Thanks to the efforts of the Straw Market Authority and the Straw Vendors and Woodcarvers employed at the Downtown, Bay Street Straw Market, the Sir Victor Sassoon Bahamas Heart Foundation is the beneficiary of a cheque totaling approximately $3,000. Kevin Simmons, Chairman of the Straw Market Authority, along with some of the vendors and woodcarvers presented the cheque to Roy Barnes, Chairman of the Sir Victor Sassoon Bahamas Heart Foundation, during a brief ceremony in the Straw Market on Tuesday, May 2nd. This is the fourth year that the Straw Market Authority along with the vendors and woodcarvers have hosted “The Bay Street Mile,” a walkathon in aid of the charitable organization,.“I am happy to say that we have increased our contribution almost three fold. It shows that all involved have an appreciation for the work that you do for the children,” said Mr. Simmons. Some of our vendor’s children are recipients of your good deeds.

    Mr. Barnes said the Foundation is always happy to work with the Straw Market Authority and their efforts for the heart foundation are appreciated. “Every year we count on the public support, businesses support and organizations like the Straw Market to make sure that we never say no to a child in need of heart surgery. Once again the Straw Market Authority has come through for us,” he added. The Sir Victor Sassoon Heart Foundation was established in 1961 as a living tribute by Lady Sassoon, following the death of her husband, Sir Victor Sassoon, to assist Bahamians with heart disease. The walkathon was held on Saturday, April 29th.




    The Government has constructed a new Regatta Village in George Town, Exuma, home of The National Family Island Regatta. Some 1.1 acres of the seabed off the main road near the George Town Dock have been reclaimed to erect stalls for vendors to sell their wares. Stalls were previously set up along the roadside between Queen’s Highway and the George Town Dock. Danny Strachan, Chairman and Commodore of the National Family Island Regatta Committee, is pleased with the construction of the new Village which was completed in time for the 64th National Family Island Regatta, April 25-29.He said: “It is going very well. Last night [April 28th] we had several thousand people at the site. When we were on the streets, that would have not been possible.”Two years ago a contract for the 3-phase construction was awarded to G and L Construction at an estimated cost of over $1 million.

    Construction began in January of 2017 and was completed at the end of March.“The reclamation area is actually finished. The next stage is to build a permanent structure on there so we can control the quality of what is put out there. So, as opposed to vendors building their own stalls, they will rent the stalls from the Committee. They will be properly constructed and designed with landscaping,” Mr. Strachan said. “Shacks are a thing of the past. We are going to be building something more appropriate for a national event, like a housing site,” he added.Moreover, the Commodore revealed that approximately 20,000 square feet of the site next to the Regatta Park will be used to construct a new George Town Straw Market. Straw vendors have been operating under a tent next to the Police Station in George Town since a fire destroyed the Straw Market in 2015. The third stage of the Regatta Village will comprise landscaping of the site.




    Persons must seek to get professional help if they realize that they are having mental challenges, whether caused by duress or resulting from a change in the brain’s chemistry or related to a congenital or developmental challenge, said Chairman of the Public Hospitals Authority, Senator the Hon. Frank Smith. “Experience and statistical evidence suggests that mental health interventions do have an impact; but stigma must not be allowed to continue to prevent those needing counselling, medication and other therapies from accessing care because they are more concerned with being labelled by family members, friends, neighbours, employers and the wider community.” Mr. Smith was speaking at the Commissioning Ceremony for the Community Counselling & Assessment Centre, Collins Avenue, Wednesday, April 26, 2017. Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie; Managing Director, PHA, Herbert Brown and other distinguished guests were also in attendance. Mr. Smith noted that every day, efforts are being made to reduce stigma and discrimination with respect to mental illness; and the important work must continue until erroneous beliefs regarding those dealing with mental health disorders no longer create barriers to care and treatment. “One approach to diminishing stigma, and creating the understanding desired, is to design promotional campaigns via Radio, Television, Newspapers and Social media similar to crime stoppers and other initiatives where the language, and message is easily assimilated that there is no shame in needing mental health care. Mr. Smith said the recent initiatives and accomplishments in Mental Health such as the WHO Mental Health Gap Action Program (mhGap) program and mental health services accessed through the primary care centres, and community clinics continue to be a frontline detection method of mental health challenges and episodes; which when detected can eventually be treated by trained professionals within our mental health services with the goal of returning that individual back to normalcy as a remedy is effected.

