BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, October 3, 2020 (MMS-SKN) — Prime Minister, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, has extolled the relationship between the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Republic of China on Taiwan which was established in 1983 and has said that the two countries have much to learn from each other.
“There is much from which we can learn and benefit and get inspired by the hard work, industry, and the teamwork evident in Taiwan, and equally it has never been and never will be a one sided relationship,” observed Dr Harris.
According to the Honourable Prime Minister, the Taiwanese can learn here and noted that since they have been here they have improved upon their ability to pursue diplomacy especially in the region where they now understand the challenges of democracy at work that can help enrich their own practice. He added: “And they have found in St. Kitts and Nevis their strongest ally.”
Prime Minister Harris made the remarks at Ocean’s Bar in Frigate Bay on Saturday October 3 as he addressed volunteers from the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Environment, and the St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council (SDC) who had earlier in the morning conducted a beach clean-up activity in partnership with the Taiwanese Embassy and the Taiwanese Technical Mission staff.
The activity was held in advance of Taiwan’s National Day, also referred to as ‘Double Ten Day’, on Saturday October 10. Volunteers from the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and the Destination Council cleaned Friars Bay beach, while those from the Taiwanese Embassy and its Technical Mission cleaned Frigate Bay beach.
Prime Minister Harris also took time to offer a word of congratulations to the Republic of China on Taiwan as they are celebrating their anniversary of independence. Present at the function were Taiwanese resident Ambassador, His Excellency Tom Lee, and Mrs Lee.
The gathering also included the Premier of Nevis and Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon Mark Brantley, Minister of Environment and Co-operatives, the Hon Eric Evelyn, first Prime Minister and only living National Hero, Dr the Rt. Honourable and Rt. Excellent Hon Sir Kennedy Simmonds, and Lady Simmonds, Governor General’s Deputy His Excellency Mr Michael Morton, and Mrs Morton, and Deputy Speaker Senator the Hon Dr Bernicia Nisbett.
“In terms of the history though, it is important that one of the first area of cooperation, before diplomatic ties were established in September of 1983, was in the area of agriculture,” explained Prime Minister Harris. “Agriculture continues to be a critical core of the cooperation between our two countries. They have introduced new varieties of fruits and vegetables to St. Kitts and Nevis.”
As had been discussed on the last episode of the popular Leadership Matters which also featured the Minister of Environment, the Hon Eric Evelyn, Dr Harris reminded that the environment had become a very big issue because the matter of the planetary health is a key focus now as far as international diplomacy and as far as United Nations is concerned.
He called for the urgent need to ensure that beaches are safeguarded against littering, mentioning single-use plastics as among the leading beach pollutants, so that children and grandchildren can sample the beaches as the people are doing now.
Prime Minister Harris, while congratulating and thanking those who took part, observed that in the end the clean-up exercise had been productive in terms of its contribution to the wellness of St. Kitts and Nevis and to the cleanliness of the environment.
“Hopefully the highly energised Ministry of Environment working in collaboration with Health and Tourism and all the other Departments of the Government will do this on a regular basis, maybe once a month, maybe every week – who knows?” posed Prime Minister Harris. He however left it to them to work on that schedule so as to make St. Kitts and Nevis the cleanest and most beautiful islands anywhere in the world.