Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation of Saint Kitts and Nevis the Honourable Mark Brantley joined his Caribbean ministerial colleagues on Thursday, 18th March, 2021 to participate virtually in the 10th UK-Caribbean Forum. The meeting, held biennially, was established in the margins of the 1997 CARICOM Heads Of Government Meeting (CHOGM). This forum aims to bring together Ministers from the United Kingdom (UK) and the Caribbean (including British Overseas Territories) at least once every two years to address shared interests and concerns and signal closer cooperation between the UK and the Caribbean.
The March 2021 forum, chaired jointly by UK Foreign Secretary the Rt. Honourable Dominic Raab and Belizean Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration the Honourable Eamon Courtenay, saw Minister Brantley leading on Economic Resilience, which for us he said, “is about whether or not we possess the capacity to mitigate a shock/set of shocks, enough to return to previous or better levels of growth.”
“The discussion on economic resilience is quite timely as the global community grapples with challenges posed by COVID-19,” the Minister posited. “As we try to revise battered economies and restore a sense of normalcy, we must address what we can do together to develop practical approaches, in a manner that is sustainable in a tourism-dependent Caribbean region” the Minister continued.
Minister Brantley also stressed that Good Governance must cater to retrofitting/disaster-proofing our national infrastructure, carefully managing our environment, marine heritage and ocean resources, as well as realigning our education systems to equip our young people to become drivers of modern sustainable activities, all in a comprehensive effort to underpin resilience. Other territories that participated in this forum were Suriname, Anguilla, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad & Tobago, Belize, Haiti, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Grenada and Guyana. There was also an intervention from a representative of the Caribbean Development Bank.