    He said the Colombo program is another such initiative with the objective of enhancing drug treatment, drug use prevention, and the training of Policing and Correctional professionals in detecting and dealing with persons suffering from addiction disorders. “I am pleased to report that earlier this month 13 officers from the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services, four educators and supervisors from the Ministry of Education successfully completed the first Colombo Echo Training program. “This points to yet another initiative undertaken by Sandilands, in collaboration with the US Embassy and Department of State, to address the persistent demand for effective intervention with respect to addiction out of the means available to combat mental health issues.”The Chairman explained that with the advent of NHI and its linkages with Mental Health Services, it is anticipated that chronic health conditions among the mentally ill will be more speedily addressed. “Too often with the progression of mental disorders the communication between care givers and patients becomes diminished, and unfortunately patient recognition of medical onsets are often delayed, and not immediately communicated. This unfortunately leads to detection of serious medical conditions at a more advanced stage than would normally occur,” he said. “Indeed, I am pleased that the development of community-based mental health services will not be limited to this new building, which is larger, modern, and equipped to more efficiently house the work of community counselling than its predecessors.“Rather this facility should be viewed as an exciting launching pad for strategic outreach into communities that will result in an impactful presence throughout our primary care networks and other innovative avenues,” Mr. Smith said.




    NAI Bahamas Realty Commercial, a member of the world’s premier managed network of commercial real estate firms, is pleased to announce that it has been included in The Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) Top 100 Office Transaction List of 2016.

    The SIOR Top 100 Office Transaction List ranks the largest office transactions by square feet, completed by SIOR members throughout the world.

    The awards were derived from nearly 650 SIOR members who reported close to 2,000 transactions totaling more than USD $8.6 billion in leases and sales, and represents more than 12,343,138 in square feet of property in categories including: industrial; investment; office; land; alternative assets; associate; and redevelopment.

    NAI Bahamas Realty Commercial ranked 66th among SIOR members in the world in this prestigious list for the sale of the 59,710 sq. ft. UBS corporate centre on East Bay St. in Nassau, Bahamas.

    “We’re proud to join this impressive list of brokers whose efforts have distinguished them as industry leaders and experts,” said Larry Roberts, CEO of NAI Bahamas Realty Commercial. “This achievement is an honour, and really the result of the trust and confidence placed in us by our clients, combined with our strict attention to all details of a transaction.”

    The largest office sale transaction, both by dollar volume and square footage, was a 806,864-square-foot office building sale in Kansas City for $94 million.

    NAI Bahamas Realty Commercial was named the 2016 President’s Award Winner by NAI Global for its success in the international commercial real estate market.




    Eight new Bahamas Bureau of Standards and Quality criteria have been added to local products and services to safeguard consumers. The standards include: the labeling of pre-packaged foods, and tobacco products; grading requirements for table eggs; specification for poultry and poultry products; poultry feed and feed ingredients; specification for cement; general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories and requirements for quality and competence in medical laboratories. The first six standards are adopted from CARICOM Regional Standards (CRS) and the latter two are adopted from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).Minister of Financial Services and Local Government, the Hon. Hope Strachan, whose portfolio includes the BBSQ, said, April 24, 2017 in a press conference at the Ministry, that given the importance of imports to the Bahamian economy, these voluntary regional and international standards would ensure that imported goods meet minimum quality requirements to protect Bahamian consumers.

