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26658: Wharram (news) BAHAMAS' ECONOMY LINKED TO HAITI'S INSTABILITY (fwd)
Monday, November 21, 2005
The Nassau Guardian
Local economy impacted by Haiti
PM CHRISTIE: BAHAMAS' ECONOMY LINKED TO HAITI'S INSTABILITY
By IANTHIA SMITH, Guardian Staff Reporter
The Bahamas' economic stability continues to be at risk, as long as the
impoverished situations in Haiti continue.
Prime Minister Perry Christie said traditionally, The Bahamas has had to
bear the brunt of the destitute conditions in Haiti, from the thousands of
illegal immigrants coming to The Bahamas. Speaking at a press conference
before leaving for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference in Malta,
PM Christie said he will outline to world leaders the burden The Bahamas has
to take, arising from the deteriorating economy in Haiti.
"I think we would always take the opportunity when we meet with world
leaders, to remind them of the obligation to ensure the stability in Haiti
and to take such steps to ensure that comes about," he said. "That is very
significant to our country and the stability of The Bahamas is directly
related to it."
He added that as long as Haiti's economy remains unstable, The Bahamas is at
risk. PM Christie also explained the policy adopted by the two governments
that says if a person came to The Bahamas before 1985, then the government
has the discretion of accommodating them and it is expected that by the
treaty, the government would provide accommodation for those arriving on The
Bahamas before the said period. He added that according to the agreement,
individuals arriving in the country after that year are subjected to
"So far as The Bahamas is concerned, it means therefore, in the true
enforcement of any immigration policy, the persons who have come to The
Bahamas after 1985, not withstanding their longevity here, can in fact be
returned home by what was a negotiated position between the governments of
Haiti and The Bahamas."
PM Christie said this is a very significant issue to our country and he will
outline the particulars at the conference.
The meeting will also give world leaders an opportunity to focus on issues
pertinent to the Commonwealth he said and The Bahamas will have a chance to
engage in bilateral and direct discussion with leaders of other countries,
of topics relevant to the country. He added that the conference will look at
issues such as the proposed reform for the United Nations, light weapons and
"[We will examine] a broad view of the world and global events and their
impact on our country," PM Christie said.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell was also at the press conference
and said The Bahamas will be removed from the Commonwealth Ministerial
Action Group (CMAG) after serving four years and will be replaced by another
Caribbean country. CMAG is the democratic watch group that is established to
look over democracy in the commonwealth.
The Bahamian delegation will be headed by PM Christie and accompanying him
will be Minister Fred Mitchell, Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe and
members of their professional staff.
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference will be the prime minister's
first since suffering illness earlier this year. He is expected to return on
Copyright © 2005 The Nassau Guardian. All rights reserved.