ELCOTT COLEBY’S WEEKLY ROUND UP
viagra sale patient times;”> THIS WEEK IN THE BAHAMAS (26th Sept 2014)
illness times;”>COMMENTARY BY ELCOTT COLEBY
PRIME MINISTER CHRISTIE ADDRESSED THE UNGA
Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie traveled to New York City earlier this week along with a ministerial delegation to deliver the country’s statement on climate change at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly Climate Change Summit 2014. The Prime Minister addressed the UN on Tuesday, 23rd Sept.
Accompanying the Prime Minister were First Lady, Mrs. Bernadette Christie; Minister of Tourism, Hon. Obie Wilchcombe; Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon. Fred Mitchell and the Environment and Housing Minister, Hon. Kenred Dorsett.
According to a statement released by the UN on its website, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has “invited world leaders, from government, finance, business, and civil society to Climate Summit 2014 this 23 September to galvanize and catalyze climate action. He has asked these leaders to bring bold announcements and actions to the Summit that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilize political will for a meaningful legal agreement in 2015.”
Prime Minister Christie told delegates that because the Bahamas was a low lying archipelagic chain, a definitive agreement to reverse global warming was critical to the survival of The Bahamas and other Small Island Nation States (SIDS).
“Eighty (80) per cent of my nation’s land mass will be lost if the sea level rises 1.5 meters. They also say that with a warming of 3.7 to 4.8°C by 2100, as currently predicted, The Bahamas we know would be no more.
“The survival of small Island Developing States (SIDS) must be the benchmark for the 2015 agreement.”
The Prime Minister listed several policy initiatives undertaken by The Bahamas to protect it from the fallout from global warming.
“As we seek to expand our marine protected area, we have established the Bahamas Protected Area Fund (BPAF); and cognizant of the possible impact of climate change on our food security we have established the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) to operate a state-of-the-art comprehensive commercial teaching farm” said the Prime Minister.
This UN Summit on climate change coincided with the release of The Bahamas National Energy Policy 2013-2033 by the Bahamas government on the 22nd September 2014. This twenty year strategic energy plan seeks to create “a modern, diversified and efficient energy sector, providing Bahamians with affordable energy supplies and long-term energy security towards enhancing international competitiveness and sustainable prosperity.” Also, the government has approved the framework for net metering and the tabling of the relevant legislation is pending.
While in New York, the Prime Minister participated in a special meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government, attended a congratulatory dinner for the Bahamas’ newest major leaguer, Yankees’ Center Fielder Antoan Edward Richardson and attended a reception hosted by President Barack Obama at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
Mitchell delivers Bahamas statement on sustainable oceans
Delivering the country’s statement on sustainable oceans and the protection of fishery as part of the UN Climate Change Summit 2014, Foreign Affairs Minister told a breakfast meeting crowd that a “global agreement with accountability measures will help to stabilize the exploitation of the Ocean” and called for one to be signed by member states either by the end of the 69th session of the United Nations or 2015.
He went on to identify some of the actions The Bahamas government had taken to protect Bahamian fishery: “We have set aside other marine parks and ‘no take areas’ to sustain our fisheries
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. We are expanding the marine protected area network to 20 per cent by 2020. We have established the BPAF (Bahamas Protected Area Fund) to support management of the network.
“We have banned all turtle hunting. We are a sanctuary for sharks and rays. We have banned long line fishing, one of the most destructive activities in the world” said Mitchell.
“Additionally,” the Minister added, “the government of The Bahamas will as a matter of priority undertake an examination of the Food and Agricultural Association’s Port State Measures agreement with a view to signing on to this agreement.”
The meeting was hosted by US Secretary of State, John Kerry at the Waldorf Astoria on Thursday, 25th Sept.
Bahamas hosts Regional Law Enforcement Cooperation Meeting
A two-day Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) Technical Working Group Meeting on Law Enforcement Cooperation and Capacity Building was held at the Paul H. Farquharson Conference Centre on the 24th and 25thSeptember 2014.
In his opening remarks, National Security Minister, Hon. Dr. Bernard J. Nottage pointed out a number of strategies the Government had implemented to assist in combating transnational crimes such as firearms smuggling. They included intensive surveillance of the country’s water by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, improved gun registries, the marking and tracing of weapons, the destruction of illegal firearms, along with improved interdiction efforts of firearms at the country’s ports of entry.
World Tourism Day to be celebrated
Given the importance of Tourism to the Bahamian way of life, the Minister of Tourism released a statement today congratulating the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on its 34th annual World Tourism Day celebration as the UNWTO continues to raise awareness on the critical role tourism and travel play in the social, cultural, political and economic lives of countries in the world community. The government’s tourism vision was also outlined. Guadalajara, Mexico is the designated city to host the official celebratory activities under the auspices of the UNWTO on Saturday, 27th September. Minister Wilchcombe and the Director General of Tourism, Mrs. Joy Jibrilu are representing The Bahamas in Washington DC this week in observance of that Day.
On Sunday of this week Health Minister Dr. Perry Gomez called a press conference to inform the public that the results of tests conducted on a blood sample taken from the unknown Ukraine patient who died at Doctor’s Hospital on Tuesday, the 16th September confirmed Malaria as the cause of death. He expressed disappointment that even after the government officially stated from the floor of the House that the cause of death was Malaria; bloggers were still spreading misinformation in social about an Ebola outbreak in The Bahamas.
The Gaming Bill came one step closer to becoming law when it passed the Senate earlier this week with Attorney General Senator Allyson Maynard-Gibson foreshadowing the creation of some 3,000 jobs during the regularization process. The bills are on to the Governor General for signature. The Senate began debate on the compendium of crime bills that passed the House last week. The first reading took place on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Christie addressed the closing session of the NEMA Disaster preparedness workshop held at Melia Resort on Thursday.
The Constitutional Commission recommended that the referendum on gender equality be held late in April or in June 2015 at the latest. The delay is intended to provide more time for public education and to “correct” much of the misinformation in the public domain.
The Ministry of Tourism announced the 16th annual Cacique awards ceremony at a press conference held in Pompey Square on Tuesday, 23rd September 2014. This event, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Ministry of Tourism, will be held at the Melia Resort on 25th January 2015.
The Urban Renewal Commission launched its “Hot Spot” initiative with a community outreach event on the park in Montell Heights.
The Small Arms Trade Treaty was ratified by six countries, including The Bahamas on Thursday at the UN. According to Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Fred Mitchell, CARICOM fought for this agreement which is “an initial step to regulate the flow of weapons from manufacturing states.” Earlier in the week, National Security Minister Hon. Bernard Nottage told delegates at a regional crime workshop that of the 88 murders committed in The Bahamas to date, 73 (83%) were committed by firearms.