Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Mark Brantley represented St. Kitts-Nevis at this weekend’s historic 7th Summit of the Americas, making a presentation to hemispheric leaders including US President Barack Obama.
Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris led the SKN delegation to the Summit in Panama but left early due other obligations in New York.
Brantley addressed the gathering during Saturday’s (Apr 11) plenary session, affirming the Federation’s commitment to working with regional partners to address common challenges.
“The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis remains seated in its commitment to be a driving force towards a unified Hemisphere, one rooted in cooperation so that we may tackle and create solutions to combat poverty and strengthen the many facets of our economies. Our people depend on and entrust us as Heads and decision makers to chart a sustainable and positive course for their livelihoods and for generations. When we all leave the hospitality of Panama, we must leave with a charge…a clear plan of action for our people, a plan that address our shared concerns and goals that brought us here today and we must execute this charge with urgency,” he said.
Reflecting in the Summit’s theme “Prosperity with Equity: The Challenge of Cooperation in the Americas”, the Foreign Minister spoke to critical issues such as eradicating poverty in the Americas, gender inequality, healthcare, climate change, and energy.
Brantley said the Seventh Summit provided OAS member states with the occasion to put aside the myriad of differences that have divided them over the years. Differences, he posited, that all too often are “based on misconceptions and misunderstandings”.
“Citizens of the Americas are demanding that we cooperate to overcome the challenges that stunt our growth and affect our cohesion…We must focus on the issues that unite us and not bury ourselves in the ideological disagreements of the past. We have been mandated to transform our region into one that promotes growth over conflict and harmony over discord, free trade over embargos. We should not let this golden opportunity dissipate…we are Nations blessed with many resources and many strengths.”