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BAHAMAS: Campbell wraps up weekend tour of southern-most islands

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Matthew Town, Inagua – February 12, 2019 –  Bahamas – Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie Campbell concluded a three-day visit to the islands of Mayaguana and Inagua over the weekend with a stop at the Inagua All-Age School.

The Minister joined school officials and students for a Special Assembly recognizing Third Grade teacher Mrs. Tara Burrows as Teacher of the Year for the MICAL District, before returning to New Providence in the afternoon.

Minister Campbell also used the opportunity to celebrate International Day of Girls and Women in Science (IDGWS) with female students and teachers. IDGWS is a United Nations event that is celebrated annually around the globe.

Minister Campbell began his visit to the country’s two most southern islands in Mayaguana (Friday, February 8) where he addressed students at the Abraham’s Bay High School, before moving on to address students at the Pirate’s Well Primary School.

Officials of the Ministry of Social Services joined residents of Mayaguana at the finale of a week-long Revival Service on Friday night at the Church of God of Prophecy in Abraham’s Bay before hosting a Community Meeting on Saturday morning (February 9).

Minister Campbell and his team departed Mayaguana Saturday afternoon for Matthew Town, Inagua, where they hosted another Community Meeting, this time at the St. Philip’s Anglican Church Community Centre. The team also attended morning Mass at St. Philip’s where they were able to have a number of additional conversations regarding the ministry’s role, following the service.

Minister Campbell said the purpose of the visits was to personally explain how the various Departments and Divisions that help to form the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development “come together to support the whole man/woman” so that the message can get to all Bahamians everywhere.

The Social Services Minister said the various on-island engagements also provided Social Services officials with an opportunity to address as many diverse groupings as possible – covering schools, church groupings, parents, guardians, business owners, non-governmental organizations and individual residents.

The team also performed a number of assessments where necessary, while also addressing the issue of developing greater public/private partnerships.

Officials explained that while the provision of assistance is an important part of the services they provide, the Ministry and its various Departments and Divisions are responsible for so much more.

The “coming together to support the whole man and woman” covers everything from child protection to gender equality; children and families services; rehabilitation and welfare programmes; rental, electricity, burial, food and appliances assistance programmes; community development; programmes for Senior Citizens; programmes for teen mothers; programmes to prevent violence against women and men, and ensuring equity for persons living with disabilities, among many others.

The Ministry also facilitates programmes for at-risk youth; sponsors After-School Programmes and facilitates Anger Management Programmes through the Urban Renewal Commission.

The Ministry is further responsible for reporting to the United Nations and its Committees, and several other regional and international bodies/conventions pertaining to all of the aforementioned.

Minister Campbell, who has been on the job for seven months, told the residents that it was “very important” to put “boots on the ground” and meet with them face-to-face, while also learning firsthand of any concerns they may have.

Minister Campbell took the opportunity to explain, step-by-step, the roles each Department and Division plays. He also outlined the programmes that exist for the benefit of Bahamians and detailed how both the services and programmes can be accessed.

“The Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development is one of those ministries that take responsibility for individuals who qualify for assistance from the womb to the tomb,” Minister Campbell said.

“Its mission, assignment, and goal, is to ensure that Bahamians everywhere know of all of the services/programmes that are available to them, and how they should go about accessing those services/programmes.

“I wanted to be here with you; my team wanted to be here with you to hold these discussions and advise you of all of the possibilities, face-to-face, where you live, in order for you to have a better understanding of all that we do.”

Minister Campbell outlined the “process” of accessing the various kinds of assistance available when needed, advising residents in both island-communities that the process was necessary to ensure that those persons most in need of the assistance, are able to benefit from that assistance.

Minister Campbell was accompanied by Mrs. Lillian Quant-Forbes, Director of Social Services; Dr. Jacintha Higgs, Director of the Department of Gender and Family Affairs; Ms. Maria Kelley, Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities; and Ms. Sheryl Knowles, Programmes and Special Projects Coordinator for the Urban Renewal Commission.

By: Matt Maura

Release: BIS

Photo Captions:

Header: Student participants in the Mayaguana Junior Councilors Programme greet Minister of Social Servces and Urban development, the Hon. FrankieCampbell upon his arrival at the Abraham’s Bay High School Friday, February 8. Minister Campbell kicked off his visit to Mayaguana and Inagua with a stop at the High School.

Insert: Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell uses the chalkboard to explain the functions of the ministry and its Departments and Divisions to students of the Pirates Well Primary School, Mayaguana, Friday, February 8, on the first leg of his weekend visit to Mayaguana and Inagua. Mr. Campbell concluded the visit with a stop at the Inagua All- Age School where he participated in a Special Assembly held at the school to honour Third Grade teacher Mrs. Tara Burrows as Teacher of the Year for the MICAL District.

(BIS Photo/Matt Maura)

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COP 15 begins; Turks & Caicos delegation and objectives unknown…

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, December 7, 2022 – Will the Turks and Caicos be in the room when the ‘massive moment for nature’ unfurls in Montreal, Canada?  There is expected to be, in the end, a deal to protect animals and their habitats.

COP15 on Biodiversity begins today, Wednesday December 7th and while it was confirmed a TCI Delegation will be attending the event there’s no word yet who is making up that delegation or the objectives for the country, at this edition of the Conference of the Parties.

Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism with responsibility for environment had confirmed to Magnetic Media, weeks ago, that she was scheduled to attend the meeting.

The Biodiversity Conference is the third UN Conference this year pulling together a Conference of the Parties (a gathering of the supreme governing body of any international convention) the first two being COP 15 on Desertification in May and COP 27 in November.

