International Leaders At PetroCaribe Summit
Photo By Erasmus Williams
Bassaterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
June 15, 2009 (CUOPM)
The importance of education and training, infrastructural development and a well-managed energy programme for fossil-based energy to the twin-island Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis were highlighted at the opening session of the one-day PetroCaribe Summit.
“All indications are that the geothermal project will impact the Federation in substantial and beneficial ways. On St. Kitts we are exploring the potential for wind energy,” said Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas in his opening statement at the 6th PertoCaribe Summit of Heads of State and Government.
Dr. Douglas pointed that for St. Kitts and Nevis, the deployment of alternative energy technologies provides additional security through the diversification of energy sources.
He contended that whether the source is fossil, wind or geothermal, the fundamental issue is that energy must be produced and used in the most efficient and environmentally friendly manner through the use of modern and appropriate technologies.
Dr. Douglas told the Presidents and Prime Ministers attending the one-day Summit on Friday that St. Kitts and Nevis, like all small-island developing states, face many challenges as they strive to compete effectively in the global environment.
“This suggests that several pertinent strategic initiatives must be at the core of our future development prospects. These include the necessity to build and sustain the infrastructure for development. The enhancement in the quality of roads, telecommunications, electricity and water supplies are central to future growth prospects,” said the Prime Minister.
He said education and training remains one of the key priorities of the development in St. Kitts and Nevis and the fact cannot be ignored that global influences and challenges require critical attention to human resource development in order to build competitiveness and sustain development.
“Our young people must be at the forefront of training and education in many areas that are important to our development in a globalized world. Added to this must be the opening of new areas of opportunity for our people such as film and video, and the use of our heritage and culture, thus creating new areas for commercial activity in non-traditional areas,” said the St. Kitts and Nevis leader.
He said that a strong health sector that supports and promotes positive lifestyle changes for the reduction of communicable and non-communicable diseases was also important.
“For small islands, and for every country, the health of the people is a valuable asset for achieving personal and national aspirations. It is important, therefore, that Government can marshal its resources in the fight against diseases such as HIV, Hypertension and Diabetes,” said Dr. Douglas.