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Prime Minister Davis Calls on World Leaders to ‘Get Real’ on Addressing Climate Change Issues



#TheBahamas, November 16, 2022 – During his National Statement at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) World Leaders Summit, on November 8, 2022, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis highlighted reasons to attend the event, including because his country has to believe that “a safer, better future is possible.”

“I say that we have come, because we believe that action — real, concerted, action — can save the planet, and save our human race,” Prime Minister Davis said, at the Summit, being held in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt.  “And I say that we have come, because each nation here, acting in its own, enlightened self-interest, knows, in a most profound way, that we need each other to make this work.”

“I live in the most beautiful country on earth,” he added.  “But right now, even as I speak, Bahamians are mobilizing to prepare for the impact of yet another powerful storm, a Tropical Storm Nicole.

“So I come here with a simple request:  Let’s get real.”

Prime Minister Davis pointed out that what was needed most at that conference was to confront “the radical truth.”

“Big, ambitious goals are important – but not if we use aspirations to obscure reality,” he said.  “The goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees is on life support.”

“This is a hard truth for many to admit because even the best-case scenarios will mean almost unimaginable upheaval and tragedy,” he added.

Prime Minister Davis stated that the realities of war, economic headwinds, the hangover from the pandemic, and competition among world powers, cannot be used as justification not to confront these imminent dangers.

“Let’s get real: it’s only going to get worse,” Prime Minister Davis said.  “We are entering a new climate era that will drive extreme geopolitical and economic instability.”

“Statements without binding commitments or enforcement mechanisms have been used again and again as a way to postpone real action,” he added.  “Yes, the world’s wealthiest carbon polluters should pay for the very extensive loss and damage caused by their emissions.

“But ‘getting real’ means understanding that it will be self-interest that drives decision- makers.”

Prime Minister Davis noted that he was not there to ask any of those in attendance to love the people of The Bahamas with the same passion as he does, or even to act on behalf of future generations in their own countries.

“I’m asking: what is it worth to you, to prevent millions of climate refugees, from turning into tens of millions, and then hundreds of millions, putting pressure on borders and security and political systems across the world?” he asked.

He added that he was not telling those in attendance to overhaul the World Bank for that “new climate era” because it was the right thing to do.

“I’m telling you to get smart and act quickly to address the systemic risk of climate change,” Prime Minister Davis said.  “Multilateral banks must play a crucial role in scaling up financing options that will provide real solutions.”

“I’m not here to tell the private sector to give up caring about profits,” he added.  “I’m here to say that in a world of profound instability, your profits are very much in danger.  So, we need to work together to transition the world to clean energy.

“Let’s get real about what’s coming. Let’s get real about what we need to do next.”

Prime Minister Davis pointed out that most Bahamians were descended from people who were forcibly removed from their homes, shackled in the bottom of boats, and shipped across the Atlantic.

“We are the children of the survivors of that man-made tragedy,” he stated.  “We inherit their moral imperative.”

“We have a duty to fight for our survival, as they fought so desperately for theirs,” Prime Minister Davis added.  “So, even as we have urged the world to act, we have not waited.”

Prime Minister Davis pointed out that Bahamians knew that they “have what it takes” to provide the kind of leadership and innovation that contributed to meaningful solutions.

He noted that The Bahamas’ mangroves, seagrasses and salt marshes were a critical carbon sink.

“While others were talking, we took action, and passed innovative new legislation to deal with Blue Carbon,” Prime Minister Davis pointed out.  “We created a regulatory framework for dealing and trading in carbon credits. Other countries are already considering adopting our model.

“And just this past Sunday, we agreed in principle with the IMF, to partner together, among other things, to determine how carbon credits can be used productively, as a new asset class,” he added.  “Yes, this is what real, life-changing action looks like. We in The Bahamas are not sitting still.

“We will not flinch from confronting the hard truth.”

Prime Minister Davis stated that The Bahamas would also continue to offer its leadership, and its drive for innovation and ingenuity.”