    Minister Strachan also stated that the standards could serve to boost the country’s economy as they promote quality standards in the production of goods thereby facilitating greater access of Bahamian products on global markets.“As we forge ahead to meet world standards in our local product offerings, it is incumbent on all of us in both the private and public sectors to pledge our commitment to promote superior quality to ensure that every effort is being made to reach or exceed world expectations,” said Minister Strachan. She applauded the work of the bureau and the technical committees who volunteered their time and expertise in the development of the eight national standards.Accordingly, Minister Strachan said that standardization also reduces trade barriers, enhances innovation and competitiveness and opens up foreign markets.The standards were approved in April 2017 and will ensure that consumers receive the highest levels of quality in the local products they purchase.

    Director of the Bahamas Bureau of Standards, Dr. Renae Bufford said that standardization plays a key role in innovation and economic growth. She said that embracing world standards is significant as it prepares a country’s entrepreneurs for the world market.“Standardization is key to our success and has long been an important vehicle for innovation and economic development,” said Director Bufford. “Standards assist us in the process of achieving and promoting a culture of quality and assurance to producers and consumers, for goods imported or manufactured locally.”The BBSQ, by virtue of the Standards Act of 2006, is mandated to prepare, promote and adopt and implement standards from a national, regional and international basis for all goods, services, practices and processes used or produced locally. Adopting and implementing standards establishes compliance with regional and international treaties such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), and promotes access to procedural frameworks that are part of a stable, predictable trading environment.




    The Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission’s decision to take a public health approach to the treatment of drug use and related disorders is one that should be embraced, the Deputy Director of Psychological Services at Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre in The Bahamas, Rochelle Basden, told delegates attending the Third Plenary Session of the 61st CICAD Regular Session Tuesday at OAS Headquarters in the US capital. Ms. Basden said the public health dimension has gained momentum as nations strive for a more integrated and balanced approach to addressing the world drug problem. “As an archipelagic nation stretching from Haiti in the South to Florida in the north, we share a strong history in drug interdiction with our ally, the United States of America, and Turks and Caicos through the OPBAT Initiative, but we recognize all too well the need for a shared responsibility in addressing the world drug problem,” Ms. Basden said. “So we put our money where our mouth is and not only aim to curb supply and maintain law and order, but we also recognize the need to treat persons, families and communities affected by drug use with dignity and respect. We therefore embrace a Public Health approach to the treatment of drug use disorders and related problems.”

    Presenting on the subject, “Drug Treatment Services in the Caribbean Region,” as part of the Plenary Session that focused on “The Provision of Drug Treatment Services: Challenges and Solutions,” Ms. Basden said public health officials in The Bahamas have for some time held the view that a public health approach should be used in the treatment of drug use and related disorders. Ms. Basden said Bahamian public healthcare officials are using a multi-disciplinary team approach to ensure that comprehensive assessment, individualized treatment, planning and referral to an “appropriate level” are carried out. She said in an effort to improve standards across service areas, Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre, the Bahamas National Drug Council and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) partnered with Bahamian stakeholders (Government and Non-governmental Organizations – NGOs) to begin the drafting of Standards of Care for drug treatment centres in The Bahamas. “Also, recent training programmes offered by PROCCER and the Colombo Plan received strong support from institutions/agencies and treatment professionals who participated in the training.” (In 2006, the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), under the Secretary for Multidimensional Security (SMS) of the Organization of American States (OAS), designed a program to develop and strengthen member states’ institutions, policies, and strategies regarding treatment and rehabilitation for individuals with problems stemming from drug abuse and related violence.

    The Training and Certification Programme for Drug Treatment, Rehabilitation and Violence Prevention, (PROCCER) created a Training and Certification Model that may be implemented throughout the hemisphere in response to the need for trained prevention and treatment service providers working in violence and drug addiction.) Ms. Basden said in addition to the use of a multi-disciplinary team approach, screening, comprehensive assessment, individualized treatment planning, referral, follow up and social re-integration, interventions such as individual, group and family therapy, psycho-education, motivational interviewing and enhancement therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, occupational therapy and recreational therapy are used.

