From left to right : US Charge D’Affaires Lisa Johnson, Commander Lori Robinson, Minister Henfield, Permanent Secretary Sheila Carey, and Director General of Foreign Affairs Sharon Brennen Haylock.
30 June, 2017: Courtesy Call on Minister Henfield by General Lori J Robinson of US Northern Command
General Lori J Robinson of the US Northern Command paid a courtesy call on Minister of Foreign Affairs, Darren Henfield. During their brief meeting both sides expressed appreciation for the collaboration between the US and The Bahamas and looked forward to continued strong relations. General Robinson is also the Commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Darren Henfield MP has completed a round of major foreign meetings, including leading The Bahamas delegation participating in the 47th Annual General Assembly of the Organisation of American States (OAS) in Cancun, Mexico 19 – 21 June, where he made an intervention on behalf of The Bahamas.
Minister Henfield also participated in a dialogue between European Union (EU) Commissioners and Ministers of CARIFORUM where a range of issues were discussed, including the renewal of the ACP-EU Partnership beyond 2020 and the EU’s vision of the post – Cotonou Agreement (the Agreement). The Cotonou Agreement, which replaced the Lomé Convention, is a treaty between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of countries (ACP) signed on 23rd June 2000. The Minister also, before returning to Nassau, toured the new premises where The Bahamas Consulate General, Miami, will soon relocate and he met with staff members of the Consulate.
In his address to the OAS GA, the principal intervention of his travel, Minister Henfield spoke about ‘Strengthening Dialogue and Concerted Action for Prosperity’; informing the delegates about the “free, fair and peaceful” General Elections in The Bahamas, conducted “in keeping with The Bahamas’ long and proud history of democracy and the rule of law.” He also thanked the OAS for having mounted an electoral observer mission to The Bahamas.
Further, the Minister noted that most OAS countries “still struggle with residual effects of lagging recession and other social ills, where our citizens have demonstrated an increasing impatience with and are demanding more from the Order that has been built around globalization, where norms around multilateralism and international partnership are being critically revisited.”
The Minister underscored The Bahamas’ belief “in the necessity of multilateralism, of peaceful settlement of disputes, of problem solving through dialogue and of collective efforts to address common challenges.”
The Bahamas called for security issues, including drugs, crime, arms and human trafficking and existential threats such as the alarming impact of Climate Change and global warming, to be high on the agenda of the Organisation and committed the country to continuing to play a leading role.
The Minister called on the delegates to move from “talk to action” in the push for a renewed OAS that “is as robust as it is agile; that enhances its credibility as a forum for political dialogue but also strives to meet the real needs of citizens on the ground in our societies; that continues to renew itself even while staying true to its core values.”
Additionally, Minister Henfield and The Bahamas delegation conducted several meetings in the margins of the OAS Assembly, including with the OAS host Foreign Minister H. E. Luis Videgaray of Mexico, US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, the Vice President of Panama and the Foreign Ministers of Haiti, Israel, Argentina, Brazil and the Dominican Republic, where he discussed a wide range of topics including irregular migration, poaching, the problem of preserving correspondent banking relations in the face of derisking, security issues, economic growth and investments, heritage tourism, agriculture, strengthening diplomatic relations and candidatures.
Accompanying Minister Henfield to the OAS GA were Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director General Sharon Brennen-Haylock, Bahamas Embassy Washington Deputy Chief of Mission Chet Neymour, Second Secretary Mikhail Bullard and Foreign Service Officer Shagerra Edgecombe.
FSO (Foreign Service Officer) Mackey speaking with local FSOs in the boardroom at Bahamas Ministry of Foreign Affairs Headquarters. She shared her experiences in Language and Culture South Korea Course for Diplomats during the Foreign Service Training Division’s Speakers Forum.