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LaRoda, Musgrove, continue tradition of dialogue between Bahamas, TCI

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#TheBahamas, December 7, 2021 – Minister of Immigration and Border Services in the Turks & Caicos Islands Government, the Hon. Arlington A. Musgrove, Monday (December 6) paid a Courtesy Call on Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, the Hon. Myles LaRoda, at Minister LaRoda’s Offices located Dockendale House, West Bay Street.

Mr. Musgrove, who also has remit for Customs, Disaster Management, the Airport and Seaport Authorities, and Civil Aviation Authority, was accompanied by Dr. Holly Hamilton, the Director of Meteorology, Turks & Caicos Island Airport Authority (TCIAA); Mr. Mark Wilkinson, Radio Communications and Telecommunications Specialist, the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies (DDME) within the TCI Government, and Ms. Karen Higgs, Personal Assistant to Minister Musgrove.

State-Minister LaRoda, who has remit for Disaster Management, the National Insurance Board, the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas and Bahamas Information Services among his portfolio responsibilities, was accompanied by Mr. Carl F. Smith, Permanent Secretary. Also in attendance was Mr. Jeffrey Simmons, of The Bahamas’ Department of Meteorology.

Monday’s Courtesy Call and subsequent meeting allowed the two Ministers to continue the longstanding relationship, dialogue, cooperation and tradition of collaboration “on every level” between the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and the Turks & Caicos Islands that has existed since the 1800s.

The Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Islands also help to comprise the 19 Participating States of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), which is the regional inter-governmental agency for disaster management that falls directly under the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Its role is to be the facilitator, driver, coordinator and motivating force to the promotion and engineering of Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) in all Participating States.

Established in 1991 as CDERA (the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency) with primary responsibility for the coordination of emergency response and relief efforts to Participating States in need of such assistance, the Agency transitioned to CDEMA in 2009 to fully embrace the principles and practice of Comprehensive Disaster Management – an integrated and proactive approach to disaster management and seeks to reduce the risks and losses associated with natural and technological hazards and the effects of Climate Change, to enhance regional sustainable development.

CDEMA’s functions are as follows: mobilising and coordinating disaster relief; mitigating or eliminating, as far as practicable, the immediate consequences of disasters in Participating States; providing immediate and coordinated response by means of emergency disaster relief to any affected Participating State; securing, coordinating and providing to interested inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations reliable and comprehensive information on disasters affecting any Participating State; encouraging:

(i) the adoption of disaster loss reduction and mitigation policies and practices at the national and regional level; (ii) cooperative arrangements and mechanisms to facilitate the development of a culture of disaster loss reduction; and coordinating the establishment, enhancement and maintenance of adequate emergency disaster response capabilities among the Participating States.

The Bahamas also has a relationship with the Turks & Caicos Island’s Department of Meteorology – through The Bahamas Department of Meteorology — to provide TCI’s aviation Met services. The agreement has been in place for about 10 years. The Bahamas Department of Meteorology is also responsible — through the World Met Organization – for providing hurricane forecasts, issuing Alerts and Warnings for the Turks & Caicos Islands whenever TCI is under threat from Hurricanes.

The two delegations discussed a number of matters of mutual concern to both Small-Island Developing States. Minister LaRoda applauded the continued collaborations.

“At every level, the relationship between The Bahamas and the Turks & Caicos Islands has been a very close, one that goes back for generations,” Mr. LaRoda said.

Minister Musgrove also applauded the collaborations, saying: “You guys have a lot of knowledge and expertise down here and you are our brothers so we can tap into that.”

 

By Matt Maura

Release: BIS

 

Photo Caption: Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Disaster Management, the Hon. Myles LaRoda (at right), welcomes Minister of Immigration and Border Services in the Turks & Caicos Islands Government, the Hon. Arlington A. Musgrove, during a Courtesy Call Monday, December 6.  Both men are fully vaccinated and briefly took their masks off for the quick ‘photo opp’ only. Mr. Musgrove also has remit for Customs, Disaster Management, the Airport and Seaport Authorities, and Civil Aviation Authority.

(BIS Photo/Matt Maura)

 

 

 

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Agreement inked between Bahamas and Dubai

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#DUBAI, UAE, January 18, 2022 – A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, Hon. Fred Mitchell and His Excellency Sheikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan Al Nahyan, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, today in Dubai.

