Inked, signed and sealed, Contract for Progress penned

Called the ‘Contract for Progress’, the agreement seeks to give the sister island an equitable share of revenues garnered from the Federation’s economic activities, among other collaborative processes and programmes.

The leader of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, Dr. Denzil Douglas, explained that the document was drafted after consultations were held with the public on what should be included in the agreement. He said it was done over a five-year period, and it culminated with the signing.

He noted that from a position of strength in 2010, the Labour Party made a strong demonstration of commitment to work with the people of Nevis and with NRP.

“I extended the hand of cooperation and friendship to the Hon. Patrice Nisbett and invited him to become a part of the Federal Cabinet. He accepted that invitation with the full support of his party… Five years of cooperation and collaboration have convinced us further that we need to move beyond Patrice Nisbett as a minister. We need to embrace a much more broader relation with the people of Nevis,” said Dr. Douglas.

Douglas said that the intention of the two parties working together was introduced at Pinney’s Beach, as they promoted the concept of “oneness” and the “one approach” to developing the country. At that time, he said the document was presented to the people of Nevis.

“It is an opportunity for our two people from both islands to demonstrate a common destiny in our development and a common cooperative attitude that will move the country forward,” said Douglas at the press conference held at the Labour Party Annex on Wednesday.

Leader of the Nevis Reformation Party Joseph Parry explained that the document was “carved” by two of the major political parties in St. Kitts and Nevis.

“Today, we are signing the Contract for Progress, a document carved by two major parties in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, and it is a document that has been discussed with the people of St. Kitts and Nevis,” he stated.

According to Parry, the journey to the signing began in 2006, when the Nevis Reformation Party was in government on the island in Nevis. He explained that back then it made sense for the two governments to work together to progress the two islands, and while working together, they came to understand the importance of “democracy” and the “importance of fairness and justice”.

“The relationship grew, and we came to realize that we had so many things in common. So many things in common in terms of our people – the desire and objectives to ensure that the people of St. Kitts and Nevis could move forward,” he opined.

Parry believes that their objectives were achieved and are continuing to be developed, as they strive to make St. Kitts and Nevis a better place.

“In other words, what we are looking at here today comes out of a process, almost an evolution of efforts, and we have realized collaboration, rather than confrontation, makes far more sense in these small islands,” Parry remarked.

Both party leaders affirmed that the Contract for Progress includes constitutional reform, social development in the form of a National Health Scheme and revenue sharing between the two islands.

It also outlines how both parties would expand on the CFB College, address youth rehabilitation, improve agriculture, advance tourism and push forward the governments’ energy initiatives.

[Editor’s note: Starting 1st March 2015, would become]

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