“Whoever you are, wherever you are, bring your climate solutions to The Bahamas,” he said.  “Help us convert our front-line vulnerabilities into cutting-edge solutions for all.

“Because we refuse to lose hope,” he added. “We will not give up.

“We have no other choice.”

Prime Minister Davis noted that the alternative compels Bahamians to present themselves at their borders as refugees.

He added: “The alternative consigns us to a watery grave.  The alternative will erase us from history.  This is why we fight.  We will continue to lift up our heads toward the rising sun.  We will continue to march on.  We will continue to believe that a safer, better future is possible.

“Because all our lives – all our lives – depend on it.”


Release: BIS

Bahamas News

Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Immigration Ministers make appearance on TCI Radio Talk Show



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#TheBahamas, November 25, 2022 – “We have a humanitarian concern of course but we can only absorb so much” was how Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service in The Bahamas addressed the issue of the UN constantly nudging Caribbean countries about the deportation of migrants and recommending that it not be done.

He was speaking Thursday November 24 with Cheryl and Zhavargo on First Edition which airs on RTC FM.

While acknowledging that the UN offices likely ‘have to do what they do’ Minister Mitchell  explained that the current irregular migrants trying to get into the Bahamas did not fit the bill of ‘refugees’ as defined by the UN.

“We have a treaty obligation that says that if people have a fear of persecution in their home country that we have an obligation to take them in as asylum seekers. The people who come through on these boats from the south of us are not asylum seekers. They are afraid of poverty and that’s a difficult issue but in a legal sense we’re not obligated to embrace people on that basis.”

He cited a study that had found, on any given day there were around 7,000 illegal migrants in The Bahamas trying to get to the US maintaining that his chain of islands had to take a stand on the issue.  The Foreign Affairs minister acknowledged that  TCI was in an identical situation, citing also the the cultural effects of irregular migration.

“There is a cleavage which has developed in our own society over this; people are very concerned that we could lose our identity if we do not get on top of it.”

Earlier this year Arlington “new sheriff in town” Musgrove, Minister of Immigration and Border Services in the Turks and Caicos had described statements calling on surrounding countries to do more to assist persons fleeing Haiti as “reckless and misguided.”

“Haiti has a population of 11.6 million people. How could any small developing state like the Turks and Caicos Islands assist that number of people or even the smallest fraction of them? We have a population of some 47,000 persons, and our health care, education and other social systems remain fragile and could never withstand an influx of refugees. This would be a risk to our very own livelihood,” he had said.

He was interviewed in the same show on Thursday prior to Mitchell and expressed a similar determination to crack down on illegal migration.

“I want to stress this. If we catch anyone harbouring illegals, it could be my mommy, she’s going up. We cannot tolerate this. We’re catching the sloops so my Haitian brothers and sisters should stress to them don’t waste your money we’re sending you back.”

Turks and Caicos, this year passed a law, doubling fines and prison times for individuals harbouring illegal migrants.

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Former Bahamian Cabinet minister defends record amid ongoing police investigation



By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer


#TheBahamas, November 25, 2022 – Former Youth, Sports and Culture Minister, Lanisha Rolle is reportedly currently under investigation due to several allegations that came up during her tenure; she however knows nothing of this alleged criminal investigation.

After the minister resigned – unceremoniously –  in February 2021 with little explanation, the ministry was locked down by the Prime Minister for an audit of the National Sports Authority, which fell under her ministry.

Auditor General Terrance Bastin revealed that unauthorised contracts had been issued, some of which were later forwarded to the NSA for payment. Three cheques to contractors were also found, which were paid to individuals and then collected by a senior ministry official.

Despite the allegations, Rolle said she upheld cabinet standards and good governance during her tenure. She added that a minister is not always aware of “everything in a ministry at any given time.”

Rolle said she has not yet been approached by the RBPF regarding the audit findings.  Having served as a member of the Police Force for 11 years herself, Rolle told a crush of media on Wednesday (November 23) that she continues to trust that they will follow the legal process and in due time, the truth of her innocence will be revealed.

