Partners, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, good morning to you all.
Acknowledgement / Protocol
Thank you, Mr. Chairman Alonzo Hinsey, Manager, Information Technology, Bahamas Development Bank
- The Honourable Lisa Rahming, Minister of State in the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, the Bahamas
- Senator, the Honourable Quinton Lightbourne, Chairman, Bahamas Development Bank
- Permit me to also acknowledge Ms. Heewoong Kim, Head of Reporting, United Nations Joint SDG Fund – whose recorded message we’ll hear later this morning.
- My esteemed colleagues and heads of agencies from Bahamas’ UN Country Team:
- Ms Tonni-Ann Brodber, Representative, UN Women
- Ms Saadia Sanchez-Vegas, Director and Representative, UNESCO
- Ms Denise Antonio, UNDP Resident Representative,
- Dr Crispim Moreira, FAO Representative
- Members of the press
I bring greetings on behalf of Secretary-General Guterres, Deputy Secretary-General Mohammad and the entire United Nations Country Team in the Bahamas. The Joint SDG Fund reflects partnership in action. And I am elated today, that our partnership has designed and is prepared to implement a transformative joint programme to benefit The Bahamas - especially women, youth, people living with disabilities, and rural workers. And so, I am happy to join you in launching the programme: “Building Back Equal through Innovative Financing for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.”
Supporting Bahamas’ Priorities
In 2021 the people and Government of the Bahamas renewed their commitment to gender equality through empowerment and the elimination of violence against women and girls. Key to this commitment is the sustainable economic empowerment of women and their greater access to financial mechanisms, knowledge sharing and capacity building. The Bahamas has also committed to the reform and resilience-building of its agribusiness and fishing sectors. I am proud and confident that this joint programme supports the delivery of that promise while prioritizing the training and empowerment of those most vulnerable – particularly women and youth of the family islands and people living with disabilities.
Minister, you will be happy to know that while we have invested close to $1M USD for this effort, the project is designed and expected to catalyze millions more in additional investment to support the Bahamas’ achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. In particularly, SDG 5 – gender equality; SDG 8 – decent work and economic growth; and SDG 9 – reduced inequalities.
Alignment with the MSDCF
This joint programme also signals the growth in the United Nations-Bahamas relationship since becoming a signatory to the regional/multicountry sustainable development cooperation framework in March.
Your participation in this MSDCF committed us to facilitate a more productive and competitive business ecosystem designed to improve people’s standards of living (MSDCF Outcome 1).
How are we doing this?
Through this programme, we are ensuring Bahamas access to the Caribbean Basin Gender Equality Fund, underpinned by innovative financing tools and options to advance gender equality and promote women's empowerment
Your signage to the MSDCF also committed us to work together to ensure that our people, communities, and institutions enhance their adaptive capacity for inclusive, gender-responsive disaster risk management, climate change adaptation and mitigation (MSDCF Outcome 5).
How is this being done?
Through this programme, launched today, we will enhance the technical capacity, confidence, leadership skills and financial knowledge of women and youth entrepreneurs in The Bahamas.
The MSDCF also committed us to supporting your transition to a more diversified and sustainable economy that supports inclusive and resilient economic growth (MSDCF Outcome 2).
And through this joint programme, the rest of the Caribbean will learn from your lessons and best practices and further benefit from innovative financing tools and frameworks to promote gender-sensitive investing
The UN Team and our partners are here to work with you to ensure that the Bahamas makes accelerated development gains in this the ‘Decade of Action.’ This JP is only a step further in our renewed partnership to accelerate this MSDCF/ SDG achievement and the realization of your Vision 2040 National Development Plan.
Partnership and thank you
I wish to publicly thank my colleagues at UNDP, FAO, UNESCO and UN Women – who will lead this effort and to the Bahamas Development Bank for saying yes to a close partnership in this effort.
Also allow me, on behalf of the Joint SDG Fund, to thank the donors, whose support have made this possible: The European Union as well as the individual countries of Germany, Denmark, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, The Republic of Korea, Portugal, Norway, Sweden and a growing list of others. Thank you for your continued support to Small Island Developing States and for your continued recognition of their vulnerabilities – despite inadequate country income classifications.
Finally, Minister, do convey our gratitude to the Prime Minister for the wonderful partnership that the UN continues to enjoy with his Government and the people of The Bahamas. I am positively optimistic that our combined presence is a clear indication of our commitment to a focused, results-driven partnership to deliver impact for the people of Bahamas – leaving no one behind.
Thank you, Minister. Welcome and thank you, everyone