(ZIZ)– March 18 and 19 St. Kitts-Nevis is hosting the first meeting of OECS Council Of Ministers Meeting.
The meeting is being held at the St. Kitts Marriott Hotel. It seeks to establish a body to address long term issues of social development and the enhancement of citizens’ lives.
Earlier today, we spoke with attendees of the Human and Social Development First Technical Advisory Meeting, including permanent secretary in the Ministry Of Community Development, Sharon Rattan.
“St. Kitts-Nevis is very happy to be the host of the first ever Council Of Ministers Meeting that is being established here in St. Kitts from since the Revised Treaty of Basseterre. It is historic for us as some 33 years ago, the OECS was born in St. Kitts,” she said.
Rattan added that among issues scheduled to be addressed are social safety nets, social protection and poverty eradication.
Head of the Social Development Unit at the OECS Secretariat, David Popo, gave an overview of the meetings.
“In January of 2011, then came into effect, the Revised Treaty of Basseterre establishing what has been called the OECS Economic Union. What we are doing here is to focus on one of the sectors with respect to deepening the integration process and that is the social development sector,” he said.
Meantime, the United Nations Children’s Fund [UNICEF] has shown support to the meetings through the presence of the deputy representative for UNICEF Caribbean, Violet Speek-Warnery.
“As a U.N. Children’s Fund, we, of course, are very concerned about the rights of children and that their needs are taken into consideration and that’s why we are here. We are trying to support the OECS and the countries in really making this paradigm shift from a charity of social welfare to social empowerment,” she said.
The two-day event also included a cocktail reception for attendees and local dignitaries.