PM Douglas outlines the significance of hosting hydrographic conference

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, NOVEMBER 29TH 2011 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister The Right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas has been speaking about the significance of the 12th Annual MESO-American and Caribbean Hydrographic Commission scheduled to be held in St. Kitts from December 5th to 9th 2011.

Joint hosts of the five-day conference are the St. Kitts and Nevis Ministry of Tourism and International Transport and the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office. “This is of major significance to Kittitians and Nevisians, because of the importance of tourism and international trade to our country’s growth and stability,” said Prime Miniser Douglas during his weekly radio call in programme “Ask the Prime Minister.”

Dr. Douglas said that the sole focus of this conference will be science and technology underlying the issues of maritime safety, coastal management and maritime boundaries. Pointing out that the Caribbean is vulnerable to the wrath of hurricanes and global warming, the St. Kitts and Nevis leader noted that the region is also a crucial transit zone for some 30 percent of the world’s crude oil shipments and security of the sea lanes, through which so much of the world’s oil is shipped, is therefore of very real global significance.

He also noted that 50 percent of global cruise ship traffic takes place in the Caribbean region. “Because for any country that is involved in tourism, on the one hand, or international trade, on the other, these matters are very important. Being an effective, 21st century competitor in these fields have to do with so much more than simply welcoming visitors to one’s island, or simply inviting factories to operate here.

Understanding the science and the technological intricacies behind many of the factors that affect shipping – whether for leisure travel or for international trade – is also extremely important,” Dr. Douglas pointed out. It is for those reasons he said his Government has made it a priority to ensure that when the twenty nations meet this year to discuss, explore, and share insights on the science and technology pertaining to these issues, St. Kitts and Nevis will not only be the host but also present and an active participant.

“All of these involvements – shipping safety, maritime boundary delineation, coastal revetment, the construction of ports and harbours, have proceeded without major mishap. However, it is my Government’s belief that the fact that ‘things have gone smoothly’ in the past does not mean that we should always continue to do things the way that they have always been done.

We believe that it is important, both for us as a government, as well as for our students, our parents, our farmers, and everyone else in our society to remain informed and aware of techniques and approaches that would enable us to improve on whatever we may have accomplished in the past. And it is important that we make it a priority to invest the required time and energy to ensure that these improvements become a part of our reality,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

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