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Bahamas News

MYSC set to begin training for National Youth Guard



Robyn Adderley, BIS

#FREEPORT, The Bahamas, November 25, 2022 – Officials from the Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Culture along with members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force and Defence Force toured the Police Training College on Tuesday, November 22 in preparation of the start of the Bahamas National Youth Guard training programme.

Sandena Neely, Head of the Division of Youth, explained that the Bahamas National Youth Guard is a programme designed to train young Bahamians to serve during a national disaster.

Participants are to be between the ages of 18 and 25 and Bahamians willing to serve their country.

“In the event of a natural disaster, we want to implement a strategy where young Bahamians are going to be able to facilitate being a part of every part of the national disaster plan from prevention and mitigation all the way to recovery.”

She explained that they were touring the Police College in Grand Bahama because it is the proposed site for their three-month training. Training starts in January and will include Bahamians nationwide to be trained, skilled and certified so that they can return to their communities and serve.

The 27-month programme starts with three months of training, followed by three months of internship during which time they will receive a stipend, and then they will be on-call for the remaining 21 months. If they are called to serve during that period, they will receive an additional stipend.

While touring the campus, the delegation started with the auditorium where most of the time would be spent. In there, along with the all-purpose room, there are three classrooms and one computer lab.

The delegation was comprised of Ministry of Youth officials Undersecretary Montez Williams, Ms. Neely, Deputy Director of Sports Northern Bahamas Norris Bain, Youth Programmes Coordinator for the Grand Bahama Office Carla Brown-Roker, Programme Officer Kenneth Frazier, Youth Officer Kenneth Miller, Communications Officer Lamar Matthews and Kree Hanna, Administrative Assistant. From the Royal Bahamas Police Force there was ACP Dellareece Ferguson, ACP Kenwood Taylor, ACP Craig Stubbs, ACP Theophilus Cunningham and Assistant Superintendent Randolph Deleveaux.  Daryl Jones represented the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.

Then it was off to touring the dormitories that are equipped to house 32 males and 12 females.

The Bahamas National Youth Guard is being facilitated by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and joined by partners from the Royal Bahamas Police Force, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, NEMA, DRA, Social Services, the National Drug Council, the Ministry of Health and Wellness and others.

Programme Officer, Kenneth Frazier, Youth Officer at the Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Culture said training will begin the second week in January in Grand Bahama. The focus is on Grand Bahama and Abaco because those two islands are hardest hit by storms.

“We understand that people here are aware and understand what is needed for the persons in this programme.”

When disasters strike, he said, people within their own communities ought to be able to assist as soon as possible. As such, the call has gone out all over the country to get people to sign up for the programme.

“The idea is to have people within each community to have the skills needed to help mitigate response every part of the national disaster.”
The delegation then paid a courtesy call on the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry for Grand Bahama, Melvin Seymour, when they shared details of the programme.

According to Neely, “Stakeholders are the way that we operate. They are our arms, our feet, our legs. They help us to walk and help us to service. We are a youth development agency, but we know when and where to look for our partners who can help us to bring programmes to life.”

The programme, Ms. Neely further explained, came to being because it is important for residents to be able to assist themselves.

She closed with, “We want to build a generation of Bahamians who are able to help ourselves whenever a disaster or some emergency happens in our country.”


Photo Captions:

Header: A group from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, led by Undersecretary Montez Williams, travelled to Grand Bahama to tour the Police Training College where the three-month training programme for the National Youth Guard is set to begin in January. The tour took place on Tuesday, November 22 and included staff from the Ministry of Youth, the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force. (BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)

1st insert: A tour of the dorms at the Police Training College was on the agenda as the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture is set to begin a three-month training programme for the Bahamas National Youth Guard in January. Sandena Neely, Head of the Division of Youth, is seen discussing what will be needed during the tour on Tuesday, November 22. (BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)

2nd insert:  A delegation from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force on Tuesday, November 22, toured the classrooms of the Police Training College in Freeport. The three-month training programme for the Bahamas National Youth Guard is set to begin the second week in January. (BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)

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