St. Kitts – Nevis In Small States Network Meeting

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
October 23, 2007 (CUOPM)

The Board of Trustees of the Small States Network for Economic Development (SSNED) reviewed the draft governance statute of the network during the annual IMF/World Bank Meetings in Washington D.C.

The Board of Trustees which consisted of the founding members (Barbados, Mauritius, Samoa, St. Kitts and Nevis and Malta) as well as representatives from Vanuatu, the World Bank and the Commonwealth Secretariat arrived at an agreed ratified text that would underpin the network’s operations, activated the network officially and gave Malta the authority to register the network legally.

During the Small States Forum, which was attended by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas; St. Kitts and Nevis Financial Secretary, Mrs. Janet Harris; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance of the Nevis Island Administration, Mr. Laurie Lawrence; St. Kitts and Nevis Ambassador His Excellency Wendell Lawrence and Ambassador His Excellency Dr. Izben Williams, the Network’s Board of Trustees presented a report on the Network’s activation and immediate next steps. At that meeting the World Bank indicated its financial support of over US$8 million for the SSNED.The Network is viewed as an important step for small states which among other things will serve as a useful structure for providing a voice for small States within multilateral and bilateral organizations and in the international arena.

Financial Secretary, Mrs. Janet Harris, represented the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis at the inaugural meeting of the Board of Trustees and signed the declaration.

During the 2005 annual Small States Forum held at the World Bank in Washington DC., Malta proposed the setting up of a network to facilitate the exchange of good development practices among small states, to promote increased integration of the concerns and interests of small states into the policies and programmes of the international community, to provide for continuity between one session of the forum and another and to establish a permanent secretariat of and for small states.

Several meetings were convened between the World Bank, the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Malta and it was recognised that a group of small states would need to assume leadership in order to take the idea forward and foster ownership.

The Government of Malta indicated its willingness to play such a role in collaboration with other interested small states.  The World Bank also indicated its willingness to support and actively participate in such an enterprise.

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