The launch was held on 30 November as two separate ceremonies – one in St. Kitts at the Marriott Resort and the other in Nevis at the Anglican Church Parish Hall and gathered representatives from the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, the OECS Commission, ECCB, trades and labour union, disability organisations, members of the National Assessment Team (NAT), senior public officers, leader of the opposition in Nevis, staff of both departments of statistics.
Dr. the Honorable Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis delivered the feature address at the ceremony and stated that poverty reduction is a national concern:
I commend, the Caribbean Development Bank, the OECS Commission and development partners for their support. Since the last CPA (which was conducted in 2007-2008), St. Kitts and Nevis implemented a number of initiatives to address poverty and disability. In addition, the socio-economic situation of St. Kitts and Nevis has been impacted by events in the global environment.
Prime Minister Harris, reiterated his government’s commitment to improve the design of all programmes to improve living conditions within the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He urged the NAT to give of their best to ensure the successful outcomes. The head of Gender Affairs, endorsed the Enhanced CPA and committed the department to being part of the undertaking.
The Director of Statistics, St. Kitts, Mr Calton Phipps, underscored the use of poverty data for policy and research, and sounded off on the imperative to “strengthen the level of coordination, cooperation, and collaboration among ministries, departments and other government agencies”.
At the ceremony in Nevis, the remarks and endorsement from Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Vance Amory, was delivered by the Principal Assistant Secretary, emphatically reiterated the Administration's support for the CPA and the associated household surveys.
The Director of Statistics in Nevis, Mrs. Dorriel Tross-Phillip called upon the public for their cooperation to provide data on poverty, particularly as the information is sensitive and personal. The leader of the Nevis opposition party Hon. Joseph Parry, in his remarks, highlighted the need for education as a means to eradicate poverty.
Ms. Ann Maria Chandler from the CDB, emphasised the importance of poverty reduction to the work of her organisation. She stated that while St. Kitts and Nevis has made strides in reducing poverty, there still exists “pockets of poverty” which must be addressed. She reiterated the need for timely, accurate and relevant statistics to inform policies for poverty reduction, and the CDB’s commitment to support poverty alleviation.
Dr. Gale Archibald, Head of the Statistical Services Unit, who spoke on behalf of the Director General of the OECS Commission, commended the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis for investing in the Enhanced CPA and applauded the Federation for being the first among the OECS Member States to launch the CPA. She explained to the audience that poverty reduction is one of the mandates of the Revised Treaty of Basseterre, and the provisions encourage Member States to
“promote sustainable social and cultural development that would ensure societies that are stable, safe and just and that are based on the promotion and protection of human rights, non-discrimination, respect for diversity, equality of opportunity, solidarity, security, and participation of all people".
The OECS Commission congratulates St. Kitts and Nevis and stands ready to supply the supporting resources to implement the enhanced CPA.
Other attendees at the launches included Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Sustainable Development, St Kitts, Ms Beverly Harris; Ms. Geraldine St. Croix, Project Coordinator, the Enhanced CPA; representatives from ECCB, trades and labour union; disability organisation; members of the NAT, senior public officers; leader of the opposition in Nevis, staff of both departments of statistics.