Deputy Prime Minister the Hon. Shawn K. Richards, Melvina Chapman-Audain, Cherrilyn Nedd, Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Education William V. Hodge
Deputy Prime Minister the Hon. Shawn K. Richards, Melvina Chapman-Audain, Cherrilyn Nedd, Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Education William V. Hodge

Deputy PM Richards promotes partnership building at inaugural Diaspora Conference


BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – With the historic inaugural Diaspora Conference off to a successful start, nationals living abroad who are in the twin-island federation for the conference are enjoying various activities geared towards partnership building.

At the opening ceremony June 26 at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, Deputy Prime Minister the Honourable Shawn Richards explained that descendants who maintain ties with St. Kitts and Nevis help to integrate and assimilate the home country into a dynamic global economy. “My Team Unity government, therefore, conceptualized this very important conference and expo in an attempt to formalize the role that all of you in the diaspora should play in our crafting and implementation of an inclusive sustainable growth strategy in St. Kitts and Nevis,” he said.

He noted that coming out of this inaugural conference, the government intends to execute policies that promote resilience and reduce volatility. He also said that according to the United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), “the potential for synergy in connecting the scale of remittances to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is clear: 1 billion senders and receivers and a projected US$6.5 trillion in international remittances will be sent to developing countries between 2015 and 2030,” he said. “My government recognizes that you have long been our partners by helping to support spending on education, health care and a wide range of consumption. We recognize that your support has been resilient and stable, even when other capital flows to the country have stalled or reversed, most notably during the global financial crisis of 2007.”

Thus far, fruitful discussions were had by Cabinet ministers and nationals attending the conference at the Cabinet panel and interactive session. A special group of delegates also enjoyed an interactive luncheon hosted at the Carambola Restaurant under the patronage of the Prime Minister the Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris. A youth forum also gave nationals a chance to hear from future leaders on “building capacity today for success tomorrow.” A welcome reception and cultural extravaganza was also held on the evening of June 26 at Government House.

The next few days of the conference will feature presentations on sustainable development, private and public partnership and an open forum on “Pairing Development: Abroad and Home.”

A special breakfast and Nevis island tour will also take place June 28 under the patronage of Premier of Nevis and Minister of Foreign Affairs the Hon. Mark Brantley.

“The government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis very much appreciate your ongoing investment and interest in our beautiful country, and we look forward to your continued partnership as we strive to make it the best managed and the best organized state in the world,” said Richards.