Foreign Affairs Minister To Address UN General Assembly
NASSAU, The Bahamas – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration the Hon Brent Symonette is leading The Bahamas’ delegation to the Sixty-Fifth Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the Ministry announced Thursday. The General Debate of the 65th Session of the General Assembly will take place from September 23 to 25 and from the 27 to 30.
Mr. Symonette is scheduled to address the General Assembly on Tuesday, September 28. The Bahamas delegation will include Marilyn Zonicle, Under-Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ambassador Paulette Bethel, Bahamas Permanent Representative to the United Nations, other officials from the Ministry and His Excellency C. A. Smith, Bahamas Ambassador to Washington.
Mr. Symonette will also participate in a series of high-level meetings in the margins of the General Debate including:
The Thirteenth Informal Council for Foreign and Community Relations, comprising Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Caribbean Community, CARICOM;
A meeting between CARICOM and Australia; CARICOM Meeting to examine the Plan for the Permanent Committee of Ambassadors; Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Heads of Delegation of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM); Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting; and, The Thirty-Fourth Annual Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77.
The Bahamas has been specifically asked to meet with representatives from Mexico, Argentina, Hungary, Canada, Serbia and Bahrain, in an effort to enhance relations with these respective countries.
Mr. Symonette will articulate The Bahamas’ position on Kosovo; the UN acknowledged a non-binding international court ruling on Kosovo’s independence from Serbia.
“The Bahamas has support its (Kosovo’s) application to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for access to financial resources for economic development,” said Ambassador Joshua Sears, Director General at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Bahamas has also thrown its support for a resolution to the Honduras matter, which will be discussed at the General Assembly. On July 5, 2009, Honduras was suspended from active participation in the Organisation of American States (OAS) as a result of the June 28 coup d’état that expelled President Jose Manuel Zelaya from office.
The Bahamas will also participate in discussions regarding non-communicable diseases, a resolution to the Turks and Caicos Islands elections, which according to reports “has been delayed indefinitely to allow for anti-corruption and good government reforms to take effect”, and the selection of a new CARICOM Secretary-General.
The Permanent Representative of The Bahamas will participate in the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) — touted as the most broadly supported comprehensive and specific goals upon which the world has ever agreed.
The eight goals to be achieved by 2015 are: the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and develop a global partnership for development.
“The UN is a global organisation to which all member states belong and the General Assembly affords each country to state its foreign policy and to discuss issues of global importance,” Ambassador Sears said.
“All members enjoy equal opportunity; however the UN does recognise regional bodies at which each grouping is allowed to advance its issues,” he said.
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