “Securing a Resilient Future through Strategic Diplomacy and Effective Dialogue”.
Kaye Bass, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Aviation, briefly explained Diplomatic Week while appearing on the Government’s weekly radio and television programme “Working for You” on Wednesday, March 13.
“It is a period of time set about in the calendar, for us it will be every three years, when we bring home our diplomats,” said Ms. Bass. “This is an opportunity for the government to express to them – our representatives overseas – that they are important to us and you are so important that we are going to bring you home to update you on what the government’s priorities are, what has been taking place, how do you fit in in the government’s agenda, and how do we expect you to express our interest and to safeguard our interest overseas.”
The permanent secretary said that the week provides an opportunity for the diplomats to engage in face-to-face diplomacy.
“It provides an opportunity for them to network not only with the staff at capital but with other diplomats from around the world. It is an opportunity for them to network with our own ambassadors and also an opportunity to share and exchange information and also ideas and best practices,” she said. “So diplomatic week is not only about our diplomats and honorary consuls because we have also extended the invitation to representatives of other countries who are within the region.”
To date, nineteen ambassadors have expressed an interest in attending this year’s Diplomatic Week celebrations with the number expecting to grow leading up to the events.
Several activities are planned for both the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis. Some of these include a church service on Sunday, April 07; presentation in schools; interface with the media; presentation of credentials by recently appointed ambassadors/high commissioners, and a Governor General’s reception on Monday, April 08.
Tuesday, April 09, is the opening ceremony of Diplomatic Week with addresses by Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Honourable Mark Brantley, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation. A panel would include local experts from the Citizenship by Investment Unit and the Ministries of Sustainable Development, Marine Resources and Tourism. Another panel includes representatives from CARICOM, OECS and ECCB. There will be an interface with Director for Diaspora Affairs and St. Kitts and Nevis Heads of Missions regarding the Diaspora Policy. Special Facilitator will be Dr. Wendy Grenade, PhD, a Grenada-born Senior Lecture in Political Science in the Department of Government, Sociology, Social Work and Psychology at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Barbados.