Washington D.C (23 June 2023), During the plenary sessions of the 53rd Regular Session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS), Her Excellency Sherry Tross, High Commissioner of Saint Kitts and Nevis to Canada and Ambassador to Mexico and Panama, presented a most compelling national statement to the august body, on behalf of the Rt. Hon Dr. Denzil Douglas Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis.
H.E. Tross in lauding the organization for its work in promoting its foundational values in the hemisphere stated, “The OAS must be commended for its commitment to championing these issues in the Americas over time and playing a pivotal role in supporting democratic accountability and in advocating for the protection of human rights.”
The Ambassador further shared the federation’s commitment and consonance to upholding the tenants of the charter, highlighting the bipartisan support in the National Assembly to ensure good governance and accountability – “This year, the government passed into law the Anti-Corruption Bill, 2023; Integrity in Public Life (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and the Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill, 2023. The swift passage of these new Acts, with bipartisan support, is a testament to the government’s commitment to strengthening democratic accountability and transparency as it works to create a better country for all citizens and residents to enjoy.
In emphasizing the importance of pooling our collaborative efforts in supporting each other, especially in times of difficulty to ensure continued peace and stability across the hemisphere, H.E. Tross registered the government’s appreciation for ongoing work in our sister nation of Haiti stating, “ the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis wishes to place on record its support for the ongoing work being conducted by the OAS Working Group on Haiti as well as the CARICOM Eminent Persons Group and, most importantly, Haitians themselves.
In her presentation, Ambassador Tross also called attention to the organization’s influential and leadership role in the current global context, as a strategic partner in addressing the convergence of crises that confront its Member States, which continue to have profound socio-economic and governance implications for our people. She further underscored the interconnectivity of the organ’s four pillars stressing that “In an era defined by climate change therefore, a rights-based, good governance and resilient development agenda can no longer be put into separate silos. They must go hand in hand.”
The concern of the organization’s financial health in fulfilling its mandates was also brought to sharp focus, as Ambassador Tross impressed upon the body that “when adequately resourced, it is better positioned to respond to the challenges in the hemisphere.”
In expressing the federation’s gratitude for its partnership with the OAS over the years, Ambassador Tross also used the opportunity to reaffirm the federation’s commitment to working closely with the organization as our nation commemorates its 40th Anniversary of Independence.