    “These interventions form the bedrock of the treatment process at the Government facilities,” Ms. Basden said. She said Inpatient drug treatment services are provided within the Government-operated Psychiatric Hospital (Sandilands), a medically managed facility, and include detoxification and withdrawal management; partial hospitalization programme; treatment for special populations experiencing co-occurring disorders, cognitive impairment, complications of medical and psychiatric conditions, impaired function in older adults; as well as medium-term, medically monitored, residential treatment in a modified (evolving) therapeutic community setting, and follow-up and aftercare services.

    Ms. Basden said Bahamian magistrates have been “using their discretion” to offer drug treatment as an alternative to incarceration for a variety of drug-related offences, particularly in the cases of young, first time offenders.“This process is facilitated through collaboration with the mental health system and Social Services,” she added. Just last year during the 60th CICAD Regular Session held in Nassau, Minister of National Security, the Hon. Dr. Bernard J. Nottage announced that The Bahamas was in the critical stages of establishing Drug Treatment Courts as alternatives to incarceration for drug-dependent offenders, providing treatment and rehabilitation. Dr. Nottage said Bahamian officials had also embarked upon a series of other initiatives focused on at-risk youth including the establishment of Community Youth Centres that will provide healthy alternative services and programmes. “Participating youth will receive training in hospitality, self-esteem building, motivational and personal development. These centres will be spaces where youth can have positive interactions and hopefully be dissuaded from using illicit drugs, joining gangs, or engaging in conflict with the law.”

    CICAD’s Executive Secretary, Ambassador Adam Namm, said Monday during the Opening Session of the 61st Regular Session of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) that he looked forward to working with hemispheric ministries of health, national drug commissions and civil society in the formulation of pubic policy related to drug prevention, treatment and rehabilitation in a shift in focus towards treating drug use and abuse as a public health issue. “The new paradigm in drug control policy requires all of us to go beyond dialogues and achieve tangible results,” Ambassador Namm said. “This Executive Secretariat stands ready to assist our Member States as we face the challenge together through a holistic, balanced and multi-disciplinary approach, promoting dialogue and cooperation. “Our Executive Secretariat will continue to train health professionals in order to improve the treatment offered to drug dependents, centering activities on the individual as the focus of interventions,” Ambassador Namm said.




    Day Two of the 61st Regular Session of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) opened in the US Capital Tuesday morning with a focus on “The Provision of Drug Treatment Services: Challenges and Solutions” during the Third Plenary Session. The Bahamas sits as Chair of the 61st Regular Session of CICAD, having ascended to the position at the 60th Regular Session held in Nassau in 2016. Discussions are being held in the General Services Building (GSB) of the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States. Rochelle Basden, Deputy Director of Psychological Services, Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre, was one of three panelists for the Third Plenary Session. The others were Patrice Whitehorne-Smith, Drug Treatment Specialist, Jamaica and Luis Alfonzo, Advisor on Substance Abuse, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Pernell Clarke of the Inter-American Observatory on Drugs (OID), ES/CICAD served as Moderator. The objective of the Session was to examine the policy and operational challenges faced by some countries in the hemisphere in the provision of drug treatment services. The 61st CICAD Session opened on Monday with Bahamas Ambassador to the United Nations in New York and Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), His Excellency Dr. Elliston Rahming telling delegates that The Bahamas remains committed to supporting the work of the OAS in identifying effective ways in which to address the world drug problem during his Opening Remarks.

    Ambassador Rahming told a packed room of delegates that the Government of The Bahamas remains “actively engaged” with international drug control bodies such as the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (UNCND) and CICAD in addressing the global drug problem and that the country has established a National Anti-Drug Strategy (2012-2016) that provides a comprehensive, integrated approach aimed at countering the drug problem from a national standpoint in The Bahamas. Ambassador Rahming said the Hemispheric group’s “concerted efforts toward the higher goal of winning the war against drugs should therefore serve as the basis upon which we as, Member States, design new policies, update regulatory frameworks and devise effective solutions suitable to the needs of our respective countries and the wider Western Hemisphere. “Since ascending to the chairmanship of CICAD, The Bahamas has continued to support and to collaborate with Member States in countering the hemispheric illegal drug trade,” Ambassador Rahming said. “We look forward to continued engagement with the CICAD Executive Secretariat and are committed to supporting the work of the OAS in identifying effective ways in which to address the world drug problem.”

