Geographic and Governmental Profile of Saint Kitts and Nevis

Background
Carib Indians occupied the islands for hundreds of years before the British began settlement in 1623. The islands became an associated state of the UK with full internal autonomy in 1967. The island of Anguilla rebelled and was allowed to secede in 1971. Saint Kitts and Nevis achieved independence in 1983. In 1998, a vote in Nevis on a referendum to separate from Saint Kitts fell short of the two-thirds majority needed. Nevis continues in its efforts to separate from Saint Kitts.
Location
Caribbean, islands in the Caribbean Sea, about one-third of the way from Puerto Rico to Trinidad and Tobago
Geographic coordinates
17 20 N, 62 45 W
Continent / Subcontinent
Central America and the Caribbean
Area
total:
261 sq km (Saint Kitts 168 sq km; Nevis 93 sq km)
rank:
211
land:
261 sq km
water:
0 sq km
Area - comparative
one and a half times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries
0 km
Coastline
135 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm
contiguous zone:
24 nm
exclusive economic zone:
200 nm
continental shelf:
200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate
tropical, tempered by constant sea breezes; little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season (May to November)
Terrain
volcanic with mountainous interiors
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point:
Mount Liamuiga 1,156 m
Natural resources
arable land
Land use
arable land:
19.44%
permanent crops:
2.78%
other:
77.78% (2005)
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Irrigated land
0.2 sq km
Total renewable water resources
0.02 cu km (2000)
Natural hazards
hurricanes (July to October)
Environment - current issues
NA
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
with coastlines in the shape of a baseball bat and ball, the two volcanic islands are separated by a 3-km-wide channel called The Narrows; on the southern tip of long, baseball bat-shaped Saint Kitts lies the Great Salt Pond; Nevis Peak sits in the center of its almost circular namesake island and its ball shape complements that of its sister island
Country name
conventional long form:
Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis
conventional short form:
Saint Kitts and Nevis
former:
Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis
Government type
parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
Capital
name:
Basseterre
geographic coordinates:
17 18 N, 62 43 W
time difference:
UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
14 parishes; Christ Church Nichola Town, Saint Anne Sandy Point, Saint George Basseterre, Saint George Gingerland, Saint James Windward, Saint John Capesterre, Saint John Figtree, Saint Mary Cayon, Saint Paul Capesterre, Saint Paul Charlestown, Saint Peter Basseterre, Saint Thomas Lowland, Saint Thomas Middle Island, Trinity Palmetto Point
Independence
19 September 1983 (from the UK)
Constitution
19 September 1983
Legal system
English common law
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Cuthbert Montraville SEBASTIAN (since 1 January 1996)
head of government:
Prime Minister Dr. Denzil DOUGLAS (since 6 July 1995); Deputy Prime Minister Sam CONDOR (since 6 July 1995)
cabinet:
Cabinet appointed by the governor general in consultation with the prime minister
elections:
the monarchy is hereditary; the governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general
Legislative branch
unicameral National Assembly (14 seats, 3 appointed and 11 popularly elected from single-member constituencies; members serve five-year terms)
elections:
last held on 25 January 2010 (next to be held by 2015)
election results:
percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - SKNLP 6, CCM 2, PAM 2, NRP 1
Judicial branch
Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (consisting of a Court of Appeal and a High Court; based on Saint Lucia; two judges of the Supreme Court reside in Saint Kitts and Nevis); member of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ)
Political parties and leaders
Concerned Citizens Movement or CCM [Vance AMORY]; Nevis Reformation Party or NRP [Joseph PARRY]; People's Action Movement or PAM [Lindsay GRANT]; Saint Kitts and Nevis Labor Party or SKNLP [Dr. Denzil DOUGLAS]
Political pressure groups and leaders
NA
International organization participation
ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, Petrocaribe, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Jacinth HENRY-MARTIN
chancery:
3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
telephone:
[1] (202) 686-2636
FAX:
[1] (202) 686-5740
consulate(s) general:
New York
Diplomatic representation from the US
the US does not have an embassy in Saint Kitts and Nevis; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Saint Kitts and Nevis
Flag description
divided diagonally from the lower hoist side by a broad black band bearing two white, five-pointed stars; the black band is edged in yellow; the upper triangle is green, the lower triangle is red; green signifies the island's fertility, red symbolizes the struggles of the people from slavery, yellow denotes year-round sunshine, and black represents the African heritage of the people; the white stars stand for the islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis, but can also express hope and liberty, or independence and optimism
National symbol(s)
brown pelican
National anthem
name:
"Oh Land of Beauty!"
lyrics/music:
Kenrick Anderson GEORGES
adopted 1983
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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