The signing of this MOU begins a fruitful relationship between The Bahamas and the UAE. The UAE government is committed to providing technical assistance through their Technical Assistance Programme.  Embedded in the agreement, is a provision that at least fifty percent of the participants in the training programme are women.

Both The Bahamas and UAE are committed to working together on several fronts for the mutual advancement of both countries. The exchange of information will be invaluable as The Bahamas continues to push through the setbacks of the pandemic toward national and economic growth.

 

Photo Caption: Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas the Hon. Philip Davis, centre, Minister Mitchell, left, and HE Sheikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan Al Nahyan.

(Photo/OPM Communications)

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MP’s Graduate with Parliamentary Governance Certificates

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January 18, 2022 – The Caribbean Democrat Union (CDU), in partnership with the Conservatives Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) Programme, held an Online Graduation Ceremony on Friday January 14th 2022 for fifteen (15) Members of Parliament who successfully completed a one year certificate programme in Parliamentary Governance with McGill University in Canada.

This professional development certificate programme is recognized by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and provided MP’s with important theoretical and practical knowledge in executing their roles and responsibilities as legislators. Sponsorship for the MP’s was provided by the Conservatives WFD Programme.

The successful graduates included:

  • Tracy Panton– MP Albert, UDP, Belize
  • Shyne Barrow – MP, Mesopotamia, UDP, Belize
  • Senator Hon. Sheena Pitts – UDP, Belize
  • Kerensia Morrison – MP St. Catherine North Eastern, JLP, Jamaica
  • Tova Hamilton – MP, Trelawny Northern, JLP, Jamaica
  • Dr. Michelle Charles – MP, St. Thomas Eastern, JLP, Jamaica
  • Tamika Davis – MP, Hanover Western, JLP, Jamaica
  • Rhoda Crawford – MP, Manchester Central, JLP, Jamaica
  • Anne Marie Vaz – MP, Portland Eastern, JLP, Jamaica
  • Krstyal Lee – MP, St. Anne North Western, JLP, Jamaica
  • Robert Miller – MP St. Catherine South Eastern, JLP, Jamaica
  • Heroy Clarke – MP, St. James Central, JLP, Jamaica
  • Dwight Sibblies – MP, Clarendon Northern, JLP, Jamaica
  • Morland Wilson – MP, Westmoreland Western, JLP, Jamaica
  • Senator Hon. Shevern John – NDP, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The Online Graduation Ceremony was attended by The Most Hon. Andrew Holness Prime Minister of Jamaica, Maria Miller Conservative MP UK, Dr. Hon. Godwin Friday Leader of the Opposition St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Hon. Patrick Faber Leader of the Opposition Belize, Carola Weil Dean of Continuing Studies McGill University, Nick Francis Secretary General CDU, and other officials from the UK Conservative Party’s International Department and Faculty and Staff from McGill University.

Mr. Nick Francis in his remarks at the ceremony noted that this initiative was birthed through greater engagement and consultation with stakeholders in the region in light of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and he was grateful to the administrators at McGill University for partnering with the CDU and the Conservatives WFD Programme to make this online training possible.

Hon. Patrick Faber and Dr. Hon. Godwin Friday extended congratulations to the graduates and expressed gratitude to the Conservatives WFD Programme, the CDU and McGill University on this successful collaboration to enhance parliamentary democracy in their respective countries.

A second cohort of trainees will commence the Parliamentary Governance Certificate with McGill University in March of this year and will include young prospective MP’s.

Quotes:

Dean of Continuing Studies at McGill University Carola Weil extended congratulations to the fifteen (15) MP’s for successfully completing the yearlong certificate programme in Parliamentary Governance and noted that this was an “important step towards the continuation of good governance and democracy around the world”

In addressing the graduates at the ceremony, Prime Minster the Most Hon. Andrew Holness noted his expectations that the training received will help to inform their advocacy, guide their involvement in policy development, and “contribute to a new cadre of political representatives that will always strive for the highest standards of excellence in governance, in parliamentary practice, and in political representation.”

