NASSAU, The Bahamas – Against the backdrop of the United Nations new sustainable development goals that “no one should be left behind,” The Bahamas, through the National Insurance Board, is hosting two social security conferences aimed at improving lives in the region.
Prime Minister the Rt. Hon Perry Christie delivered the keynote address at the official opening of the Meeting of the Inter-American Conference on Social Security (CAOSA) on Monday, April 25, 2016 at the Grand Ballroom, Atlantis on Paradise Island.
Underscoring the importance of Governments providing for citizens who are unable to take care of themselves, he referred to the biblical scripture of Matthew 25:40 …whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
“There can be no doubt that one of the most enduring legacies that a Government can provide to its people is the creation of safety nets that offer a measure of protection during those times when persons are unable, through some form of employment interruption, to earn an income,” the Prime Minister said.
The conference is being held under the theme: “Risk and Resiliency.” The purpose is to promote continuing dialogue between heads of Social Security within this hemisphere on key issues such as: Unemployment Disability Security, Management of Risk for Innovation and Change, Protection of Pension Security Systems in the Economic Recession, and Efforts to Educate Students on Social Security Programmes.
The Prime Minister noted that the theme is a very timely topic, particularly in a world that is fraught with uncertainties, but in which Governments are challenged to make profound adjustments to the way in which human beings are being valued by society within the context of a fundamental development shift.
He noted that the new sustainable development goals of the United Nations have set the ambitious target that no one should be left be behind.
“This requires Governments, more now than ever, to alter past governance practices in ways designed to guarantee each citizen basic attributes of human dignity in the way he goes about his everyday life, and in a way that meets his reasonable expectations,” the Prime Minister said.
He shared that The Bahamas has successfully implemented several initiatives that seek to guard against certain life challenges. And, that the Government proposes to introduce universal health care to tackle the inequities that presently exist within the country with access to affordable healthcare.
And, as the conference also seeks to address investments, universal healthcare topics, occupational health and safety issues, he said he hopes to receive a brief on the outcomes of the deliberations among the estimated 100 overseas delegates at the conference.
Among the delegates in attendance are the Hon. Shane Gibson, Minister of Labour, National Insurance and the Public Service; Omar de la Torre, Secretary General, Inter-American Conference on Social Security; Vance Teal, President of the American Commission on Organization and Administration Systems; Renae McKay, Chairman, NIB and other board members; and Rowena Bethel, Director/NIB.
The subsequent conference the 27th Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Social Security (CAOSA) will be held April 27-29, 2016, in the Grand Ballroom of the Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island. The Hon. Shane Gibson, Minister of Labour, National Insurance and the Public Service, will bring remarks.