Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 05, 2017 (SKNIS): Norway’s Ambassador to St. Kitts and Nevis, Her Excellency Ingrid Mollestad, pledges her commitment and that of her country to be as “constructive and helpful to the federation and other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in an effort to strengthen bilateral relations, as it is important for their voices to be heard in international fora.”
Ambassador Mollestad was at the time addressing a brief but momentous ceremony on Thursday, May 04, as she paid courtesy calls on a number of government officials including the prime minister, Premier of Nevis, the Honourable Vance Amory and Kaye Bass, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“It is indeed true that our two countries enjoy excellent relations and I can assure you that during my tenure I will do my very best to strengthen those relations and in any way possible to me, contribute to the strengthening of them,” said Ambassador Mollestad.
Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, used the occasion to officially welcome Her Excellency Mollestad and wished her success in her capacity as ambassador.
“We are particularly delighted that your country should assign you to St. Kitts and Nevis, which in fact is an indication of the importance it attaches to the relationship, and we hope that we can build very strong bilateral relations with you,” said Prime Minister Harris. “You have done very well as a country economically and yet you have been able to have very good social safety nets for the poorer members of your society. We are very proud of that, and as a small country we too want to ensure that as we make strides economically, we do not leave our people behind.”
Prime Minister Harris stated that although St. Kitts and Nevis and Norway operate in different geographical zones with different history and cultural preferences, it is his hope that both countries can share lessons. He added that some of the lessons, as well as Norway’s government’s approach to manage an economy, could be beneficial to the federation.
Dr. Harris noted that there are several areas in which Norway can be of assistance to St. Kitts and Nevis in order to strengthen the countries bilateral cooperation. Such areas include but are not limited to alternative energy, education, technology, agriculture and fisheries, and climate change.
Ambassador Mollestad highlighted the area of climate change and noted that the Norwegian government is readily available to assist, as it is the seventh largest contributor to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) – which is an unique global platform to respond to climate change by investing in low-emission and climate-resilient development. She added that Norway has a permanent member on the GCF Board.
“I am allowed to say that a board member would be at your disposal and that Norway believes that it is important for small states and small island states in particular, that are vulnerable to climate change to be able to access those funds,” said Ambassador Mollestad, adding that Norway finances a mitigation and adaptation to climate change project at Havana Regional Centre in Cuba – a project which will prove beneficial to all of the Caribbean countries.
Her Excellency Mollestad presented her credentials to His Excellency Sir Tapley Seaton, Governor General of St. Kitts and Nevis, on Wednesday, May 03.