Black Immigrant Daily News
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Philip Davis KC yesterday said that the crisis in Haiti requires the “urgent attention” of CARICOM members states, as he acknowledged that The Bahamas is “under great strain” due to the country’s economic and political instability.
Davis delivered remarks at the opening of the 44th Regular Meeting of the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
Regional leaders at the opening ceremony of the 44th CARICOM Heads of Government meeting. (BIS Photos/Patrick Hanna)
He said: “I believe we are in vigorous agreement that the crisis in Haiti requires our urgent attention. The turmoil and suffering there continue to worsen. As a near neighbour, The Bahamas is under great strain, and many other countries in our region are also heavily impacted. We will all benefit if Haiti is again a fully-functioning state. We should learn from the failures of past efforts to help, rather than use those disappointments as an excuse for inaction. I pray that we can agree a series of concrete steps to help move towards a solution for the Haitian people, and the region as a whole.”
Davis continued: “We have learned that inaction has its own costs and consequences.
“Nowhere is that more the case than on the issue of climate change, which threatens to upend lives around the world, and presents an existential threat to so many of us in this region. Yet, even though we in the CARICOM region are especially vulnerable to the rising sea levels and temperatures, erosion of our coastal communities, and hurricanes which are more frequent and more intense, by working together, we show that we are not powerless.”
Davis expressed confidence that regional leaders in joining our voices last year to present an agreed position at COP27, helped to influence the shift in position relating to ‘Loss and Damage’ arising from the impact of climate change.
The prime minister noted that other issues which demand CARICOM’s attention include investment and co-operation in education, infrastructure as well as food and energy security.
Performers of the National Dance Company at the opening ceremony of the 44th CARICOM Heads of Government meeting. (BIS Photos/Patrick Hanna)
“For all the loss and havoc wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic, it did teach us valuable lessons about what’s important, and about what we need to do to save lives and livelihoods. For example, here in The Bahamas, we have in the past talked about the need to ensure food security. But since the advent of the pandemic, we recognised that the need to be able to feed ourselves was not just an economic nicety, but a matter of survival,” said Davis.
He added: “Some of the other priority issues are more protective. We should seek to strengthen our collective response to end the smuggling of guns and drugs. And we must do all that we can to wipe out the misery of human trafficking.
“Let us seize the opportunity provided by this meeting, to make concrete progress in each of these areas. We must remain alive to the possibilities. Our friends at the AfriExim Bank have allocated $1.5 billion dollars to invest in the CARICOM Region. Should remaining CARICOM Members join those of us who have already signed the agreed Memorandum of Understanding, that figure would be doubled to $3 billion dollars.”
Davis also affirmed support for the people of Ukraine, whose sovereignty he noted is being threatened by the Russian invasion of their territory.