EU CELAC Summit, Brussels Statement by Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew

Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew presenting his Statement at the EU-CELAC Summit 2023 in Brussels

Excellencies,

My country welcomes this Summit to deepen the partnership, friendship and opportunities for collaboration between the governments and peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean and the European Union. It is a recognition that we indeed have common interests and shared goals and is a reaffirmation of our commitment to seek common approaches to the global development challenges which confront us all. In doing so, we must respect national circumstances and the ideal of multilateralism, which remains the best platform for constructive and strategic solutions and future-proofing our nations.

We meet at a time when the world is grappling with the existential threat of climate change. None of us is left untouched by its devastating effects. Each country must therefore chart its unique course in responding to this crisis and prioritize multilateral cooperation to effectively navigate the global web of climate finance, policy, ambition, and action in addressing the climate crisis.

To combat our existential threats and ensure a just transition, Saint Kitts and Nevis – the smallest nation in the Western Hemisphere – is committed to climate resilience, geothermal-based energy security, food security, expanded social protection and finding innovative ways of uprooting systemic poverty as well as the increasing national security threats which are indirectly linked to failing livelihoods caused by the climate crisis, thus we have developed an agenda called the Sustainable Island State Agenda.

Given the urgent need for adequate capital to address development goals, climate impacts, adaptation, mitigation and resilience building, genuine reform of the global financial architecture is critical. We, therefore, support the innovative approaches which the Bridgetown Initiative advocates.

Excellencies, it is imperative to maintain a rules-based international order which is central to the principles of multilateralism. In this regard, as a member of the family of nations from my region, I reiterate the call that has been made here today for the end of the embargo against Cuba, under which its people have suffered for far too long. The embargo against Cuba is wholly unjust and hurts not only Cuba and its people, but our region. It is past time to take the embargo off the backs of the Cuban people. In Europe, we call for dialogue and a diplomatic solution to the Russia-Ukraine war. In addition, it would be remiss of me not to mention, that we must not forget our brothers and sisters in Haiti and work together to resolve the Haitian security and humanitarian crisis.

I conclude it is my hope that we can continue our meaningful dialogue about how a re-energized and renewed EU-CELAC partnership will work to achieve transformative goals. Saint Kitts and Nevis is committed to being a reliable friend and partner in our collective effort to protect our people and our planet.

Thank you very much.

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