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Posted: Tuesday 19 February, 2008 at 8:49 AM

    Diplomatic representation should focus on building enabling environment…says PM Douglas

    By Stanford Conway
    Editor-in-Chief – SKNVibes .com

     

     Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas
    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – PRIME Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Dr. Denzil Douglas yesterday told members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps that the Federation’s diplomatic representation should focus on building an enabling environment.
     
    The event was officially declared open by Dr. Douglas, who welcomed the participants and challenged them to use the week to get a better understanding of the ethos of the Federation’s foreign policy and also how they could become more active partners in the process of revitalisation.

    The theme of this year’s Diplomatic Week is “Maximising Benefits from International Relations: Building Partnerships for Mutual Advantage”, which the PM declared that he took to heart.

    He also urged the participants to use the week to extract a clearer understanding of their roles, their expectations as diplomatic and consular representatives, and of the mechanisms and systems in place to support their work.

    “For those of you representing the Federation in multilateral fora, I am sure you appreciate the mechanics of consensus building; the
    A section of Diplomats and Consuls as well as invited guests to the opening ceremony of Diplomatic Week 2008
    importance of collaboration and building partnerships which not only ensure that our national expectations are met, but that our strategic multilateral partners also realise that their individual or collective interests are not being sacrificed,” he told the local diplomatic and consular representatives.

     He also advised that while local diplomatic representation must promote peace and security, it should also create the socio-economic space for the national economy to develop and for the nation to have an improved standard of living and quality of life.

    “Therefore, ladies and gentlemen,” he added, “our foreign policy will have to pay greater attention to regional and international institutions such as the United Nations, the Organisation of American States, CARICOM and the OECS.”

    Dr. Douglas pointed out that only through strategic cooperation and foreign policy alignment “can we lend the power of our intellect and conviction of our priorities to the international discourse that brings common results which benefit our people”.

    ~~Adz:Left~~ “Similarly,” he continued, “we urge our diplomats and consuls in the bilateral field to work skillfully with the national governments to which they are accredited to send a clear signal that the government of St. Kitts and Nevis speaks with a single coordinated voice on issues of politics, economics, commerce and diplomacy as well.”

    He urged the local diplomatic and consular corps to work together, and stressed they could only maintain a common voice if they use the technology at their disposal to maintain contact, to communicate, share ideas and harmonise their collective strengths to benefit the country they love.

    The Prime Minister declared that he was enthused by the prospects for St. Kitts and Nevis and for the local representatives’ role in communicating those opportunities to the Federation’s regional and international partners in a manner that bring positive result.

    Dr. Douglas was at the time delivering the feature address at the opening ceremony of Diplomatic Week 2008 hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Ocean Terrace Inn.

     “Our diplomatic representation should focus on building an enabling environment. While it must promote peace and security, it should also create the socio-economic space for our national economy to develop and for our people to have an improved standard of living and quality of life,” Dr. Douglas said.

    Diplomatic Week 2008, an initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in its second consecutive year, is graced with the presence of not only Ambassadors and Consuls of the Federation and neighbouring states, but also those from as far as Australia, the Republic of Germany, Russia, Switzerland and Israel among others.

     

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