Prime Minister’s Country Message to the 77th United National General Assembly in New York City

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Prime Minister Philip Davis addressing the 77th UN General Assembly.

New York| Prime Minister Hon. Philip Davis addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations Saturday, urging delegates of the upcoming COP 27 set for Cairo, Egypt, to “write the cheque.” 

Continuing his campaign for global action on the issue of climate change, Prime Minister Davis called for action regarding climate justice and fairness, also insisting that the self-interest of many of the world’s most developed countries is at stake. 

“Taking action is not just in the interest of those of us who are particularly vulnerable. It is in the interest of every country. And it is the ‘enlightened self-interest’ that should motivate action. The good news is that there are also positive incentives – transitioning to clean energy will create jobs, increase efficiencies, and improve living standards. Again, don’t do it for us. Do it for yourselves.” 

The Prime Minister also detailed the impact of climate change on The Bahamas and the region, pointing to billions of dollars in climate debt and the need for funding to transition to renewable energy infrastructures. The Prime Minister also noted that The Bahamas has taken on initiatives, including installing solar microgrids across our islands, but that scaling up will require additional funding.

Prime Minister Davis also addressed the threat to the financial services industry, calling it “profoundly unfair”, a statement issued Friday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) placing The Bahamas on its blacklist. 

“Why is it that European states that operate frameworks akin to that of high-risk or blacklisted countries are not even eligible for inclusion on these lists? Why are all countries targeted – all of them – small and vulnerable and former colonies of European states? 

We find it astounding that the $2 – 3 trillion estimated to be laundered each year through the developed countries are never flagged as causes for concern. And yet my country, which is widely recognized as one of the best-regulated countries in the world and other countries like The Bahamas are singled out for such reputational attacks? 

The evidence is mounting that the considerations behind these decisions have less to do with compliance and more to do with darker issues of pre-judged, discriminatory perceptions. Black-governed countries also matter.” 

The Prime Minister said The Bahamas supports the call for reforms in the global financial system to make it more relevant to the day’s needs. He submitted that the community of international financial institutions is in a position to forgive the debt incurred by the economic shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Prime Minister also reiterated The Bahamas’ opposition to the embargo and sanctions on Cuba and called attention to the political vacuum left after the assassination of the President of Haiti more than one year ago, which has led to more violence within the country and created a regional threat. 

The Prime Minister also lamented the proliferation of guns into The Bahamas, which he says can be connected to criminal activity within days of landing. 

“We believe more manageable and effective efforts can be made at the source to ensure that a right to bear arms does not so quickly and easily translate into a right to traffic arms.” 

The Prime Minister congratulated the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for his leadership and for achieving an agreement with Ukraine, Russia and Turkey to restore trade in the Black Sea, noting the importance of stabilizing world food markets. 

The Prime Minister also encouraged the Assembly to support the candidature of Steven Bereaux for the seat of Director of the Telecommunications Development Bureau of the International Telecommunications Union for the term running 2023- 2026. 

Prime Minister Davis is scheduled to return to Nassau on Sunday.