Mr. Antonio Maynard will be leaving behind a solid legacy of over 15 years as Secretary-General of the St. Kitts-Nevis National Commission for UNESCO, as he officially demits office on 31st May, 2019.
Under his tenure, SKN became a more assertive and active actor in UNESCO since its inception as a member to this specialized UN agency in 1983. Since then, the country has been a net beneficiary of its expertise and interventions, benefiting the entire community – citizens, government departments, and officials, NGOs, and local experts – via the implementation of the UNESCO’s programmes and activities in all aspects of the country’s national developmental efforts. Mr. Maynard over saw the UNESCO’s intervention in SKN including the provision of policy development advice to the Federation across its entire mandate – culture, science, education information communications – and the country’s participation in the various international, and regional conferences, meetings and fora, across the globe, funded by UNESCO.
Along with his long-standing ‘partner’ on UNESCO affairs in Paris, Dr. David P. Doyle, Ambassador/Permanent Delegate of St. Kitts-Nevis to UNESCO, the notion of the Federation “leading the way at UNESCO”, has been at the instigation of, and guided much of their joint efforts in, St. Kitts & Nevis’ activities at UNESCO.
Stated Ambassador Doyle: “the success in the tone and focus of St. Kitts & Nevis’ activities at UNESCO was in large part due to Mr Maynard’s relentless pursuit of making sure that a tangible impact was felt on the ground in the Federation, with UNESCO expertise and assistance across cultural heritage, climate change mitigation, youth engagement and education activities, to mention but a few”.
The Secretary General said that his close and business-like relationship with Dr. Doyle, and several Government, and UNESCO’s officials was critically instrumental in SKN ability to contribute at, and play a pivotal role at UNESCO, with some renowned successes here on the ground on SKN.
Over these 15 years, Mr. Maynard’s legacy would perhaps best be highlighted by guiding the Federation in accomplishing and benefiting from the following initiatives including:
- Ratification of the anti-doping in Sports Convention
- Underwater Cultural Heritage Convention
- Intangible Culture Heritage 2003 Convention
- Diversity in Culture Expressions 2005 Convention
- Developed and proposed a National Policy on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to the Minister of Education
- Produced a textbook, entitled: “Places of Memories” in collaboration withthe UNESCO Slave Route National Scientific Committee
- Administered, and assisted with an Education Policy Review and Sector Strategic Plan
- Developed the National Culture Policy and Strategic Plan in collaboration with, the Department of Culture
- Developed the National Youth Policy and Strategic Plan in close collaboration with the Commonwealth Institute.
- Produced a video documentary on the History of Music in St. Kitts and Nevis.
- The UNESCO Man and Biosphere programme was launched in SKN,
- established the UNESCO Slave Route National Scientific Committee,
- Developing a workshop on Project on Capacity Building and Effective Use of Social Media, for 50 young journalists from St. Kitts and Nevis,
- The Youth for human Rights project was conceptualized and launched in SKN in 2014.
St. Kitts-Nevis gained traction at decision-making level by being elected and serving on UNESCO Executive Board for eight (8) years; from 2006-2009 and again from 2014-2018. The Board is one of the three decision-making bodies of the Organization that ensures the overall management and priority directions of UNESCO.
In terms of tangible funding of UNESCO activities on the ground in St. Kitts & Nevis, Mr. Maynard ensured, over the period 2004 to 2018, UNESCO contributions to developing, funding and implementing approximately 55 UNESCO Participation Programme projects – essentially small-scale projects including assistance and interventions on the ground in St. Kitts and Nevis – amounting to approximately over eight million in cash alone- Eastern Caribbean Dollars (EC$8,000,000.00).
Mr. Maynard’s tenure was also felt on the regional and international arena within the UN agencies, where as a result of his active support, and advocacy, St. Kitts and Nevis was instrumental in creating, and chairing, the first-ever SIDS Committee of Representatives at UNESCO in Paris, from 2006, to facilitate a dedicated dialogue between Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Pacific SIDS delegates and the UNESCO SIDS Secretariat. St. Kitts & Nevis tabled numerous Draft Resolutions at the Executive Board over a 10-year period calling for more structured and focused funding for the SIDS constituency.
In a recent briefing with the Prime Minister, the Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris, accompanied by Ambassador Doyle, Mr Maynard spoke of the number of tangible UNESCO activities contributing to strengthening the country’s development policy, especially in education planning and teaching profession, and expounding on the cultural heritage sites on the island of Nevis with a view to a prospective World Heritage Listing.
According to Mr. Maynard, “as I move on to the next page of my professional carreer, and reminisce on my 15 years working with UNESCO, I would like to express profound gratitude to all of the individuals and institutions who contributed towards the development of the UNESCO programme areas here in the Federation. These include; Mr. David Doyle , permanent delegate for SKN to UNESCO, the government of SKN, ministers responsible for UNESCO affairs over the years, the UNESCO cluster office for the Caribbean, the UNESCO headquarters in Paris , the various and wide ranging UNESCO committees, and members on SKN