Bahamas reiterates its commitment to promoting sustainable development

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Frederick Mitchell

The Bahamas solemnly reaffirms her commitment to the three pillars of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental.

So says Minister of Foreign Affairs Frederick Mitchell.

He told the 67th session of the General Assembly that advancements continue nationally in important areas pertaining to the protection of its biodiversity and development of policies to promote renewable energy.

Frederick Mitchell:  Some argue that finding out how to provide reliable and affordable energy may be the single largest factor affecting the future development of The Bahamas. This issue is so important to us that the Prime Minister has taken it as a personal mission to seek to solve this issue. We know that we must do it sustainably. The Bahamas has enacted legislation to foster the sustainable use and management of ecosystems, through better land-use planning. Under the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea we have initiated actions to preserve our fish stock by introducing penalties for over-fishing. We have also taken action to ban long line fishing, to establish The Bahamas as a shark sanctuary, and, to establish and expand marine protected areas. For The Bahamas it is imperative that these Sustainable Development strategies are complemented with appropriate actions taken by the international community.

Foreign Minister Mitchell noted that in this respect, The Bahamas views the historic outcome of the Rio+20 Conference as offering significant opportunities, particularly for Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

On the question of Haiti, Foreign Minister Mitchell stressed that The Bahamas has been unremitting and consistent in her support for the People of Haiti and their aspirations for peace, security and development. At the same time, he commended the important role of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) in providing security in Haiti and in laying the foundation for its long-term recovery and stability.

Frederick Mitchell:  Pledges made toward Haiti’s recovery and reconstruction must be honoured and fulfilled so that the required work can be undertaken and completed. The Bahamas welcomes increased dialogue on improving international cooperation with respect to international migration and development. Illegal migration from Haiti is a vexing issue for our country. We agree that proper cooperation can certainly help to ensure that migration occurs through safe and regulated channels, as well as leverage the contributions that migrants can make to development. The Bahamas will continue to participate constructively in the process leading to the second High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development to be held by the General Assembly in 2013, with a view to addressing these and other related issues so crucial to our development. Given the events over the past year in The Bahamas with regard to illegal migration, some tragic, and, poaching in our seas from illegal persons from the south of us, The Bahamas will be taking stronger measures over the next year to put a stop to these illegal activities. We appeal to all nations in the region to prevail upon their citizens to cease and desist from these unlawful activities.

Foreign Minister Mitchell concluded that The Bahamas intend to work both bilaterally and with the broader international community to stop these assaults on our national and economic security.

This is Donn Bobb reporting.

Duration: 3′ 21″

Filed under Caribbean News.
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