The Prime Minister made the announcement on Tuesday morning during his weekly live radio programme “Ask the Prime Minister” and copies were posted on FaceBook early Wednesday morning.
“We in the St. Kitts and Nevis Labour Party and the Nevis Reformation Party are driven by a sense of duty towards the entire Nation. The need to protect the progress achieved by our Nation brought us even closer; and so we have put aside our differences and worked together. We have shown that we can work hand-in-hand for the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis,” the draft text released Wednesday.
The agreement will be signed by Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas in his capacity as Political Leader of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) and the Hon. Joseph W. Parry on behalf of the Nevis Reformation (NRP) .
“As the elected representatives of the people in the National Assembly and the Nevis Island Administration, we envisaged our country being built on inclusive policies and practices regardless of place of birth, social or economic status and political allegiance. To further that goal we have decided to formalise our relationship for the benefit of our Federation. We will remain true to the core values of our individual parties and protect our uniqueness. We shall maintain the identity, purpose and mission of each political party while carrying both islands into a new era of collaboration,” the agreement said, to be unveiled at a joint Concert at Pinney’s Beach, Nevis and Port Zante, St. Kitts.
“I invite you to join us as people of St. Kitts and the people of Nevis make our oneness manifest this Thursday in a real and substantive manner, we as one people, in a spirit of faith and positivity, chart our way forward. Join us and receive the Draft Agreement that we have so carefully crafted and on which your views are so important. Join us as together we produce for St. Kitts and for Nevis, real progress, and real change,” Dr. Douglas said during his “Ask the Prime Minister.’
It pointed out that having built a relationship on communication, trust and transparency, both parties are determined to protect and reinforce the right of the citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis to decide on their own future.
“Safeguard the achievements that have allowed our Federation to set an example for growth and prosperity in the Caribbean. Continue working for the benefit of all citizens of our Federation based on the principles of mutual respect, equity, transparency, fairness, equality, freedom and justice,” the text said.
It continued: “Being cognizant of the distinct roles of the Nevis Island Administration and the Federal Government, we present to the citizens of the Federation our draft proposal for change, this agreement which outlines the relationship between our parties.”
“To pursue our mutually agreed goals, we intend to bring into force acts, constitutional amendments, regulations and policies that will ensure the following: Ministerial and senatorial positions shall be allocated in the spirit of equity and fairness to guarantee the best representation of Kittitians and Nevisians; Appointments to government boards and corporations shall be made on an equitable basis among citizens of our Federation. Constitutional reform dialogue shall be initiated, aiming at safeguarding political stability and the equitable distribution of power among political institutions.”
It said that the SIDF mandate shall be extended to welfare and pension programmes to protect the most vulnerable Kittitians and Nevisians in their time of need; an SIDF branch office shall be established in Nevis and we shall ensure that SIDF resources are spread equitably between St. Kitts and Nevis.
The Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College shall expand to Nevis through the establishment of faculties in Nevis; the College shall be upgraded to a full-fledged university level institution with regional and international appeal.
It will also be agreed that full and partial scholarships shall be granted to Kittitian and Nevisian students pursuing tertiary education locally, regionally and internationally and the National Health Scheme shall continue to grow to cover all Kittitian and Nevisian nationals.
The Federation’s Police Force and Fire and Rescue Services shall be empowered to provide a safe environment for all residents and visitors of St. Kitts and Nevis, through the equitable allocation of resources for better equipment, more officers and modern training.
Creation of Small and Medium Enterprises shall be encouraged and supported in niche fields (technology manufacturing and development, natural resource processing, renewable energy production, etc.) on both islands of the Federation, aiming to establish St. Kitts and Nevis as an economic nexus for the entire region through business incentives and infrastructure development.
Land in Nevis and in St. Kitts acquired by the SKNAB through the land-for-debt programme shall be made available at reasonable cost and used by the citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis to generate profit and improve living standards through agriculture, business development and improved housing.
Tourism and transportation between the two islands shall be facilitated through investment to harmonize and improve the travel experience between the Basseterre and Charlestown Ferry Terminals.
“This set of proposals constitutes our joint declaration of intent for the future of our Federation. Remaining true to our roots and our focus on the prosperity of the people, we hereby pledge to establish a formal procedure to consult with the people of St. Kitts and Nevis, listen to their needs and heed their voices prior to finalising the agenda and policies of our common endeavour,” said the draft agreement.
During the Once in a lifetime event – simultaneous happenings in Port Zante, St. Kitts and Pinney’s Beach, Nevis, famous Jamaican artists iOctane and Coppershot will perform along with local artistes :Sista Sensia, Nu Vybes and Infamus from St. Kitts and Extasy Sound and Kore Band from Nevis.