Published 11 May 2023
Buckie Got It Media Source
STATEMENT DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY LARRY VAUGHAN
TO THE ASSOCIATION OF CARIBBEAN STATES (ACS) IX SUMMIT IN GUATEMALA
Saint Kitts and Nevis is pleased to participate in this meeting of the highest decision-making body of the Association of Caribbean States. Mr. Chairman and all other heads of government and delegation, I bring you cordial greetings from Prime Minister Dr Terrace Drew, who is unable to attend today’s august gathering.
Through this intervention, I wish to convey Saint Kitts and Nevis’ renewed commitment to support and strengthen the work and the mandate of the ACS. We are cognizant of the value to be derived from the numerous ACS projects which have been designed to improve the lives of the people across region.
Saint Kitts and Nevis comes to this table of brotherhood and camaraderie with keen interest in the Sandy Shores Project. We embrace the search for a lasting solution to the sargassum seaweed invasion which remains a perennial threat to our fishing and tourism industries. We consider the need to resolve the difficulties faced by our tourism stakeholders to effectively forecast and execute their beach and water sport activities services when there is little information on the forecasted presence of the invasive swaths of sargassum in our waters our seashores.
Plans for early warning systems are welcomed and any further innovative effort to harvest and utilise sargassum for sustainable economic activity is also welcomed by the government and people of Saint Kitts and Nevis.
The presence of the sargassum seaweed at this time creates a negative visitor experience, and it threatens the livelihoods of our small subsistence fisherfolk. Saint Kitts and Nevis pledges to redouble its efforts to find and support sustainable solutions to this threat.
Saint Kitts and Nevis finds commendable connectivity in the work programmes of the ACS which intend to provide solutions in the areas of maritime and air transportation in the Eastern Caribbean and in sustainable tourism. As a small island developing economy, we continue to support the shared quests toward strategic action on Sustainable Tourism as are found in the ACS Plan of Action 2022 – 2028. Improving mobility in the greater Caribbean is a significant component in achieving greater gains from tourism activities.
Finally, Saint Kitts and Nevis records its deepest appreciation for the recognition and inclusion of the Bridgetown initiative in our call to action to avert the looming challenges before us that are associated with Climate change. The innovations of the Bridgetown Initiative must be our marching order in this fight to protect our shared development agenda in the face of looming climate crisis.
As such Mr. Chairman and fellow heads of government and delegation, Saint Kitts and Nevis identifies with the Draft Antigua Declaration which embodies the work that was done in this the IX Summit of the Association of Caribbean States. This summit culminates a week of meetings and fora which promote greater cooperation between ACS member states, observers, and social partners as we move forward under the chairmanship of our esteemed colleague, Suriname.
We return to our respective Capitals inspired by the hospitality of our Guatemalan neighbours as well as the commitment of ACS members and partners to seek ensure continuity in the quest to overcome the challenges we face. Let us continue to innovate in our integration quests for the sustainable development of the greater Caribbean Region.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.