Remarks by Fred Mitchell MP
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration
On The Occasion Of The Presentation Of Instruments
To Tony Joudi
Ambassador to UAE and Qatar
Excellences Ladies and gentlemen
Check against delivery
I am honoured this after to present to you our Ambassador to Qatar and to the United Araba Emirates.
We do so in your presence and in the presence of the Prime Minister and a host of colleagues.
Ambassador Joudi is the latest to join the team at Foreign Affairs. I want to formally welcome him and I do mean formally because he has been hard at work from earlier in the year.
He is the Ambassador to Qatar and to the United Arab Emirates. He is also the Commissioner General of the Expo 2020 Pavilion for The Bahamas. In this role, tadalafil he has plunged feet first and is already engaged with the young people in The Bahamas in his work of designing what our pavilion will look like. The idea is to hand the work and design and execution to those in the generation under 35 and say here take this and make of it what you expect The Bahamas to be. I thank him for taking on the task.
I have had the special and personal honour, viagra canada a rare favour really to have accomplished my life’s dream in this job I have. I say it understated in that way advisedly. It is a job. Two jobs really that of Member of Parliament and that of the Minister of the government.
This time around I am charged with protecting the borders as Minister for Immigration and once again for going on ten years now, spanning two terms, the responsibility for representing this country’s interests abroad.
At the start of the present term, I said that one aim was to have an outreach to the Middle East and China where the world has centres of surplus capital. Some scoffed at the idea and said that we had no prospect of any success and that it was a waste of time. What I explained was that The Bahamas represents and promotes itself as a tourism mecca and a place for safe regulated capital to park itself. We had therefore to be wherever surplus capital was and wherever potential tourists were.
In tourism, the Arab Travel Market every year which takes place in Dubai is one of the largest anywhere. The airlines Qatar Airlines and Emirates and Etihad from the Middle East are some of the most dynamic in the world. Relationships start out modestly and then build. I have no doubt that Ambassador Joudi will be a great part of the second phase of our outreach.
I wanted also to build an all-party consensus on the work we are doing. In that regard, I tried to keep the Opposition’s spokesman on Foreign Affairs closely involved in the decisions we make and to give him access to the work of the Ministry through the Permanent Secretary. This year he will be joining the United Nations delegation of The Bahamas to the General Assembly. Earlier MP Theo Nelly as his party’s nominee attended the Caricom Conference of Heads of Government as part of the delegation.
We do this because we want there to be an understanding of what we are going as a country not as a party. So that there will be a broad consensus about the direction in which the country is going regardless of the political management pro tempore.
We have inculcated a hiring practice of recruiting six Foreign Service officers every year from amongst the new college graduates. We want to get a bit of every birth cohort every year so that we are current with the trends of their generation and that those trends and ideas reflect themselves in the wider governance of foreign affairs and the country.
Of course, I am very proud of the Foreign Service orders now establishing a separate Foreign Service orders that were designed and drafted by the Foreign Service officers themselves. In that connection, we now have a statutorily based Director General of Foreign Affairs Sharon Brennan Haylock and a Department of Foreign Affairs.
We have asked for the first time a statutorily based set of rules on visas and how they are granted and the basis upon which decisions are made on visas.
We are seeking now to establish the separate career path and pay scales for Foreign Service officers. We are also looking refurbishment of our buildings that we own abroad that have fallen into disrepair.
There a lot that has been done and a lot that remains to be done.
What is unfortunate is that the work that we do not get the exposure that it deserves. Notice I said exposure as opposed to credit. The very least the mainstream media has a responsibility to do is to inform their various publics about the information, to ensure that it is properly in the public domain. This has caused us to try to work at getting our own direct information systems because as its stands we are badly served in that direction.