Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 13, 2020 (SKNIS): In support of the Bill shortly entitled Anti-Proliferation (Financing of Weapons of Mass Destruction) Bill, 2020, Premier of Nevis and Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Mark Brantley, stated that the legislation is another manifestation of the nation’s efforts to be a responsible member of the international community.
Minister Brantley said that St. Kitts and Nevis made headlines around the world because of its agreement to ratify the Nuclear Ban Treaty. He noted that this move like the legislation, which was put before Cabinet, was an example of the federation being a responsible member of the international community.
“Not only did we agree to ratify this treaty, but we agreed that we would ratify it and we did so on August 9th, 2020. August 9th, 2020 was the 75th anniversary to the day of the bombing of Nagasaki,” he said. “We would recall from our history books, from others, perhaps they were alive at that time, the United States, their allies, would have dropped two bombs. One on Hiroshima on the 6th of August, 1945 and the second on Nagasaki three days later on August 9th, 1945. Seventy-five years on St. Kitts and Nevis joined with some other 44 nations to have hither to ratify this convention to ban nuclear weapons.”
The Foreign Minister said that this was significant because of the symbolism that “as a small nation in the Caribbean Sea and far removed from Japan, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we had use the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki to ratify this particular treaty.”
“Our position has been clear that we know no useful purpose for nuclear armaments in today’s world,” said Minister Brantley. “Nuclear weapons, as the name states, are weapons. They are weapons of mass destruction and to put it in context, the bombing of Hiroshima on the 6th of August, 1945 would have led to the deaths of some 90,000 to 146,000 people. The bombing of Nagasaki would have led to the deaths of some 39,000 to 80,000 people.”
Minister Brantley stated that the two events triggered an alarming new development in the world, that is, nuclear weapons can destroy entire civilizations and has led to arms race with major powers around the world.
St. Kitts and Nevis was the 8th member of CARICOM to ratify the treaty following Guyana, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda and Belize.
He added that the ratification of the Nuclear Ban Treaty by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis fits as a backdrop to why the legislation was being tabled. He said that the Bill seeks to align the federation with international law and UN Security Council Resolutions “as we seek together, collectively, to prevent not only nuclear armament, but also to prevent the proliferation of all weapons of mass destruction.”
“That, Mr. Speaker, is a very Honourable objective because as we know nothing happens without financing and we’ve oft been accused in these countries of the Caribbean of facilitating financing for illicit activities,” said Minister Brantley. “For us, this is a tremendous stride forward to say to the region and the world that St. Kitts and Nevis is aligned with the best practices and the best intentions in so far as weapons of mass destruction are concerned.”