On the Washington, DC-based World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index 2019, which ranks the performance of 126 countries, the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis ranks 30th. To put it another way, St. Kitts-Nevis ranks in the top 25% of countries on the Index and also ranks #1 in the OECS. The Index measures countries’ rule of law performance across eight factors: Constraints on Government Powers, Absence of Corruption, Open Government, Fundamental Rights, Order and Security, Regulatory Enforcement, Civil Justice, and Criminal Justice.
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Harris and his Team Unity Government, St. Kitts-Nevis has been adjudged the best in the OECS by independent and prestigious authorities on various indices, including fiscal balances, information and communication technology development, per capita income, the rule of law, its appeal as a cruise destination, and the strength and attractiveness of its passport. “We are the best example of a well-managed small island state,” says Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris.
The Team Unity administration’s Poverty Alleviation Programme is strengthening the financial position of over 4,000 households. They received a total payout of about $22 million for the first 11 months of 2019. “The $500 stipend paid to these low-income families each month helps them to buy food for their children, pay rent and cover other necessities such as transportation costs to and from work. This month, these families can celebrate Christmas with greater dignity and with more food on the table and presents perhaps under the tree for their children,” Prime Minister Harris said during his Christmas Message to the nation in December 2019.
Last December, Prime Minister Harris’ administration paid an extra month’s salary to civil servants and employees of public entities in both St. Kitts and Nevis for the fourth consecutive year. “The double salary provides a comfortable financial cushion for them to do more during the hectic season and purchase Christmas gifts for their families, friends and well-wishers. The tradition of giving is an important part of our Christmas celebrations,” the Prime Minister also said in his Christmas Message.
In December 2019, Prime Minister Harris also reported that major crimes in the Federation had fallen significantly for the year so far when compared to the comparative period in 2018. “Indeed, most importantly, homicides have fallen most dramatically by 48%,” the Prime Minister said.
At his first press conference for the year 2020, the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis said, “I must begin by thanking and congratulating everyone involved in the most successful Carnival season in our Federation’s history. Carnival’s success shows just how far we have come. The unprecedented large crowds showed what can be achieved when we strengthen and support our security personnel while creating an enabling environment to move at-risk youth from engaging in anti-social behaviour to becoming more productive citizens.”
Prime Minister Harris added: “We vividly recall the time when our streets were unsafe. People were scared to leave their homes. Mothers worried if their children would return home safely. Gunfire, violence and murder were a regular part of our lives. It seemed those days were here to stay. Thankfully, that is in the past. To God we give the glory for our growing safety and security under Team Unity.”
The Prime Minister continued: “The people demonstrated their confidence in our safer communities by making this Carnival season the largest and the best in our Federation’s history. Record turnout was recorded at the Calypso show and other events. Children, families, friends and even former foes laughed and danced together through the many events. Our J’Ouvert and Last Lap events were free of major incidents. Respect for law and order was high and noticeable.”
Prime Minister Harris also said that, “During Carnival, people told me how safe they felt, how excited they were and how they never believed events in St. Kitts and Nevis could be held this way and without crime. Our expats/returning nationals who came back are today saying that something good is finally happening in our Federation and they are proud of the progress being made.”
Speaking in front of a packed room, Garvey said, “Make St. Kitts your Garden of Eden. If you don’t do it then other men will do it for you…Watch your steps. If there is natural wealth around, somebody is coming after it…Your country can be no greater than yourselves…Your St. Kitts will be no greater than your minds…If there is progress, it will be because of your minds.”
Below are links to Marcus Garvey’s iconic 1937 speech, courtesy of The National Archives.