H.E. Chet Donovan Neymour presented his Letters of Credence as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of The Bahamas to the United Nations to Secretary General of the United Nations, H.E. António Guterres, on Monday, May 17th, 2021, during a ceremony held in the Qatar Lounge at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Ambassador Neymour has extensive Bahamian Public Service and diplomatic experience. Within the Bahamian Public Service, he has served as Deputy Director of Economic Planning with oversight of the Multilateral/International Financial Institutions Sections in the Ministry of Finance and as the founding Secretary to what is now the Securities Commission of The Bahamas. His expansive international and multilateral experience includes his appointment as the representative for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States on the UN Conference on Sustainable Development Intergovernmental Committee of Experts (2015-2016) and his appointment as UN-CARICOM Member States Representative on the United Nations Committee of Experts on Financing for Development (2016-2017).
He also served as The Bahamas’ Representative on the UN Committee for Programme and Coordination (CPC) and the OAS Committee for Administrative and Budgetary Affairs (CAAP) along with a tenure as Charge D’Affaires/ Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of The Bahamas to the United States and Interim/Alternate Representative in the Permanent Mission to the OAS.
Ambassador Neymour also has several years of employment in the Secretariat of the OAS in Washington D.C., with appointments as Ombudsperson a.i., Advisor in the Office of the Secretary General and Director of Procurement, respectively. He most recently served as a Special Envoy on behalf of the OAS.
In his remarks, Ambassador Neymour underscored the paramount importance of the UN’s development work for The Bahamas and outlined key priority areas for the Permanent Mission of The Bahamas’ engagement with the United Nations for the biennium (2021/2022),including: the Covid-19 Pandemic and the path to recovery; Climate Change (mitigation and adaptation); Sustainable Development; Financial Services and Commerce; Irregular Migration; Multi-Dimensional Security (including Cyber Security and
Trafficking in Small Arms and Narcotics); Human Rights, Gender Rights and CEDAW, and Trafficking in Persons; IUU Fishing(Poaching) and Maritime Delimitation; and Financing for Development.
While Ambassador Neymour thanked the UN Secretary for the support provided in the wake of Hurricane Dorian and reaffirmed The Bahamas’s commitment to multilateralism and the UN’s work, he also added that: “the core of my charge as the Bahamian emissary to the United Nations will be to ensure that this institution, as the pre-eminent multilateral forum, remains fit for purpose, relevant and responsive to both persistent and emergent developmental needs and provides tangible and transformational impact for the citizens of The Bahamas, the CARICOM region and, for those of every nation.”
Regarding COVID-19 response and recovery, Ambassador Neymour advised that “The Bahamas anticipates the UN’s continued efforts to offset any possibility of the nationalism or crowding out of vaccines and medical supplies and protective wear, in addition to closing the emerging global immunity gap by enhancing the agencies capabilities to ensure that the vaccines, remedies, treatments and therapeutics for Covid-19 are safe and deemed public goods, thereby placing emphasis on ensuring expedited, equitable, transparent and nondiscriminatory access to developing and tourism dependent countries like The Bahamas”.
In addition to calling for “the incorporation of the concept of a Multidimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI) into the decision-making processes of international financial institutions and the international donor community”, Ambassador Neymour encouraged the UN to “venture farther towards the reformation of the development financing architecture and the formulation of a bespoke metric that will more adequately and relatively, reflect the realities and peculiarities of The Bahamas and by extension, other Small Island
Developing States (SIDS),through factoring and integrating inequalities and vulnerabilities across socio- economic, environmental, physical and technological parameters.”
On matters relative to financial services, and in keeping with the objective of the UN being fit for purpose, Ambassador Neymour entreated the UN to “act on its existing installed and empowered leadership role in order to ensure global anti-money laundering, de-risking and tax cooperation matters are subject to international conventions under the purview and superintendence of the UN”.
Today’s ceremony finalises the official investiture process following a virtual accreditation which was held on April 7th, 2021.