Transformation to a Sustainable Island State: A Budget Conversation with Youth

With a unique approach to annual Appropriations Bill – or Budget Debates, the government of St. Kitts and Nevis hosted a youth-centered consultation to get their perspective on national affairs on October 11, 2023.


As the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Administration continues to push its Sustainable Island state agenda, the consultation was held with the theme of “Transformation to a Sustainable Island State: A Budget Conversation with the nation’s youth”.


In giving remarks, Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew, spoke of the pillars of transformation his administration will pursue.


“The implementation of the sustainable island state agenda would allow us to address the vulnerabilities that we face as a small island developing state and to retain our progress; and achieve the sustainable development goals by 2030. The Sustainable Island State Framework is therefore based on seven pillars of transformation:


Namely, water security – and we have started significant work;

Energy transition – we have also started significant work there – which you will hear later; Food security; Sustainable industry; Sustainable settlements; Circular economy; and Circular protection. These are the seven pillars of transformation within this framework to get us to a Sustainable Island state.”


He mentioned the necessities of a resilient country, and announced a new National Development Planning Framework (NDPF).


“Today’s consultation is an opportune time for us to consider not only our achievements, but also some of the key challenges and prospects to attain the status of a sustainable island state. Achieving sustainable development in St. Kitts and Nevis, requires building resilience to the economic and environmental vulnerabilities that we face as a nation. Critical to this, is the need for an economic development strategy that will deliver inclusive and sustainable economic growth, diversification, and structural transformation.


I am happy to report that we have approved our new National Development Plan for the next 15 years and have also completed our first Voluntary National Review, signaling our renewed commitment to accelerating the attainment of the sustainable development goals by 2030.”


Economist Melicia Henry further explained the NDPF.


“The NDPF and the Sustainable Island States, they both feed into achieving the one goal of achieving a Sustainable Island State. And enshrined in the six development areas of the NDPF are the six the S. I. S. pillars, which include food security; water security; energy transitions; sustainable industries; sustainable settlements; circular economies and social protection.”


Presentations were received from various ministries and looked at key recovery areas of the economy such as construction; employment rates; and the transition to a Sustainable Island State.

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