Commonwealth Secretary-General commends Bahamas ahead of impending General Elections

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Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, in dialogue with Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt. Hon. Baroness Patricia Scotland (left, foreground) at the ministry’s Head Offices, University Drive and Bethel Avenue. Also pictured (left to right) are: Ms. Melvelyn Symonette, First Assistant Secretary, Department of Gender and Family Affairs; Ms. Phedra Rahming, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, and Dr. Jacinta Higgs, former Director of the Department of Gender and Family Affairs. (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)

From: Bahamas Information Services

Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt. Hon. Baroness Patricia Scotland, P.C., Q.C., commended The Bahamas, and the country’s political parties, for their “commitment to democracy” ahead of the impending General Elections, scheduled for September 16, 2021.
Early voting for those elections took place in an Advanced Poll on Thursday, September 9, 2021.

The first female to serve as Commonwealth Secretary-General, Baroness Scotland was in New Providence for the Commonwealth Law Association Meeting, held September 5-9. The Commonwealth Secretary-General is responsible for: management of the Commonwealth Secretariat; promoting and protecting the Commonwealth’s values, and representing the Commonwealth publicly.

“This morning (Monday, September 5) the Leader of the Opposition was present at the Commonwealth Law Association Meeting. He was graciously acknowledged by the Attorney-General who welcomed him and the atmosphere was one of comity and respect, and I think that is a very powerful message for the rest of the Commonwealth to see and to hear that amongst Bahamians, we may disagree on certain issues but that does not undermine our sense of humanity, our sense of brotherhood, our sense of respect for each other and neither does it undermine our adherence and commitment to the rule of law, to democratic principles and the value of humanity particularly in these challenging times of COVID-19 and Climate Change,” Baroness Scotland said.

“I think that is something that we should really celebrate because we take this stuff for granted and other countries do not have it. That is certainly something that struck me very culpably. I was proud, I was actually really proud of that.

“The interesting thing – and I hope that the Bahamian people are proud of this – is that all parties are committed to democracy and
there is a grace in the way in which Bahamians treat each other which I wish everyone would emulate,” Baroness Scotland added. The Commonwealth Secretary-General’s comments came during a Courtesy Call on Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, and a subsequent High Level Discussion at the ministry’s Head Office located University Drive and Bethel Avenue.

The Secretary-General was accompanied by Mr. Linford Andrews, Political Advisor, Governance and Peace Directorate,

Commonwealth Secretariat. Minister Campbell was accompanied by Ms. Phedra Rahming, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development; Dr. Jacinta Higgs, former Director of the Department of Gender and Family Affairs, and Ms. Melvelyn Symonette, First Assistant Secretary, Department of Gender and Family Affairs.

The Discussion centred on a number of wide-ranging areas including Climate Change, Trade, Gender-Based Violence, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Women in Politics, Gender Equity, Women’s Empowerment, Data Collection and Analysis, and Funding, among others.

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