Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 31, 2016 (SKNIS): Ms. Kaye Bass, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and Aviation, said that the ministry is very important as it plays a fundamental role in national, regional and international relations development.
Ms. Bass appeared on the Government’s weekly radio and television programme “Working for You” on Wednesday, March 30, where she gave an overview of MOFA.
“Foreign Affairs and Aviation is a very vital ministry or arm of the Government.” said Ms. Bass. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, particularly, is responsible for formulating and coordinating foreign policy.” She added that the ministry has the responsibility of advising the Government on domestic and global issues.
The permanent secretary explained that MOFA also participates in international and regional conferences. She stated that nationals living abroad are of great importance and as such, the ministry takes pleasure in ensuring that they are kept up-to-date about what takes place in the Federation, as well as ensuring their safety and security.
“We also safeguard the interest of our nationals overseas and therefore, our honorary consuls overseas, or consulates particularly, are charged with this mandate to ensure that our nationals overseas get the attention that they require and they deserve.”
Ms. Bass pointed out that the ministry also caters to nationals and residents alike in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“We also serve the public locally. A lot of the nationals do come into the office for different reasons,” she said. “So we serve the nationals overseas, as well as those here. We also interact a lot with the international community.”
She noted that establishing diplomatic relations with as many of the 193 countries of the United Nations is one of the main concentrations of the ministry presently, and stated that MOFA is seeking to develop closer relations with a lot of the countries.
The permanent secretary said that so far, St. Kitts and Nevis has forged new relationships with Kosovo and Cyprus and that the ministry is seeking to have visa waiver agreements with countries like Saudi Arabia and countless others.