The Biodiversity Conference is has three main objectives it is aiming to fulfil:

  •  the conservation of biodiversity;
  • the sustainable use of its components and
  • the fair sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.

The Turks and Caicos islands have taken significant initiative this year to protect its Biodiversity, becoming the first Caribbean country to join the United Kingdom’s Blue Belt Program and hosting the Turks and Caicos’ first ever Climate Change Summit and continued partnerships with the Royal Botanical Gardens in the UK.

The Conference which will run until December 19th will also look at the implementation of the protocols of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) that deal with the fair and equitable sharing of benefits from the use of nature, and the safe transport, handling and labelling of Living Modified Organisms.

It is to be carried live:  https://www.youtube.com/@cbd-live9013/streams.

COP15, like COP27 will open an avenue for funding to further biodiversity protection initiatives through negotiating with larger nations.

More than 190 countries will come together to hash out a plan to halt the decline of ecosystemswildlife, and the life-supporting services they provide.

 

Photo Caption: The United Nations Biodiversity Conference’s Ceremonial Opening Day press conference.  At the head table, Andersen Inger from UN Environment Programme, Executive Secretary Elizabeth Mrema, Huang Runqiu — COP15 chair, Steven Guilbeault — H.E Canadian Minister of Environment, and David Ainsworth, our Head of Comms. https://www.youtube.com/@cbd-live9013/streams

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Major Tri-Lateral Meeting next as TCI Nat’l Security Chairs in Bahamas for High-Level Talks

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

Security meetings in the Bahamas are well underway as the TCI delegation consisting of the Nigel Dakin, Governor and Washington Misick, Premier, who co-chair the National Security Council and several others have already had several crucial sit-downs with top leaders from The Bahamas and United Kingdom.

The mission started with sessions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where there was a meeting with Fred Mitchell, Minister and his team to discuss Border Security, Informal Settlements and the perplexing challenges in nearby Haiti; that happened on Monday morning.

Another key member of The Bahamas Cabinet, Wayne Munroe, who is the Minister of National Security and his Permanent Secretary Cheryl Darville, hosted a lunch meeting.

Before both meetings, a courtesy call was paid to Phillip Davis, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister who has responsibility for Tourism, Investment and Aviation.

Magnetic Media learned that the Turks and Caicos high ranking delegation arrived in Nassau since Sunday; however by Wednesday they were successfully making key rounds including a courtesy call paid on the Governor General of The Bahamas,  His Excellency, Cornelius A. Smith.

The UK Ambassador to The Bahamas was also visited; Tom Hartley is the British High Commissioner.

The Royal Bahamas Defense Force Base was next, explained the Governor on social media.

A tour of the Defense Force based located in Coral Harbour allowed the two security chiefs for TCI, to view firsthand the fleet of ships, training areas and technology used for guarding Bahamian borders.

The Defence Force has long been a direct partner as a year ago, TCI signed a Ship Rider Agreement with the RBDF which has opened the door to cross training and deployments which, among other things enables arrests in TCI waters by Turks and Caicos officers on Bahamian vessels.

This initial security agreement, in recent months has been broadened to include domestic security with the stationing of 24 members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The Bahamas has been instrumental in crime fighting in the Turks and Caicos.

It is also expected that the Turks and Caicos national security team will meet with a US contingent for a tri-lateral caucus aimed at deepening security connections.

Included in the sizable delegation are Senior Police, the TCI Regiment and National Security Secretariat officials.

Bahamian police officers continue to be embedded in the Royal TCI Police Force, having been sworn in as Special Constables and intelligence sharing with the US is in play as well.

Aircraft from the US has been visible in the crime fighting effort, working in tandem with British Military helicopter reconnaissance right into November.

Add to this, the shocking interception of a firearms shipment from the US to the Turks and Caicos; illegal cargo which resulted, according to TCI Police and the Governor, in several arrests.

There were also sessions with the Royal Bahamas Police Force and Michael Pintard, the Leader of  the Opposition.  More informally, members of the TCI delegation have also had an opportunity to dialogue with proud group of professionals, a part of the Turks and Caicos diaspora living in New Providence.

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$300M Nassau cruise port set to open for May 2023

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, December 6, 2022 – The Bahamas will soon see a boost to its tourism and job market as its redeveloped $300M Nassau Cruise Port will have its “grand opening” in late May 2023.

In providing an update on the port recently, Chief Executive of the Nassau Cruise Port Mike Maura explained the port was scheduled to open earlier.

“We had a meeting with the Prime Minister on Wednesday, and it was agreed that the grand opening would be the last weekend of May.

“We had looked at having it earlier in May, but King Charles decided to be coronated around May 5 or May 6, and that meant the Prime Minister would be away, and we wanted to be sure that the Prime Minister is here for that grand opening,” Maura said.

Maura noted that once the port is completed, it will be able to accommodate three Oasis class ships at the same time, along with other vessels.

“We had expected to be finished long before the last weekend of May 2023, but the pandemic has had its fun with us. Once completed, we will be able to handle comfortably three Oasis ships at the same time and three other vessels for a total of six,” he said.

The Chief Executive noted that the port’s passenger capacity will also increase as the port will be able to host 13, 000 more passengers per day from the 20,000 passengers it could previously host.

The Nassau Cruise Port is expected to have welcomed about 3.2 million passengers by year’s end, and in 2023 that number is expected to increase to approximately four million and 4.5 million in 2024.

The cruise port is also expected to provide hundreds of jobs for Bahamians through businesses and facilities that will be operating at the site.

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