    Recently appointed CICAD Executive Secretary, Ambassador Adam Namm applauded The Bahamas, officials at the Ministry of National Security and the National Anti-Drug Secretariat (NADS) for their roles in making his travel to Nassau in April for a preparatory meeting ahead of the 61st Regular Session this month “interesting and informative.” Ambassador Namm made an Official Visit to the Ministry of National Security where he met with Minister of National Security, the Hon. Dr. Bernard J. Nottage; Permanent Secretary Carl Smith, and staff of the National Anti-Drug Secretariat led by Dr. Chaswell Hanna. Discussions centred around the Draft Agenda for the 61st Session. Additional discussions centred around Supply Reduction initiatives, support for at-risk youth and drug treatment. “I very much appreciated the opportunity to meet with the Minister of National Security of The Bahamas, Dr. Bernard Nottage; Permanent Secretary, Mr. Carl Smith; Dr. Chaswell Hanna and Dr. Bridgette Rolle,” Ambassador Namm said. “I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to The Bahamas for its wonderful hospitality and for hosting an interesting and informative meeting schedule. Supply reduction initiatives, support for youth at risk and drug treatment challenges were among areas highlighted by the CICAD Chair as meriting particular attention – all forming part of the CICAD agenda items for this 61st Session,” Ambassador Namm added.




    At the Commissioning Ceremony of the new 300-foot transmission tower of the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas, to provide "Free To Air" television and increase the frequency of 1540AM, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie rhetorically asked the question, why make such a “big to do” out of commissioning of the new tower. "I was told that the answer lies in the fact that this is another technological and engineering advancement that has been made by the Broadcasting Corporation in its over 80 years of existence and service to the Bahamian people; and I like to point out, on these types of occasions, that this new infrastructure represents a significant investment of the public funds in this project," Prime Minister Christie said, on April 24, 2017, at the Harold Pond (off Tonique Williams Darling Highway) site."It is necessary to point this out because there are some people who seem not to appreciate what it takes in the total scheme of things to manage and run a government," he added. "Today, you are looking at one such service that has been provided by the Government through one of its corporations."

    Among those taking part in the ceremony were Minister of National Security (with responsibility for the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas) the Hon. Dr. Bernard Nottage, Chairman of the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas Rev. Dr. William Thompson, and General Manager of the Corporation Ms. Diana Swann. Prime Minister Christie congratulated all persons concerned in the project which, he reiterated, was aimed at two significant innovations to benefit the general public. "The first is that it will allow for the provision of 'free to air' television for those homes which may not be connected to Cable or to BTC Flow television," he said. "I am advised that you are now able to sit at home and, without the benefit of cable, be able to watch quality television from the ZNS Network with no cost to yourself." "The second significant result of this tower having been erected is that it will increase the frequency of ZNS Radio 1540 to reach a wider audience and with clearer frequency and this is so important to those persons in areas of this country where the signal of the national broadcast system has been less than adequate," he added.

    Both of those technological improvements, Prime Minister Christie pointed out, were aimed at ensuring that everyone would now have access to the latest in communication and that they would be adequately informed through news and other programmes. "This is another step forward and one which should not be understated," he said. Prime Minister Christie said that, looking back over the 80-plus years of the existence, growth and development of the Broadcasting Corporation, it was pleasing to note that with limited resources, it has steadily maintained its mission and mandate -- which is to allow for the broadcast of news and information to all corners of The Bahamas. "The ZNS Network has that heavy responsibility to provide a balanced package of entertainment without deviating from the highest standard of news and entertainment," he stated. "When many others thought it might fail, it has not; but it has continued and it will continue to provide the best public broadcasting that this country can expect. "Today, more than 80 years since its first faint signals went out, the ZNS Network has become an indispensable tool of modern mass communication and thanks to improved technology, such as the one we are inaugurating today; its signal is heard across The Bahamas."

