Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 24, 2022 (Ministry of Foreign Affairs): The Rt. Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas, Minister of Foreign Affairs of St. Kitts and Nevis attended the CARICOM- India Foreign Ministers meeting yesterday September 23rd 2022 with the Honourable Dr. S. Jaishankar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of India.
Foreign Minister Dr. Douglas, in his remarks, thanked the Government of India on behalf of the Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis for their contribution of Pfizer vaccines that aided substantially in the Federation's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. He also mentioned several technical cooperation and capacity-building projects India has pursued with the Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis including training opportunities in a variety of disciplines. CARICOM and India have enjoyed an excellent relationship, with India providing substantive technical and financial support to solar energy and climate change-related projects, as well as capacity-building courses and training opportunities.
In another regional meeting, regional diplomacy was championed through the Alliance of Small States (AOSIS). The President Designate of the UN Climate Change Conference’s 27th Session (COP27)- His Excellency Minister Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt convened a meeting with the Foreign Ministers of AOSIS on September 23rd. In this engagement, HE President Designate of Egypt gave a brief overview of the preparatory processes concluded thus far and highlighted that the Egyptian government has branded COP27 as an "African COP". Featuring prominently in the discussion was the issue of loss and damage as an important element of climate change negotiations in the lead up to COP27 in Egypt.
Foreign Minister Dr. Douglas in his intervention reiterated the remarks by his CARICOM colleagues and expressed the important role of advocacy in achieving tangible solutions, especially for Caribbean countries in the Atlantic belt experiencing devastating climatic conditions.
The following issues were amongst those mentioned as priority areas for AOSIS members as SIDS:
- building energy capacity in SIDS under the SIDS Lighthouse initiative.
- funding arrangements for addressing loss and damage.
In yet another engagement, Foreign Minister Dr. Douglas met with the Under Secretary of State of the United States of America, Her Excellency Victoria Nuland in a Caribbean – USA meeting. The Caribbean Foreign Ministers discussed the vibrant diplomatic relations with the United States, including cooperation on the COVID-19 pandemic and the donation of vaccines to several Caribbean states, the development assistance vis-à-vis the Caribbean Development Bank and enhancing cooperation on food security. The situation in Haiti was a primary point of exchange as the Caribbean, the USA’s close neighbour, has maintained solidarity with the Government and People of Haiti in order to bring a Haitian-led resolve to the internal conflict. Foreign Minister Dr. Douglas thanked the Under Secretary General for convening such an important meeting and pledged his support to the bilateral and regional cooperation with one of the Caribbean’s most important partners.
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