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SKN Ambassador to the US talks Cuba, Health, and Economic development at 9th Summit of the Americas

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by Kevon Browne

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Migration issues, financial support calls, and increased support in disaster mitigation and response were all core themes addressed by leaders in the Americas during last week’s 9th Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, California.

The summit was also plagued with controversy on the ban on Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua’s attendance at the summit by the US, which led to the boycott by several in the region, including Mexico and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Prime Ministers in the Caribbean voiced their concerns about the lack of inclusion of the three Latin-American nations and their perspectives that could have enlightened the dialogues had at the summit. Among the Prime Ministers were Barbados’ Mia Mottley, Trinidad and Tobago’s Keith Rowley, Jamaica’s Andrew Holness and St. Lucia’s Phillip Pierre, who all addressed the effects of rising prices on fuel, COVID-19 impact on the Tourism sector, climate change and the need for additional financial support for the region.

One of the Summit highlights was the launch by Vice President Kamala Harris’ Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis (PACC) 2030.

According to the US Department of State, “PACC 2030 establishes a framework to elevate U.S. cooperation with Caribbean countries to support climate adaptation and strengthen energy security and resilience.”

Our Island Federation was also represented at the summit.

H.E. Dr. Thelma Phillip-Browne, Ambassador to the United States of America, delivered a national statement on behalf of our Federation at the summit where she addressed Health, Sustainable, Clean, Renewable Energy Transition, financial, technical and human resources and more.

On Cuba and Venezuela, the Ambassador said, “St Kitts and Nevis urges the government of the United States of America to consider ending the economic embargo against the Republic of Cuba. Had it not been for Cuba, many countries in the Caribbean would not have withstood the onslaught of the coronavirus. Cuba’s world-renowned healthcare sector should be a source for hemispheric pride, and their voice at the Summit would have been invaluable for building sustainable, resilient and equitable global health. The same could be said of our brothers and sisters in Venezuela as we tackle an energy crisis fueled in part by geopolitical fights from another century. It is hoped that this Summit provides the impetus to eschew 20th-century conflicts and truly focus of the fights of the future- the fight for people, planet, prosperity, all necessary for the attainment of peace.”

Phillip-Browne ended her address by urging countries to commit to tangible deliverables to enhance the region’s productivity, prosperity and peace and not let the summit end with promises.

Watch the entire Summit here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXnKPo0Osjs.

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