The Hon. Darren Henfield, Minister of Foreign Affairs engaged in a virtual dialogue with the Permanent Observers of the Organization of the American States (OAS) in a Meeting ahead of the 50th Annual Session of the General Assembly.
Minister Henfield thanked the observer governments for their support of the OAS and its member states and stressed the importance of greater collaboration between OAS members and observers as the region continues to experience more frequent, more intense and more catastrophic weather events because of climate change. The COVID-19 pandemic, he said, has served to deepen the necessity for Governments to do all that we can to mitigate our vulnerabilities by building resilience into every aspect of our existence.
The Minister highlighted that the continued use of per capita GDP/GNP as a measurement of wealth prohibits small, progressive, yet developing states, like The Bahamas, from obtaining official aid and loans on a concessional basis. Furthermore, actions taken by developed countries regarding correspondent and international banking continue to endanger small countries. He appealed to developed countries to resist the urge to act arbitrarily in these matters.
The Minister, while welcoming the partnership of the observer countries, invited them to as a small island developing state and to look at ways and means that they might be able to further assist our recovery from hurricanes like Dorian; establish parity in the distribution of medicines and other accoutrements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; achieve more consultation in determining our banking status; and to build resilience in our infrastructure and economy.
The 50th OAS General Assembly will take place 20 ± 21 October 2020 under the theme Facing the Challenges of COVID-19 in the Hemisphere: A Collaborative Approach to Address Vulnerabilities and Build Resilience in Times of Crisis, Based on the Four Pillars
of the OAS ́.