NATCOM – St. Kitts, Sep 4, 2013: Secretary General of the National Commission for UNESCO, Mr. Antonio Maynard has described the recent visit of officials from St. Maarten as inspiring. Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Hon. Patricia Lourens-Phillip and Secretary General of St Maarten’s National Commission Ms. Marcella Henry comprised the visiting team to the National Commission for UNESCO in St. Kitts.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” Mr. Maynard said in relation to the fact-finding mission, “As they seek to familiarize themselves with the success of St. Kitts and Nevis in utilizing the assistance of UNESCO, they are ensuring that they are not re-inventing the wheel but using established best practices”.
Mr. Maynard also said that collaboration and partnership have been strong points in taking the Federation’s agenda forward at UNESCO. He further stated that it was important for the Caribbean to pool its resources (expertise and physical), to make an impact globally and to increase its own likelihood of success as individual territories.
The “Man and The Biosphere Project” which has already made significant strides in St. Kitts and Nevis is one of the projects on which St Kitts and Nevis and St. Maarten can collaborate immediately as St Maarten intends to establish such a project and is in the process of identifying an appropriate location.
The visiting team, which is leading the charge at the recently established National Commission in St Maarten, attended a special meeting of the National Commission for UNESCO St. Kitts-Nevis on Friday August 31.
“It was important for us to understand the concepts and the tasks of the Secretary General and the National Commission as well as to observe some of the local activities and programmes executed here and adapt them to our needs,” said Marcellia Henry, Secretary General of the National Commission for UNESCO St. Maarten.
Ms. Henry said there were opportunities in the area of capacity building in the regular workshops held in St. Kitts-Nevis that representatives from St Maarten would be able to attend as well. She said specifically workshops on the topics of World Heritage, Issues of Small-Island Developing States, Youth Development, and Global Warming would be of interest initially.
Mr. Maynard said the National Commission for UNESCO hopes to maintain its high profile at UNESCO. “We intend to continue to collaborate on the projects and programmes at UNESCO and to be a part of the major discussions at the local and regional levels. We need to know that people are feeling the positive impacts of UNESCO programmes on the ground and that is our most powerful measuring stick of success,” Mr. Maynard said.
Minister of Education, Hon Nigel Carty said during Minister Lourens-Phillip’s courtesy call, that while it was a pleasure as a territory that is respected throughout the region to host the St Maarten UNESCO team, it was equally advantageous to glean ideas from the Education sector in St Maarten for future collaborative ventures.