Basseterre, St. Kitts – April 15, 2021 (Ministry of Foreign Affairs): The inaugural Saint Kitts and Nevis-Canada Bilateral Consultation Meeting was held on April 14, 2021, between senior officials within The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Aviation, Saint Kitts and Nevis and from Global Affairs, Canada (GAC). The virtual meeting, convened against the backdrop of the first virtual CARICOM-Canada Meeting of Foreign Ministers was viewed as the next step in its series designed to further enhance and strengthen the excellent bilateral relationship that has long been established and enjoyed over many years.
The dialogue among the senior officials was co-chaired by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Aviation, Ms. Kaye Bass and Director General, Central America and the Caribbean, Global Affairs, Canada, Ms. Sylvia Cesaratto,
In presenting opening remarks, Permanent Secretary Bass thanked the government of Canada for its unwavering commitment and assistance throughout the years and in particular, the recent assistance being rendered to the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) to assist in the fight against COVID19. The Permanent Secretary further underscored the importance of the historical relationship between the countries, while recognising that in these times of uncertainty, “we have a unique opportunity to jointly re-evaluate, recalibrate and re-imagine our cooperation and launch a roadmap for this new dispensation.” The COVID 19 pandemic has brought about a new era that has “forced developed and developing countries alike to come together to consider and design new paradigms for development” if we are to wholly subscribe to the many facets of the building back better agenda.
The discussion and views exchanged over the course of the consultation centered on shared priorities and explored investment and business opportunities for both countries through focused dialogue in the areas of economic recovery, trade, climate change, resilience and sustainability. Proposals for enhanced bilateral and multilateral collaboration inter alia in health, renewable energy, education, financing, agriculture, sustainable tourism, capacity building and continued advocacy for Saint Kitts and Nevis and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in global fora were also ventilated.
Ministries and government agencies including, International Trade, Agriculture, Environment, Finance, Tourism, the Saint Kitts Tourism Authority, and St. Kitts Investment Promotion Agency and Nevis Investment Promotion Agency shared presentations. From the Canadian side, the agencies presented included Immigration Refugee and Citizenship, Public Health, Clean Technology, Climate Change and the High Commission of Canada in Bridgetown, Barbados.
The afternoon’s virtual event was closed with a commitment to explore and develop a roadmap for cooperation that would not only define but also chart a concrete course for tangible fruits of meaningful cooperation in the future.
St Kitts and Nevis High Commission in Ottawa also participated in the meeting.