St. Kitts and Nevis delegation discusses national security and disaster mitigation with Guadeloupe officials

ST. KITTS, OCTOBER 19, 2010 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis can look forward to closer collaboration with the French Overseas Department of Guadeloupe in the areas of national security and disaster mitigation.

St. Kitts and Nevis Minister of Education and Information, Sen. the Hon. Nigel Carty, who lead a delegation to Guadeloupe, has described the series of meetings as fruitful.

The delegation, which included Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Security, Mrs. Astona Browne and Acting Commissioner of Police, Mr. Stafford Liburd engaged Guadeloupe and French St. Martin law enforcement officials on security matters.

Minister Carty said opportunities for cooperation in the areas of training, drug traffic control (supply reduction); general law enforcement and information sharing resulted from the dialogue.

The Federation’s security team also witnessed demonstrations and presentations on the Civil Security Master Plan in Guadeloupe and secured commitment for cooperation in this area, given the Federation’s exposure to similar vulnerabilities.

The National Disaster Coordinator, Mr. Carl Herbert, who was in the delegation held discussions with Guadeloupe officials at the seismic and volcanic observatory and received first hand information on the technology of early warning systems for tsunami.

Both islands agreed to further explore the possibilities for inclusion of St. Kitts and Nevis in the deployment of emergency resources after a disaster.

In disaster management, discussions were held with officials of the Guadeloupe Fire Department on building capability in Land Search and Rescue and to address hazardous materials including chemical spills in St. Kitts and Nevis.
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In meeting with the official responsible for regional cooperation, discussions and cooperation for collaboration centered around economic generation through trade, transportation (air taxi and maritime shipping) to remove the barrier to trade and facilitation of movement; renewable energy (especially geothermal energy which currently exists in Nevis). Other areas of cooperation include the resurrection of the sailing regatta, cultural exchanges as well as training opportunities in selected areas of sports (basket ball, athletics etc).

Describing the discussions as fruitful, Minister Carty expressed profound appreciation for the assistance of the Prefect of Guadeloupe, Monsieur Jean Fabre; the Ambassador of France to St. Kitts and Nevis, Monsieur Michel PROM.

The visit he said will build on the historical ties and forge closer collaboration with the neighbouring French speaking island and made reference to the existing economic challenges facing the global community that necessitate that small developing countries, such as St. Kitts and Nevis, attempt to engage those nations that are endowed with the requisite resources and capabilities to make a meaningful contribution to our national development efforts.

The St. Kitts and Nevis officials responded to the invitation of the French Ambassador, Monsieur Michel PROM, Cooperation and Cultural Advisor, Monsieur Fred Constant, which was extended during their initial visit to the Federation earlier this year.

The delegation was guests of the Prefect and also met with the Vice Presidents of the National Council as well as the President of the Regional Council, the President of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

Minister Carty also received a medal of recognition by the Deputy Mayor as a symbolic gesture of the twinning of the two cities of Basse-Terre and Basseterre.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, National Security and Immigration, the Hon. Sam Condor was unable to join the delegation.

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