Categorized | National News

UN Migration Talks Scheduled

High-level migration talks are scheduled for today at the United Nation’s 68th General Assembly in New York.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Fred Mitchell told The Bahama Journal that the high-level dialogue on migration is “more than necessary.”

“The reason I’m here over an extended period is because there is a high-level migration forum and there are several inputs that we want to make on the issue,” he said.

“I’ve also met with the International Organisation on Migration and they will be doing some specific things to help us with the migration issues that we face so hopefully we will see some improvement in the near future of how we respond to illegal immigration.”

In his address to the UN on Saturday, Prime Minister Perry Christie said The Bahamas cannot continue to finance illegal migrants because it is putting a strain on the public’s purse.

The prime minister told the delegates that the need for greater multilateralism is evident in many of the other problems confronting The Bahamas and the region.

“A matter of the highest national priority for us revolves around our ongoing problem with illegal migration to our shores,” he said at the time.

“We, in The Bahamas, suffer from the illegal migration of tens of thousands of desperate people from our sister CARICOM state of Haiti, an exodus driven by crushing poverty. We also have a problem with illegal migration from other countries in the Caribbean albeit to a much lesser extent. Of special note in this regard are migrants from Cuba. We believe that the policies, rooted in the Cold War that largely account for this migration ought to be brought into alignment with the realities of the modern era.”

Over the past few months, Cubans have been staging protests in Florida over alleged abuse of Cuban nationals by defence force officers at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre.

The story has grabbed national headlines for several weeks.

Minister Mitchell also told The Journal that the prime minister’s address was “well-received.”

“The things that Mr. Christie addressed are themes which all CARICOM countries have,” he said from New York.

“When the representative from Barbados spoke on Monday, he actually quoted our prime minister for his standing up for the financial services sector. I think the speech succeeded quite brilliantly in putting forward all of the themes which we had been speaking about on the local front. I also think the speech went well. The feedback was good and you can now see that CARICOM will be supporting us in our efforts to control our borders.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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