BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, July 21, 2023 (SKNIS) – Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew this week led a local delegation to the European Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (EU-CELAC) Summit 2023 in Brussels, Belgium from July 17 to 18.
The third EU-CELAC Summit brought together European, Latin American and Caribbean policymakers and institutions to renew and strengthen relations among the three regions. It explored the challenges and opportunities for the EU-LAC strategic partnership as well as the Global Gateway initiative.
Prime Minister Dr. Drew delivered the first address for St. Kitts and Nevis at the EU-CELAC Summit on Tuesday, July 18, in which he touched on issues including climate change, multilateral cooperation and global security.
Speaking at this month’s edition of The Roundtable earlier today, Prime Minister Dr. Drew stated that participating in the summit presented numerous benefits for the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“Firstly, it provided an opportunity for our country to strengthen its diplomatic ties with both the EU and the Latin American and Caribbean region. Engaging with larger economies could open doors for enhanced trade and investment opportunities, potentially boosting economic growth and diversification,” said Dr. Drew.
The honourable prime minister noted that the discussions at the EU-CELAC Summit on climate change, climate action, climate finance and environment issues were of particular importance to St. Kitts and Nevis.
“[St. Kitts and Nevis] faces the imminent threat of rising sea levels and extreme weather events, such as drought—the very drought that we are dealing with right now, possibly the worst in our history and we have been facing that for months now which is affecting our water supply. And by aligning with EU’s and CELAC’s initiatives our country can access support and resources to implement sustainable development projects and build resilience against climate-related challenges,” Prime Minister Dr. Drew said.
Furthermore, Dr. Drew noted that important discussions were also held on the future of the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programmes.
“As the Chairman of the OECS, I led that meeting with the EU Commissioner. Three prime ministers were there: myself, the prime minister of Dominica and the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda. There are issues to work through, issues that I met there and have been working through since day one to preserve and to make sure that the name of St. Kitts and Nevis is properly restored. We have agreed to set up a working committee and I want to say to our people that in the near future, I will have to be traveling back and forth to Europe to make sure that we have a positive outcome,” the prime minister explained.
As it relates to addressing security concerns in the region, the St. Kitts and Nevis prime minister stressed the need for closer collaboration with regional and international partners, noting that, “such collaborations are crucial to maintaining peace and stability within our region.”