    Prime Minister Christie said that it has become the gold standard of broadcast news and entertainment and despite the influx of other broadcast media, FM Stations, television and now even phone communication on devices such as WhatsApp and other such media, the ZNS Network is there to turn to when all other sources fail or falter. "More than ever, in this age when anything goes for news and opinion or entertainment, as I had indicated, we need this one station to maintain its highest standards and to provide that qualitative alternative for the discerning listener," he said. The ZNS Network provides news, both local and international; provides a multidimensional stream of entertainment, both through music and other programmes; but more importantly it serves a great social cause and meets the needs of the community, Prime Minister Christie noted. "When I speak about ZNS Network fulfilling an essential social cause and community need, I think of the listener in remote places such as Pirates Well, Mayaguana or Salina Point, Acklins, or Burnt Ground, Long Island or Rum Cay who tunes in daily, out of necessity, to hear the weather forecast, the shipping news, the community announcements and other such happenings which have a direct impact on their lives," he stated.

    In times of natural disasters, most recently in the passage of Hurricanes Joaquin and Matthew -- one in 2015 and the other in 2016, it was the ZNS Network that has always met the vital needs of communicating weather bulletins, emergency notices and other official announcements and the like to listeners who in nearly all instances have no way of hearing about such things as it relates to The Bahamas, Prime Minister Christie pointed out. "I say all of this to say to the staff of the ZNS Network, that falls under the umbrella of the Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas, that yours is a special responsibility -- a special mandate -- and it demands more of you than that of your competitors," he said. "There is so much more ‘Fake News’ going around that I want you to reach that point -- as I have indicated and I have stressed it -- where the public would have to ask: Did you hear that on ZNS? More is expected of you by your listeners. You must not fall into the trap of following your competition – let them match your standards." Prime Minister Christie said that his point in all that he said that day was that there is a place for professionalism and high standards and he could think of no better electronic media that fulfills that role better than the ZNS Network through both its television and radio services. "It is for me, therefore, to once again congratulate the Minister, Dr. Bernard Nottage; the Chairman, Rev. Dr. William Thompson; and the Board and the management for making this investment -- both in cash and in technology -- so as to ensure that the Bahamian public stays fully in tune with the ZNS Network and it is my considerable privilege and pride to be with you on this occasion."




    For the third consecutive time the United States team captured the coveted Golden Baton to win, overall, the IAAF World Relays Bahamas 2017. The event was held April 22-23, 2017 at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium where thousands gathered to cheer on their favourite country and athlete. A rush of glitter, fireworks and an electrifying performance by a Junkanoo group backed the announcement that the United States had emerged the overall winner. The United States captured five of the nine events, silver in two events and a third in another – totaling 60 points. Jamaica, second with 39 points. Australia was third with 24, edging Poland by just one point. The USA won the men’s 4x800m, and men and women’s 4x400m on the final day.

    The final day also saw The Bahamas winning its only medal, a gold, in the mixed 4x400m. The only event where the USA failed to score was in the women’s 4x100m, due to its runner slipping and falling. The German team took advantage of that and beat out the next contender the Jamaicans for the gold medal. The overall team ranking and marks: United States, 60; Jamaica, 39, Australia, 24; Poland; 23; Trinidad and Tobago, 17; Kenya, 16; People’s Republic of China, 16; Germany, 16; The Bahamas, 15; France, 13; Botswana, 10; Canada, 8; Great Britain & NI, 8; Barbados, 7; Belarus, 7; Nigeria, 6; Netherlands, 5; Cuba, 4; Mexico, 4; Qatar, 3; Athlete Refugee Team, 2; Brazil, 2; British Virgin Islands, 2; Antigua and Barbuda, 1.

