Categorized | National News

PM Presents at CHOGM

Prime Minister Perry Christie reaffirmed the region’s commitment to upholding values and strengthening ties between countries as he addressed the Caribbean Heads of Government Meeting this past Friday in Sri Lanka.

The prime minister is heading the country’s delegation which includes Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell.

“We meet at a special time in the life of the Commonwealth,” he told those gathered.

“Our people often question: what are we doing here? We answer that we are here to reaffirm our values, our commitments to democracy, to diversity, to tolerance, to the rule of law. And if that is not enough, we are now here in Sri Lanka to call for growth with equity. I think Mr. President that this is a most important theme.”

The prime minister also placed The Bahamas full support of the general call.

“I wish to place The Bahamas firmly in the column that calls for a more just order,” he said.

“I wish to place The Bahamas firmly in the column of standing up for the human rights and dignity of all peoples. I wish to support the rule of law. It is a long list of wishes. I think that we are all as countries and leaders capable of ensuring that all of the values of the Commonwealth are upheld. So that is the first thing for The Bahamas: we are here to uphold the values of the Commonwealth.”

Prime Minister Christie said secondly, The Bahamas’ delegation attended to reinforce historic ties.

“Thirdly we are here to get an opportunity to exchange views with people and nations from theatres far away from our own place in the North Atlantic and by that exchange of views to help our own growth and development. In this connection then may I speak to two issues which exercise us in The Bahamas and in our Caricom region? We are all now called middle income countries.”

He said that means that when they look to the markets and the international financial institutions, there is a measure which is used to determine what level of interest will be offered as the price of borrowing money.

“We are no longer able in many cases to get concessional lending because of the measure used to determine our level of wealth and ability to pay,” Prime Minister Christie said.

“I wish therefore to make an appeal to these institutions to ameliorate their positions with regard to GDP per capita as a measure or means of determining the cost of financial assistance. In this regard, we support the efforts of the Commonwealth to leverage the number of our voices to bring about change in this area. Secondly, Mr., President I would like to identify and associate The Bahamas with the call from the young people of the Commonwealth for action to ensure that they are trained and can participate more fully in the world economy.”

He said the young people are the future of the world.

“In my own country, we came to office with a specific promise to support young people and to reduce youth unemployment,” Mr. Christie added.

“We pledged to double the investment in education during our term. We believe that specific programmes for youth development are essential to the future success of our country. I would encourage all leaders to lend their support to youth development. There can be no better investment than to engage the youth of our respective nations. As part of our commitment to young people and to The Commonwealth, The Bahamas is pleased to be able to host the next Commonwealth Education Ministers Conference in Nassau.”

The prime minister said that it is his hope that there is a full turnout and that this body commits itself to the policies which will enhance and train our people especially our youth.

“I look forward to seeing you in Nassau,” he said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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