by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The General Debate of the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly continues.
World leaders make passionate pleas for more help to the most vulnerable, calling out more prominent countries to arrest socio-political tensions and the ever-present need for financing and aid to developing nations; St. Kitts and Nevis made its voice heard.
Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, National Security and Immigration, Health, and Social Security of St. Kitts and Nevis, Hon. Dr Terrance Micheal Drew, addressed the general debate on September 23.
Dr Drew alluded to the global tensions and new political dynamics, which are currently shifting the status quo with a significant lack of trust.
“These are times of great divide in income and well-being combined with such going insularity, a loss of trust, that it shouts the need for what Secretary-General Guterres has rightly identified as the centrality of prevention, coordination and partnership. St. Kitts and Nevis shares the view that this must be a period of prevention of the greatest downside, socially, economically, environmentally and of security for the people of the world. Mr President, there exists an alarming lack of trust the world over – lack of trust in state and global organisations, lack of trust in traditional media, and what some regard as its management and manipulation of information and Mr. President, a lack of trust in the political class.”
In reaction to the growing lack of trust, the Prime Minister suggested that the United Nations should push its member states toward care, inclusion and respect for all to advance the global common good.
As many leaders of Small Island Developing States suggest the need for more tangible gains in Climate Action by the countries contributing most to the degradation of the world climate, the Prime Minister continue the call for more action and access to concessionary financing for SIDS who are most affected by the ravages of Climate Change.
“The climate challenge must continue to be highlighted. The industrial behemoth countries and companies push SIDS and others to the front lines of climate change. They accept little responsibility for financing the adaptation and mitigation measures necessary for the survival of developing countries, which suffer the consequences of the lifestyles and industries of others. Consequently, countries like mine, which are unable to access concessionary funding, are forced to fix the climate crisis by obtaining loans at exorbitant rates from the very countries where the problem originated. Our carbon footprint, as a country, is very small, yet we face the existential threat of climate change. This is unjust. We therefore call for climate justice.”
National Security of countries in the Caribbean region has also been at the forefront, especially concerning the proliferation of untraceable weapons throughout the region, even though none of the countries in the region produce weapons.
“We aspire to create a society where all people can live in safety and security. However, we are plagued by the scourge that is the proliferation of illicit and untraceable weapons flowing into our region. States that manufacture these weapons must take greater responsibility to combat the illegal flows that can threaten our national and regional security and can have devastating socio-economic consequences. We cannot win this fight against the guns on our own. International cooperation is necessary if we are to ensure the protection of our societies and our people. To this end, we thank the United States for increasing its collaboration with the region – with my own country – to deal with the illicit transhipment of guns and to buttress our overall national security apparatus. We must continue to work together to ensure continued success in this regard.”
Dr Drew also called for a shift in the reform of the UN Security Council to include the growing bloc solidifying in the global south.
“The voice of the global south is growing bolder, with increasingly louder rumblings among powerful blocks calling for change. The need for an enhanced role and presence of developing countries from the global south within the UN Security Council could not be more compelling. And we are convinced that in the face of these complex changes, the reform of the Security Council is necessary to better reflect contemporary geopolitical realities and enhance its effectiveness.”
The Prime Minister also expressed the Federation’s support toward removing sanctions on Cuba and Venezuela and the inclusion of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in multilateral contributions to the United Nations and other International bodies. Additionally, Dr Drew called for more assistance in rectifying the urgent security issues in Haiti.
Watch Prime Minister Drew’s full address here: