NASSAU, The Bahamas – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration the Hon. Brent Symonette renewed his call for “collective commitment to excellence and sustainable results” between The Bahamas and countries it has diplomatic relations with.

He made the call at the Honorary Consular Corps Annual Christmas Luncheon held Thursday, December 16, 2010 at the Lyford Cay Club. The event is an avenue where the minister discusses achievements and goals of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as it relates to diplomatic relations between The Bahamas and countries represented.

“Please convey to your capitals that the commitment and cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Government of The Bahamas remain consistent in the pursuit of policies and measures for our mutual benefit,” Mr. Symonette told the ambassadors, honorary consuls and representatives of organisations within the United Nations and other world bodies.

He mentioned the January 12, 2010 earthquake, which devastated Haiti and called on representatives of countries in The Bahamas not to forget this catastrophic tragedy.

“We must see our commitment to Haiti through and let the circumstances continue to give us the kind of strength needed to persevere as we stride side by side in all our important and common activities,” Mr. Symonette said.

The year 2010 focused on Human Rights, the global financial crisis, climate change, food and energy security, the UN Millennium Goals, and combating hunger, poverty and international terrorism. The Bahamas was represented at meetings reflecting on the need to prepare for better times, Mr. Symonette said.

“Of critical importance was the issue of Climate Change and related sea-level rise, which can see the disappearance of Small Island Developing States and the coastal areas of many other states, including in our hemisphere, if global temperature rise is allowed to exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius,” he said.

The parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change had agreed to continue efforts toward consensus legally binding commitments by the end of 2011, and mobilisation of the $100 billion fund contained in the 2009 Copenhagen Accord to finance the support for mitigation and adaptation processes in Developing States under a strengthened climate regime.

At the Sixty-fifth Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Symonette participated in the 13th Informal COFCOR Meeting of CARICOM Foreign Ministers with the Foreign Minister of Australia in a select Meeting of the Global Governance Group (3G), a consultative initiative to provide input into the G20 process by non-members; the 34th Annual Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Group of 77 and China; and bilateral meetings with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, Argentina, Hungary, Canada, Serbia and Bahrain.

The Bahamas also participated in Shanghai Expo 2010, at which Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham attended the closing ceremony; and hosted the Official Visit of Chairman Wu Bangguo, of the Standing Committee of the National’s People Congress of the People’s Republic of China.

The Bahamas welcomed the US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Dr Arturo Valenzuela; the US Government provided assistance to The Bahamas with respect to the global issue of trafficking in persons; hosted the annual Counter-Narcotics and Illegal Migration Joint Task Force Meeting; and signed 22 Tax Information Exchange Agreements.

“We have some important work ahead of us, not just at the international level but also bilaterally. Work that, in some instances begins with the election of candidates from some countries represented. We hope to count on your support when The Bahamas puts forward her own candidacies in the coming month.” Mr. Symonette said.