Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis – In a significant stride towards international collaboration to combat climate change, the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis engaged in bilateral discussions with Canada on the sidelines of the CARICOM-Canada Summit held in Ottawa, Canada.
The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change for Canada extended a warm welcome to his counterpart, the Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Saint Kitts and Nevis. Also present at the meeting was Mr. Samuel Berridge, Saint Kitts and Nevis Foreign Service Officer, and other senior government officials within the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change for Canada.
Minister Guilbeault expressed his pleasure in engaging in dialogue with Dr. Douglas concerning preparations for the upcoming 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 28), scheduled to be held in the United Arab Emirates from 30 November until 12 December 2023. The discussions also encompassed various matters aimed at strengthening the bilateral relations between the two countries.
Dr. Douglas recalled a recent meeting with Minister Guilbeault in Vancouver, British Columbia, and conveyed his hope that this meeting would build upon the significant progress achieved during that earlier engagement.
He underscored Saint Kitts and Nevis’ unwavering commitment as a dependable partner in the global effort to reduce carbon emissions and raise awareness about the existential threat posed by climate change to small island developing states.
The areas of collaboration identified during the discussions included engaging in further consultations to gain a better understanding of the position of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) in the lead-up to COP28; further consultations on the treatment of single-use plastics, strengthening the work of the Ministry of Sustainable Development; short-term exchange of experts between Saint Kitts and Nevis and Canada; and the designation of youth as champions to raise awareness about the dangers of climate change.
Minister Douglas also indicated that Saint Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew in his current role as Chairman of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), remains committed to prioritizing climate change in his engagements with the international community.
As a follow-up to the bilateral meeting, Minister Guilbeault pledged to maintain open channels of communication by dispatching a ministerial letter to his counterpart in Saint Kitts and Nevis, the Honourable Dr. Joyelle Clarke. This letter will highlight joint areas of focus ahead of the COP28 Meeting in the United Arab Emirates.
The meeting marked a significant step forward in the global efforts to address climate change and promote cooperation between Saint Kitts and Nevis and Canada. These discussions demonstrate the commitment of both nations to work together to mitigate the impacts of climate change and to create a sustainable future for all.