Basseterre, Saint Kitts – Nevis
March 27, 2008 (CUOPM)
Meetings of the Cabinets of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Nevis Island Administration are to be increased.
This was one of the decisions coming out of the recent joint meeting of the two Cabinets held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort and the Royal Beach Casino, which also discussed crime, devolution of power, immigration and fiscal matters.
A communiquÃ© issued said efforts aimed at improving relations between the Federal Government and the Nevis Island Administration as well as between the people of St. Kitts and Nevis received a timely boost during the meeting.
The St. Kitts and Nevis Federal delegation was led by Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas and the Nevis Island Administration was headed by Premier the Hon. Joseph Parry.
Prime Minister Douglas who chaired the meeting, in his opening remarks, stressed the critical importance of joint cabinets sessions as the two governments seek to address common problems and strengthen the financial and economic base of the Federation.
In his response, Premier Parry thanked the Prime Minister for the opportunity afforded the Nevis Island Administration of meeting with Donor Agencies earlier in the day and expressed the desire that the meeting would be productive.
The issue of crime and security received much attention as the Minister of National Security, Hon. Dwyer Astaphan outlined a number of crime fighting strategies been pursued by the Security Forces.
The meeting recognized that successful crime fighting must involve close collaboration between the two Administrations as well as the meaningful involvement of other concerned partners, locally, regionally and internationally. Both Administrations reaffirmed their commitment in ensuring that the security forces receive the necessary support to enable them to effectively fight criminal activities and keep citizens, residents and visitors safe.
On the matter of devolution of authority to the Nevis Island Administration, the meeting decided that this matter should be treated with special urgency while ensuring that the process is transparent, flexible and constitutional.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Sam Condor, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee updated the meeting on recent developments in the electoral reform process. The meeting mandated that the Legislative Committee explore the practicality of Separate Voters Lists for the Nevis Island Assembly Elections and Federal Elections.
The meeting also covered other issues such as immigration, fiscal matters, plans for the 25th Anniversary of Independence Celebrations, the recently introduced ferry initiative and geothermal exploration on Nevis.
The meeting unanimously agreed to increase the number of meetings of the two cabinets from four (4) to six (6) per year.
The next joint meeting of the cabinets is scheduled for May, 2008 in Nevis.