Categorized | Featured, National News

Bahamas UN Office Opens in Switzerland

Prime Minister Perry Christie officially opened of The Bahamas Permanent Mission to the United Nations Office and Other International Organizations in Geneva, Switzerland last week.

On Friday, the prime minister along with Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell, Minister of Labour Shane Gibson and Minister of Financial Services Hope Strachan, attended the ceremony for the opening of the Permanent Mission of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas to the United Nations Office and Other International Organizations.

“Each of us as representatives of The Bahamas by design, are here in Geneva for the official opening of our Permanent Mission to the United Nations Office and Other International Organizations in Geneva,” said the prime minister.

“Our mandates make it imperative for us to interface with the many UN agencies and funds here in this international city. My minister of foreign affairs and immigration was here in March to address the High Level Segment of the 28th Session of the Human Rights Council. The minister of labour is today here to advance the rights of workers and employees in The Bahamas and the minister of financial services heads the lead agency to accelerate efforts towards The Bahamas’ membership in the World Trade Organization. All of these are areas of importance to our country.”

Prime Minister Christie said in 2001, the government applied for membership to the WTO.

He said as a premier destination which offers opportunities for a range of financial services, The Bahamas is poised to become even more competitive in the global economy by further strengthening its financial sector.

“Only recently, The Bahamas has established its Bureau of Standards and Quality with a view to promoting and implementing quality services in everything we do,” he said.

“In January of this year, the value added taxation system came on stream bringing us closer toward our quest for membership in the WTO, which is recognized as the global body tasked with administering multilateral trade rules for international trade in goods, services and intellectual property. In doing so, The Bahamas too can be present at the table to promote its own trade interests which reflect its unique developmental concerns while pursing trade, and ultimately it’s development objectives. The Permanent Mission of The Bahamas to the United Nations Office and Other International Organizations in Geneva opened in May, 2013 and was the first overseas mission established by The Bahamas on the European continent.”

Prime Minister Christie discussed his mission which he says has the unique opportunity to advance the interests of The Bahamas in Geneva.

He said with the many United Nations specialized agencies and funds, the plethora of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations in Geneva, The Bahamas is seeking to position itself to benefit through its interaction with the many stakeholders in Geneva.

“Our participation in such forum as the International Labour Organization (ILO) World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) The Human Rights Council (HRC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) provide us the platform to enunciate domestic policies which are in line with our international obligations as a member of the global community,” he said.

“As we grapple with the challenges of a small country, vulnerability to climate change, the need to ensure citizen security, that of food security and the greater need of peace and security of our people through our continued efforts to fight crime, we see our presence here in Geneva as a means to partner with the international community in addressing these issues. The presence in Geneva allows, a country the size of The Bahamas, not only to learn of activities undertaken by other countries to mitigate the impact of smallness, but also to articulate its own position in a multilateral environment.”

The prime minister reiterated the need for greater investment, access to concessionary finance and appropriate technology as a means of further delivering stable and sustainable development to the country.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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