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BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, FEBRUARY 4TH 2014 (CUOPM) – It is imperative to continue to impress upon the global community the importance of small, well-managed, high income nations like St. Kitts and Nevis continuing to have access to concessional funding.
“This, in my view, is a moral imperative: Our vulnerability to natural disasters shows why access to low-interest funding is essential. And financial crises in New York, London, or Antwerp being able to ricochet through distant regions like ours makes the point as well. With such a vast array of hemispheric leaders gathered in one room, therefore, it was imperative that the interests of small, high-income countries like ours, where access to concessional funding is concerned, be clearly articulated. And this I did,” said Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas commenting on his recent attendance at the Second Meeting of Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Havana, Cuba.
He told listeners to his weekly radio programme “Ask the Prime Minister” that because this is the type of consistent articulation, it is absolutely essential if small nations are to survive in this often harsh global environment. And I have every reason to believe that these efforts will produce results,” said Prime Minister Douglas during his weekly radio programme “Ask the Prime Minister” on Tuesday.
Dr. Douglas said his government has demonstrated a commitment to protect the Federation – and indeed small states around the world.
He pointed out that in 2011, the countries of the western hemisphere established the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and this year’s meeting was attended by leaders from the region.
Dr. Douglas noted that CELAC was the brainchild of the late Hugo Chavez (late President of Venezuela) who, during his short life, did a great deal to alleviate poverty in his own country, and bring relief, in the form of affordable energy, to nations throughout the Caribbean and communities across the United States.
He also noted that CELAC was also the brainchild of former Cuban President Fidel Castro whose government, along with that of current President Raoul Castro, and the people of Cuba, have done a great deal to advance the educational and health care opportunities available to countries throughout our region.
“Heads gathered in Cuba to address matters we deem to be of pressing importance to our region – and indeed the world, the importance of the Summit being underscored by the fact that, in addition to the hemispheric Heads already referenced, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon; the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza; and each and every one of my fellow Caricom Heads of Government traveled to Havana for this Summit as well,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
He said he will continue his work at the United Nations and international financial institutions as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Inter-American Development Bank and other entities on behalf of St. Kitts and Nevis and small states.