To mark the occasion, the OECS Commission held a virtual flag raising ceremony featuring addresses from Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis and Chairman of the OECS Authority, Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew, and the OECS Director General, Dr. Didacus Jules. This year's anniversary is being celebrated under the theme "Growing Sustainably, Developing Maturely, Building Resiliency: Independence 40."
In his remarks, Prime Minister Drew reflected on the milestones that have shaped the nation's journey to its 40th Anniversary, while emphasizing the importance of sustainability, resilience, and intra-regional travel for Saint Kitts and Nevis' continued progress on the world stage.
On embracing sustainability, Prime Minister Drew said:
"We must commit ourselves to sustainable practices, not only for our own benefit, but as stewards of this precious planet. Let us lead by example as a region, showing the world that small nations can indeed be mighty in their efforts to combat climate change, preserve biodiversity, and promote clean, renewable energy sources."
Prime Minister Drew also called on OECS member states to unite in a shared commitment to sustainable development:
"I extend a heartfelt invitation to our fellow OECS member states to join us in this endeavor toward sustainability. Let us work hand in hand towards a future where sustainable island states stand as a testament to the power of unity and shared purpose of our Caribbean nations. Together, we can overcome any obstacle and seize every opportunity that lies before us."
Reflecting on the theme of this year's anniversary, OECS Director General Dr. Didacus Jules highlighted the significance of Saint Kitts and Nevis' contributions on the global stage. According to Dr. Jules,
"Four decades of independence have been a masterclass in maturity for Saint Kitts and Nevis. The journey from a newly independent state to a nation with a defined place on the global stage is filled with complexities. Developing maturely means making decisions that are not just popular, but also wise and forward-thinking. It is about understanding that the truest form of growth often requires patience, sacrifice, and a commitment to values and principles. In international relations, economic policies, and social initiatives, Saint Kitts and Nevis has showcased its capacity for nuanced, mature decision-making, balancing immediate needs with long-term goals."
The OECS Commission acknowledges the profound contribution of Saint Kitts and Nevis to the growth and development of the OECS family, and looks forward to continuing to serve the Government and people of Saint Kitts and Nevis in their ongoing quest to achieve their development aspirations.