Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 04, 2017 (SKNIS): In December 2016, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, said faith based institutions are “important social partners” in building “strong families and a sustainable country” and promised to continue regular dialogue with religious leaders.
A few months later, the newly appointed Acting Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Nevis Affairs, Labour, Social Security and Ecclesiastical Affairs, Ron Dublin-Collins, stated that there have been ongoing engagements with persons from all religious backgrounds.
Estimates from the Statistics Department suggest that in 2011, 91 percent of the population on St. Kitts identified as belonging to a religious organization. Mr. Dublin-Collins noted that improved partnerships with this segment of the population can have “a profound impact” in government’s social intervention.
“What we are hoping to do is to forge that type of partnerships, provide that type of support that comes from government, to the church and other religious organizations to ensure that they can continue to carry out their mission and carry it out in an effective way,” he stated.
In addition to engagement with the Christian community, the acting permanent secretary has had informal discussions with persons from the Rastafarian and Muslim faiths.
“We (government) would want to ensure that we are inclusive in regards to working with people;” he said. “There is need for us to reach across the board to all persons and to embrace them and to work hand in hand with them so that we can improve the life of every individual.”
Acting Permanent Secretary Dublin-Collins noted that it was important for persons to remember their religious cultural heritage and to embrace the values that forged a favourable impression of Kittitians and Nevisians. He added that government was looking forward to strengthening partnerships with persons from all walks of life
Mr. Dublin-Collins served as the President of the St. Kitts Evangelical Association from 2009 to 2017. This provided him with a unique perspective over the years of interacting with various levels of government. This experience is expected to be beneficial as he carries out his official duties as the acting permanent secretary for the ministry, which includes Ecclesiastic Affairs.