The passage of the Harbour Dues Amendment Bill 2019, will allow the Government of The Bahamas to address at least five of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030, Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, told the House of Assembly Tuesday (October 29). These include Goals Number One, Seven, Eight and Eleven, the four to which Minister Campbell spoke directly. The Sustainable Development Goals, 2030, also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.
The SDGs form the blueprint for the global achievement of a better, more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges the global community faces including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace and justice for all. The Goals interconnect in order to leave no one behind.
Minister Campbell said the Amendment to the Bill, which was passed unanimously, is expected to facilitate the partnership the Government of The Bahamas is entering into with Global Ports, an international port operator, which will invest $250Million into the redevelopment of the Prince George Wharf.
Seconding the Bill, Minister Campbell said he was “more than pleased” to be contributing to the debate as the Minister of Social Services and Urban Development due to the fact that the Bill addressed a significant number of the Sustainable Development Goals. “When the Minister for Transport and Local Government (the Hon. Renward Wells) introduced in his debate the Sustainable Development Goals and he highlighted one of them, my excitement about what is happening grew even as the Bill refers to, and speaks to, a number of those Sustainable Goals which the members opposite so wisely saw fit and had the mantle to sign onto, and us, acknowledging that governments are continuous, will continue to work towards,” Minister Campbell said.
“Sustainable Goal Number One speaks to no poverty. Imagine in the aftermath of all that is going on, the opportunity to participate in a $250Million investment with $10Million set aside to ensure that the average Bahamian can participate in owning shares in this public private partnership. Mr. Speaker that will help us to reduce poverty. “Further, Mr. Speaker, we have not only been assured that all of the vendors and entrepreneurs that are presently participating selling their wares and services at the Prince George Wharf are assured of their spot, are assured that they will not be disenfranchised, but we are further assured that a number of additional opportunities will become available for persons to participate in the arts, in food and beverage, for persons to sell more wares and so we are talking about securing existing jobs and creating new jobs – that addresses Sustainable Development Goal Number 8 which speaks to good jobs and economic growth. So we continue to build.”
Minister Campbell said the Bill also “spoke” to the assurance of the use of Renewable Energy, which he said, addresses Sustainable Goal Number Seven – Affordable and Clean Energy. Minister Campbell spoke to the final of the four Sustainable Development Goals he commented on which he says the Bill will address – Goal Number Eleven – Sustainable Cities and Communities. “Mr. Speaker, we are assured that our vision for the renewal, revival and restoration of the downtown area, Bay Street, will all be part and parcel of this development to complement the new Central Bank Building, to complement the new Court Building, to complement the new Embassy to create the kind of energy that will be generated from this and guess what, Sustainable Goal Number Eleven speaks to Sustainable Cities and Communities – we continue to build and work towards these sustainable goals. “Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt in my mind that this is the right thing for the right time and so without any further delay, without going beyond, I am pleased to Second this Bill,” Minister Campbell added.