Conservative MP Maria Miller UK in a pre-recorded message to the graduates (the majority being new female MP’s) noted that in light of the challenges facing women in politics, “the Conservative WFD Programme is committed to strengthening democracy by creating a much more inclusive, accountable and transparent political system.”

 

Press Release: CDU

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PM Davis’ Remarks at Wreath Laying Ceremony – Majority Rule Day 2022

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Happy Majority Rule Day to all and thank you for coming

I thank the organizers of this wreath laying ceremony because this auspicious occasion is a symbolic reminder of the significant role the Progressive Liberal Party and the Father of the Nation played in bringing about one of the most consequential and transformational events in our history, eclipsed only by the abolition of slavery in 1834.

With the addition of National Independence on 10th July 1973, these three epic events changed the course of Bahamian history forever and etched in the annals of history the Bahamian national identity and the depth of our indomitable spirit.

We must never grow weary of telling our story lest we lose our identity and heritage as a people.

Further — and more nationally — as a free, modern, democratic and independent state, history must record that Majority Rule Day is also an occasion where all Bahamians come together to reflect on and celebrate the enduring principles of democracy.  Today then, I stand with my Bahamian brothers and sisters from all walks of life in memorializing this day as a seminal moment in the ever-evolving Bahamian story.

MAJORITY RULE IS A MAJOR TRIUMPH FOR DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM, HUMANITARIAN PRINCIPLES THAT WE HOLD NEAR AND DEAR TO OUR HEARTS.  THESE PRINCIPLES ARE ALSO THE CHIEF PHILOSOPHICAL CORNER STONES AND PILLARS ON WHICH THIS COUNTRY WAS BUILT AND WILL SUSTAIN US FOR GENERATIONS TO COME.

We must never allow our detractors to minimize, trivialize or relegate this great day and event to the scrap heap of historical irrelevance. To do so is to dishonour the vision, memory and legacy of those great courageous souls on whose shoulders we stand.

We cannot and must not conveniently disinherit our glorious legacy because our truth is inconvenient to some.

A cause rooted in social justice, freedom fighters courageously stood in the vanguard of change – unyielding in their demand that all were created equal — with God-given rights to human dignity without regard to race, gender, colour or creed. This stand of conscience galvanized a nation, a generation of Bahamians, and in the process significantly reshaped the character and national identity of The Bahamas forever.

I pay tribute to the many unsung heroes and heroines whose endearing and enduring legacies of selflessness and shared sacrifices remain the gold standard of our national culture in both public life and in the way we conduct our personal affairs with one another.

I continue to draw, conviction, inspiration and influence from the passion of the Suffragettes, the labour movement, the church and from countless Bahamians who put it all on the line to secure a more perfect Commonwealth.

Speaking of passion, conviction, inspiration and influence, I wish to take a moment to recount the role the late Sir Sidney Poitier played and the contributions he made during our journey to Majority Rule.

As a Bahamian with dual citizenship, Sir Sidney used his celebrity status in the struggle for civil rights —  fighting racism, bigotry and injustice in both the United States and The Bahamas.

Many Bahamians still recall his speaking to the issue at a reception in his honour to the then United Bahamian Party (UBP) government in recognition of his Academy Award for ‘Lilies of the Field.’

A well-known story in PLP circles is his assistance to the Progressive Liberal Party in the run up to the 1967 general elections. There is an iconic photo of Sir Sidney and Sir Lynden at the back of an open limousine celebrating the 1967 victory.

May he rest in peace.

As a beneficiary of their sacrificial work, I thank them all — Sir Lynden Pindling, Sir Milo Butler, Sir Randal Fawkes, Sir Clifford Darling, Dame Doris Johnson and Sir Sidney Poitier — for their passion, faith, perseverance and uncompromising commitment to social justice, democracy, freedom and a sense of fair play.

It is indeed an honour and a privilege to stand on their broad proverbial shoulders to continue their invaluable work in building a stronger and more perfect Commonwealth to positively impact the lives of generations yet unborn.

Our cause is indeed national, inclusive and intergenerational in its nature, range and scope.

On behalf of my wife Ann Marie, my cabinet and parliamentary colleagues, my government, the officers and members of the Progressive Liberal Party, I extend best wishes and highest regards to the people of The Bahamas as we celebrate Fifty-Five years of Majority Rule.

May Almighty God continue to bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

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