    The IAAF/BTC World Relays will return to Nassau for its fourth edition in 2019. It was the third time The Bahamas hosted the International Association of Athletics Federation World Relays Bahamas. The IAAF World Relays is the biggest sporting event ever held in The Bahamas and attracts the best athletes in the world, including Olympian medalists, like those from the 2016 Rio Olympics.The following relay races were held for both men and women are: 4x100m, 4×200, 4x400m, and 4x800m. And for the first time a mixed gender 4x400m event was staged. The top eight finishers in the 4x100m and 4x400m for both men and women earned automatic entry for the IAAF World Championships London 2017. A Junior Programme with athletes from The Bahamas was held both days prior to the IAAF World Relays Bahamas 2017. The World Relays, April 22-23, attracted more than 700 athletes from some 50 nations. Seven of those nations – Belarus, Democratic Republic of Congo, Czech Republic, Gambia, Ghana, India, and South Africa – made their IAAF World Relays debut.




    The Organization of American States (OAS) has fulfilled the wishes of OAS Member States to strengthen the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) Executive Secretariat by appointing Ambassador Adam Namm to the post of Executive Secretary of CICAD. The appointment was made in December 2016. Ambassador Namm enjoyed a distinguished 30-year career at the U.S. State Department. CICAD was without an Executive Secretary for more than 18 months following the departure of Ambassador Paul Simons in May 2015. His Excellency Nestor Mendez, Assistant Secretary-General, Organization of American States said the appointment is already paying dividends. “Less than five months into his tenure, Ambassador Namm has already effected positive change in the Executive Secretariat of CICAD and gained my confidence and that of the Secretary-General, as well as his colleagues within CICAD and other parts of the OAS.”

    His Excellency Mendez on April 24, 2017 told delegates attending the 61st Regular Session of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD – The Bahamas serves as Chair of the 61st Session) at the OAS Building in Washington, D.C. that the Western Hemisphere is in the vanguard when it comes to viewing drug addiction as a public health issue, along with other “progressive approaches” to the global drug problem. “The OAS and CICAD, specifically, play a vital role in fostering the exchange of information between Member States as well as building capacity in the countries of our hemisphere so that OAS Member States can continue to be in the vanguard vis-a-vis the drug problem,” he added. Ambassador Namm’s focus as Executive Secretary of the Executive Secretariat will be on strengthening the capacity of Member States to address the drug problem.“This CICAD meeting will allow me the opportunity to meet with many distinguished Commissioners over the next three days which I look forward to,” Ambassador Namm said.

    “I place high importance on ensuring that our projects and programmes contain a public health, human rights, gender and development focus. In this regard, we need to continue working on exploring alternatives to incarceration for drug-related crimes; continue strengthening joint CICAD/PAHO actions in the region; craft strategies to minimize the effects of drug production, trafficking and consumption amongst high-risk, vulnerable populations; and support effective, comprehensive and sustainable alternative development policies that guarantee the basic rights of individuals in rural and urban areas.” Executive Secretary Namm traveled to Nassau earlier this month for a preparatory meeting ahead of the 61st Regular Session. He applauded The Bahamas for making the trip “interesting and informative.”

    “Given that I came aboard at the beginning of December (2016), I unfortunately missed the 60th regular Session of CICAD in Nassau. However, I did have the opportunity to travel to Nassau and very much appreciated the opportunity to meet with the Minister of National Security of The Bahamas, Dr. Bernard Nottage; Permanent Secretary, Mr. Carl Smith; Dr. Chaswell Hanna and Dr. Bridgette Rolle. “I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to The Bahamas for its wonderful hospitality and for hosting an interesting and informative meeting schedule. Supply reduction initiatives, support for youth at risk and drug treatment challenges were among areas highlighted by the CICAD Chair as meriting particular attention – all forming part of the CICAD agenda items for this 61st Session,” Ambassador Namm said.







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