Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Dr. Didacus Jules; other Distinguished Excellencies, nationals of St. Kitts and Nevis resident in St. Lucia, citizens and residents of the OECS, it is a cherished honour and privilege for me to address you all on this joyous occasion of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis’ 36th Anniversary of Independence.
To those of our friends who have extended congratulations and well wishes to the Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis, I say a sincere thank you.
We are deeply touched by your amazing display of thoughtfulness and solidarity with our country, as evidenced for instance by the flag-raising ceremony that the OECS Commission is graciously hosting in honour of St. Kitts and Nevis’ Independence on Thursday, September 19th.
The flag-raising ceremony gives eloquent expression to the close bonds of friendship my country enjoys with all the other members of the OECS, which – 38 years since its establishment in St. Kitts with the signing of the Treaty of Basseterre – is truly and irrevocably One Community – Growing Together.
The flag-raising also provides an opportunity to reflect on the remarkable story of our people’s journey towards regional integration and Independence, which has long been central to our shared identity as Caribbean citizens.
I invite the ceremony’s attendees to appreciate the national flag of St. Kitts and Nevis not only for its resplendent beauty, but also for its multilayered depth of meaning that pays homage to our heroes and forebears.
The green is symbolic of our fertile and verdant land – of which our ancestors bequeathed stewardship to us as proud citizens and residents. The red represents our overall struggle for freedom, the black is a nod to our people’s African heritage, and the two white stars symbolize hope and liberty. The yellow simply evokes our year-round sunshine that makes living here in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis such a pleasure.
As the people of St. Kitts and Nevis celebrate our Independence this year under the theme Unify, Transform, Enrich: Uplifting Communities for Independence 36, we do so cognizant that it is to our own ingenuity, industry and discipline to which we must look to ameliorate our conditions and advance our agenda of progress, prosperity and development.
We also celebrate our 36th Independence Anniversary buoyed by St. Kitts and Nevis’ significant decrease in major crimes including homicides, as well as the country’s impressive global performance on important social and economic indicators, including in ICT and digital development, the rule of law, sustainable tourism, gross national income per capita, and citizenship by investment.
On behalf of the Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis, I express much gratitude to the OECS Commission for celebrating our achievements with us by raising our flag in this beautiful ceremony on our Independence Day. May God continue to bless the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and its entire people as we live peacefully and happily as One Community – Growing Together.