|The Bahamas continues to support reconstruction efforts in Haiti|
|Thursday, 05 July 2012 12:45|
NASSAU, Bahamas -- The Bahamas gives moral support in the international councils for the reconstruction of the Republic of Haitian, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration the Hon. Fred Mitchell said on Thursday. Mr. Mitchell, who is leading the Bahamian delegation at the Thirty-third Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in St Lucia, also said that The Bahamas has contributed $20,000 toward the Haiti effort. Mr. Mitchell has a scheduled meeting with President of the Republic of Haiti Michel Martelly to discuss the further development of that island nation, which suffered massive destruction during the January 2010 earthquake. The Bahamas is in support of the further development of Haiti and is helping to fund the CARICOM Haiti office, he said. This will be discussed during the meeting between both parties. Foreign Policy Co-ordination in CARICOM is high on the agenda of the Conference, pertaining to the ongoing changes in global political and economic circumstances. Heads will discuss a wide range of topics on the agenda such as the regional economy, a bid by the twin-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago to have the Treaty of Chaguaramas amended for them to access the criminal side of the Caribbean Court of Justice. Mr. Mitchell said that The Bahamas seeks to cooperate and coordinate its foreign policy initiatives in multi-lateral agencies within the framework of CARICOM adding that, “We are stronger as part of a group.” The Bahamas will also participate in the discussions on agriculture, and the missing Bahamian airplane, he said. Regarding Trinidad’s efforts to amend the Treaty of Chaguaramas to access the criminal side of the Caribbean Court of Justice, Mr. Mitchell said there are some interests in The Bahamas joining the criminal jurisdiction of this high court. As for becoming a member of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), he said that the Cabinet of The Bahamas does not agree with going any further with this protocol. The Bahamas joined the Caribbean Community July 4, 1983. Mr. Mitchell is representing the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie, Prime Minister who is unable to attend due to the death of his mother-in-law Trixie Hanna. Mr. Mitchell is being accompanied by Minister of State for Finance Michael Halkitis, Minister of State for Legal Affairs Damian Gomez and, Nicole Archer and Charmaine Williams who are Foreign Service workers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The CARICOM Conference ends Friday, July 6, 2012.
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