Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 26, 2018 (SKNIS): Kittitians and Nevisians, who are domiciled abroad, gathered today, June 26, for the historic Inaugural Diaspora Conference, held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort. The holding of the conference is an initiative that is intended to foster positive relationships and partnerships with the Diaspora, said Minister of Foreign Affairs and Premier of Nevis, the Honourable Mark Brantley, speaking at the auspicious event.
The three-day conference, which is being held under the theme “Building Partnerships Towards Sustainable Development”, is an initiative spearheaded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with key stakeholders, including the the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Information Technology, the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service (SKNIS), the Citizenship by Investment Unit, the Nevis Tourism Authority; and the St. Kitts Investment Promotion Agency.
The premier thanked the team for all the work it did to realize the vision for such a conference. Minister Brantley particularly applauded Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kaye Bass, “for her unwavering commitment to ensure a great inaugural event we hope to replicate and build on in the years ahead.”
The timing of the event is significant, said Minister Brantley, noting that it is on the heels of the 18th Anguilla, Nevis and St. Kitts Associations Reunion (ANSAR) and a precursor to the 22nd annual St. Kitts Music Festival and other related festivities.
The event is intended to capitalize on the presence of a significant number of nationals resident abroad who effectively constitute St. Kitts and Nevis’ Diaspora, said Minister Brantley.
“I am therefore delighted to welcome back to our shores our nationals living in the United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, the British and US Virgin Islands, the wider Caribbean, Europe and further afield,” he said. “Whether you had the honour of being born here, had a parent or grandparent who was born here or joined our Kittitian and Nevisian family through other means, it is our hope that your brief visit will be enriched by the hosting of this Diaspora Conference.”
Minister Brantley said that the Diaspora Conference aims to improve mechanisms and structures for facilitating Diaspora engagement, heighten awareness for opportunities for development in nation building and investment, develop a database of Diaspora expertise, and contribute to the development of a comprehensive Diaspora policy.
It was noted by the premier that the conference is unique in the sense that it will provide “a dedicated forum for members of the diverse Diaspora to engage in meaningful dialogue amongst each other, and government and private sector agencies in furtherance of our national development objectives.”
These objectives, said Minister Brantley, align squarely with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as embodied in the 17 sustainable development goals that are referred to as the SDGs.
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