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2 Bills and 1 Resolution Passed in 1st Business Session
Office of the AG
2 Bills and 1 Resolution Passed
The first business session of the Parliament of the Federal Government of St. Kitts and Nevis was held on Thursday 13th August 2020. This sitting took place in the renovated Parliament Chamber at Government Headquarters five weeks after the Throne Speech sitting which had been convened on Wednesday 8th July 2020 at the specially configured Marriott Ballroom in Frigate Bay.
The Anti-Proliferation (Financing of Weapons of Mass Destruction) Bill and The Miscellaneous Amendments Financial Action Task Force Bill were passed into law having had all three readings during the sitting. Meanwhile the National Assembly Elections (Amendment) Bill 2020 and the Electronic Communications Bill were given their first reading.
The National Assembly also passed a Resolution authorizing the Minister of Finance to borrow,by means of advances in the form of Treasury Bills, sums not exceeding $300 million for the purpose of meeting current requirements.
Attorney General Hon Vincent Byron was the seconder of the Anti-Proliferation (Financing of Weapons of Mass Destruction) Bill and made a presentation in support of its passage. He also made a presentation in support of the Miscellaneous Amendments Financial Action Task Force Bill.
The Anti-Proliferation (Financing of Weapons of Mass Destruction) Bill is intended to advance the prevention and suppression of the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It addresses the international obligations of St. Kitts and Nevis in relation to the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force Mutual Evaluation Process and the need to strengthen financial security within the Federation.
In his presentation, the Attorney General made reference to the horrors associated with the deployment of atomic bombs during World War Two.
“Today, we are faced with the threat that small actors, individuals and terrorist gangs can bring widespread destruction and hardship to this world with scaled down bombs, small bombs and other forms of weaponry” stated Minister Byron. He described such weapons of mass destruction as having “the capacity to inflict death and destruction on such a massive scale; and so indiscriminately that [their] very presence in the hands of a hostile power, a group or individual can be considered a threat to mankind”.
In that regard, the Attorney General also highlighted the rationale whereby St. Kitts and Nevis is responding to its regional and international obligations in keeping with membership in the Caribbean Financial Action task Force and its relationship with the Financial Action Task Force.
He expressed similar sentiments in relation to his support of the Miscellaneous Amendments Financial Action Task Force Bill 2020. This Bill addresses a number of small amendments to different laws including the Police Act, the Customs Act, the FSRC Act, the Anti-Terrorism Act, and the FIU Act, to bolster national security and to facilitate greater alignment with the FATF Recommendations.