Bahamas Successful in Bid for Seat on ITU Council
#Dubai, November 12, 2018 – United Arab Emirates – When the new session of the Council of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), meets to begin its work for the next four years, The Bahamas will be seated as one of the Council’s 48 member states. The Bahamas was successful in its first bid to sit on council gaining the vote of 162 member states, out of a possible 177 present and voting.
The election to Council took place during the second week of the ITU’s Plenipotentiary Conference, (ITU PP) currently underway in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, UAE. The ITU PP is the supreme organ of the ITU at which the ITU’s 193 member states meet once every four years to elect the ITU’s top executive officials and the 48 member states that will make up the Council. The Council serves as the governing body of the ITU between Plenipotentiary Conferences and ensures oversight of the ITU’s activities, policies and strategies.
The Bahamas will represent Region A, the Americas, along with Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, El Salvador, Mexico, Paraguay and the United States.
The Bahamas’ ballot was cast by members of The Bahamas’ Delegation to the ITU PP, led by Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of The Prime Minister, the Hon. Pakesia Parker Edgecombe. Mrs. Parker Edgecombe also presented the Bahamas Policy Statement on ICT during the first week of the conference. During the brief statement, Parker Edgecombe outlined the government’s accomplishments in ICTs and shared proposed plans for the further development this sector. She told more than 1500 delegates from more than 170 countries, that the Government of The Bahamas has introduced a “Community Development Partnership Initiative” which aims to:
- Strengthen the use of smart technology by public institutions by facilitating increased access to broadband
- Develop apps and websites to assist in the dissemination of critical information to the public — among them, a national alert messaging system to be used during national disasters…
- Facilitate greater public online communication access through the establishment of strategic WIFI hotspots throughout the country.
The full policy statement can be found at https://www.itu.int/web/pp-18/en/speech/123
The International Telecommunications Union is the United Nations Agency which specializes in Information Communication Technologies, ICTs. It promotes innovation, accessibility and inclusion by setting rules and regulations which governs the following:
- the allocation of global radio spectrum and satellite orbits;
- the development of technical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlessly interconnect;
- policies and programmes to improve access to ICTs to underserved communities worldwide.
The Bahamas government is officially represented at the ITU by the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority, URCA.
The conference continues with working groups focusing on critical issues which currently impacts the seamless connectivity and inclusion of all persons around the world in the digital revolution as well as the elimination of the digital divide within the unserved and underserved communities. The Bahamas will be continued to be represented at the ITU PP throughout its work, by delegates from URCA who will be joined by Minister of State in the Office of the Attorney General Elsworth Johnson, as the Conference moves toward negotiation, agreement and signature of the Final Acts.
Press Release: URCA
FBI and Bahamas looking into woman’s death
#TheBahamas, March 17, 2023 – The FBI is investigating a woman’s ‘suspicious’ death on a Carnival Cruise ship in February. The unnamed woman and her husband boarded the Carnival Sunshine on February 27th, for a trip to the Bahamas, but she was dead before they arrived in the port in The Bahamas.
The FBI said Carnival’s team had administered life saving measures when the woman was reported unresponsive, but they were unsuccessful. The body and the woman’s husband were released to the Bahamian authorities when the cruise arrived in the country.
In a statement shared with US media houses, Carnival Cruises claimed the death has been a natural one. The Nassau Guardian said a source told them the police findings had concurred with that assessment saying it was a “normal sudden death of a tourist who wasn’t feeling well.”
The FBI was waiting for the cruise and when it got back to South Carolina on March 4th, they immediately boarded and began to investigate the room based on ‘evidence of a crime.’ The FBI also searched the couple’s car.
No updates have been shared to contradict the currently established cause of death.
Why Sargassum Matters
#TheBahamas, March 17, 2023 – “If you don’t like it, go to another beach!” Is what Aaron John, an Education Officer from The Bahamas National Trust jokingly tells our news team about sargassum blooms; his quip, motivated by the necessity of nature when pit against the notion that there is a real threat when the stinky seaweed makes its annual appearance.
John can admit, he says, that Sargassum isn’t very pretty but life isn’t all about aesthetics and in this instance that ugly patch serves a purpose.
“We love our sandy beaches, but in order to keep them we need Sargassum. When storms come, they wash away all the sand off the beach but sargassum acts as a mulch to protect the sand from water erosion. It doesn’t look good, it doesn’t feel good but we need it.”
He said it also provides a habitat for small crustaceans, crabs, and insects that are all necessary to our ecosystem and islanders have found use for the weed.
“Historically, (in The Bahamas) we have been using sargassum as fertilizer, especially in the family Islands as far back as I know,” he said. “Birds don’t go on the beach unless there is Sargassum and what do they do? they feed – it’s beautiful.”
He encouraged residents to just leave it be if they came across it.
Sargassum isn’t harmful to humans, except for people with respiratory issues who may find the rotten egg smell triggers asthma. Despite this, it’s not advisable to walk through the weeds which may hide sharp rocks and bottles or vulnerable animals.
Experts say Sargassum blooms began to increase in size around 2011 and have continued to get bigger and bigger since. This year‘s bloom is around 5000 miles long and 300 miles wide and visible from space.
“I know it’s not a general outlook, but I would like to change the perspective on sargassum,” John said, pointing out The Bahamas National Trust is actively working to decrease alarm over the less worrisome events like sargassum as it raises the profile on the environmentally devastating.
Lease agreement approved for diaspora office
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – The Turks and Caicos’ Bahamas Diaspora Office is moving closer and closer to opening day, following the Cabinet’s approval for the signing of a lease agreement.
The lease will be signed with FINCEN ltd in the Bahamas. Several weeks ago, Arlington Musgrove, Minister of Immigration confirmed to our news team that the location had been found and was being finalized; now a lease is approved at the Cabinet level.
The interest in the TCI from TC Bahamians was evident in the diaspora meetings held in early February. The two meetings held in Nassau and Grand Bahama were completely full and over-subscribed by hundreds.
It’s interest which the Government hopes will translate to real life population growth, bolstering the local population before the native population ‘goes extinct’.
The Opposition PDM is on the record with what it feels is a far more viable solution to a dwindling native population; seek out the country’s own citizens and bring them back home.
Cabinet did not state when the office will open.
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