PM Harris to call for greater cooperation among states during UN address

(SKNIS): St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said he firmly believes that “a rising tide should lift all boats” and as such he will use his address at the ongoing 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to advocate for greater cooperation among developed states and those that are developing.

The theme for the General Debate of the UNGA 71 is “The Sustainable Development Goals: a universal push to transform our world.” The session began on September 20, 2016. Prime Minister Harris is scheduled to address the Assembly on Saturday (September 24). He broke down the theme into what was dubbed the five Ps: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership.

A major topic under the People segment will be the Migrant Crisis presently confronting Europe and the world, as persons in the Middle East and Africa flea war-torn areas. Planet will take a look at the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and how nations address the issue of climate change. Discussions under Prosperity will delve into how the global economy can be stimulated to grow. Promoting Peace, which was at the core of the UNs formation in 1945, remains key to the work of the UN, while Partnership addresses greater cooperation between countries.

“What St. Kitts and Nevis wants to propose to the world is that we need not reorient the world but we can look for some models of South-South Cooperation to find best practices,” Dr. Harris said. “We will point for example to that high level of partnership that we have had with the Government and people of Cuba that has led to meaningful benefits in the areas of education and training, and in healthcare, just to name a few.”

The prime minister also referred to the cooperation between St. Kitts and Nevis and Venezuela via the PetroCaribe Agreement – which allows a number of Caribbean states to purchase oil on conditions of preferential payment – and also the excellent relationship between the twin-island federation and the Republic of China (Taiwan) which contributes considerably to a number of areas including education, health, agriculture, information technology and sports.

“We will put forward that in St. Kitts and Nevis’ view, what we need is to have more countries engaged so that the prosperity, which we referred to, can be a shared one,” Dr. Harris said. “A rising tide should lift all boats and so we are saying that we have very good examples of how we can collaborate, cooperate, engage in partnership that is mutually beneficial.”

Prime Minister Harris is expected to address the UNGA between 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 24.

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