NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (January 22, 2024) - Premier of Nevis the Honourable Mark Brantley and Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew led a joint Cabinet meeting of the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) and the Federal Government at the Four Seasons Resort, Nevis on Monday, January 22, where several issues of national interest were discussed.
Premier Brantley, along with his Cabinet Ministers Deputy Premier the Hon. Eric Evelyn, the Hon. Spencer Brand, the Hon. Troy Liburd, the Hon. Jahnel Nisbett, and NIA Cabinet Secretary Mr. Stedmond Tross, welcomed Prime Minister Drew and his contingent to the island.
Prime Minister Drew was accompanied by his Cabinet Ministers Deputy Prime Minister the Hon. Dr. Geoffrey Hanley, the Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas, the Hon. Konris Maynard, the Hon. Samal Duggins, the Hon. Joyelle Clarke, the Hon. Isalean Phillip, and Federal Cabinet Secretary Dr. Marcus Natta.
In his opening remarks Premier Brantley underscored the importance of the two administrations engaging in open dialogue “to discuss issues in a frank and open way, to be respectful, but to understand ultimately that we’ve all been elected or put in place in the respective Cabinets to make decisions which we hope will redound to the benefit of all.”
He said, “I always say when parties are talking to each other it affords the opportunity to come to common ground. We may not always agree but equally true, we may not always disagree.
“I say these types of engagements are important because I know sometimes those of us on the sister island of Nevis feel that we are left out, and I will say publicly as I’ve said before that certainly since Prime Minister Drew has been at the helm of government in St. Kitts, there has been a tremendous effort made at inclusion, and I think that that’s important.”
The Premier continued, saying that as a small country with limited financial and human resources it is imperative that Kittitians and Nevisians collectively harness their talents and all else available to them for the benefit of all in the country if St. Kitts and Nevis is to advance.
“I think that what I value most and why I’m grateful we are having this engagement at this level is that we are making it possible to have national conversations, recognizing that at the core we are one people, and what impacts us on one island impacts us all.
“We’re all one people, one nation. We must learn to work together if we are to advance. It is something that I have been preaching because I think it is something important, that our people start recognizing that opportunities that arise in this country are available to us all.”
Prime Minister Dr. Drew also welcomed the opportunity for the high-level engagement, highlighting the efforts being made at inclusion with respect to the NIA and by extension, all of Nevis.
“Part of what we promised as a Federal Government is to have a relationship with Nevis that would redound in the benefits as we see in St. Kitts and there is no difference. That is very critical and important to us,” he said. “As I often say, that the child in Gingerland would have the same opportunities as the child in St. Peters in St. Kitts, the worker in Gingerland should have equity in opportunities as any worker in Boyds, St. Kitts.
“That is why we have taken such a progressive move that irrespective of the political differences I think and I know we are one people, and I think it’s always good politics to ensure that St. Kitts and Nevis are working together for the benefit of all of our people.”
The main topics of discussion at the joint Cabinet meeting included constitutional review, and the Sustainable Island State agenda.
Premier Brantley and Prime Minister Drew both expressed satisfaction that the NIA and Federal Government have been collaborating in the areas of geothermal energy, education, agriculture and food security.
Both Cabinet Heads were of the view that official engagements between the two administrations should become a regular undertaking going forward.
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