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Posted: Wednesday 20 March, 2024 at 4:36 PM

PM Drew reiterates importance of CARICOM to SKN

By: Staff Reporter,

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts -- PRIME Minister Dr. Terrance Drew has restated the significance of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to the Federation as discussions persist regarding the implementation of the CARICOM Free Movement initiative.


    Criticism has arisen among citizens towards the prime minister and the government, alleging that they signed onto the initiative without public communication, raising concerns about its potential impact on the country’s infrastructure. However, Dr. Drew emphasized that CARICOM has significantly benefited the Federation across various areas, including education, crime prevention, and disaster preparedness.


    "RSS, when things get tough in St. Kitts, we say, 'Why don't we bring in the RSS?' The RSS is a CARICOM force, is a regional force," Dr. Drew said on Freedom FM.


    He continued, "That's a benefit that we have. The other thing that will benefit [us] is CDEMA, for example, deals with disasters. Each time a hurricane is heading towards St. Kitts, CDEMA, which is a CARICOM institution, steps forward to help us... St. Kitts and Nevis can't deal with that on their own."


    Dr. Drew underscored the significance of CARICOM's contribution to education, citing the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) as an indispensable institution. The Federation has seen notable success in academic achievements on the regional level.


    "We have CARPHA that deals with the health aspects of our countries in the CARICOM. Why am I dealing with education, health, and security? These are the very foundations on which any country is built — any successful country is built. Therefore, CARICOM has played a tremendous role," the prime minister asserted.


    Highlighting the role of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr. Drew noted its contribution to funding the geothermal project in Nevis, emphasizing CARICOM's positive impact on member states, including St. Kitts and Nevis.


    While addressing concerns about the CARICOM Free Movement initiative on Freedom FM's Issues, Dr. Drew clarified, "Let me categorically state that we have not fully committed to the free movement proposal being discussed. Movement of people is managed, and we are currently in the process of reviewing information to ensure it aligns with our national interests."


    He further emphasized that no definitive steps have been taken towards signing any agreements, as the government is diligently assessing the potential implications for the Federation.


    As ministers continue to deliberate on the necessary legislation, no final decision has been reached regarding the framework for implementation.




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