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Paragraphs Related to the Theme Paragraphs VII Summit
Reports
Date:  5/15/2012 
Strengthening the Summit of the Americas
112. The Bahamas has participated in all Summits since the Miami Meeting in 1994. This continued participation has given The Bahamas, like many Member Countries, opportunities to assess areas where the Summit process can be strengthened. There remain factors that are both exogenous and endogenous to Member States which inhibit the success of the Summit of The Americas.
113. While the Summits are being held on a regular basis, every three years, Member States, including The Bahamas, are not meeting their commitment as it relates to providing annual National Reports to the OAS on progress made on mandates. Furthermore, the successful implementation of the gambit of Declaration commitments continues to remain tenuous. Within The Bahamas, these issues stem from the fact that inter-Ministerial coordination in policy implementation at the national level remains a major challenge.
114. With respect to exogenous factors, there has been insufficient accounting for the capacity and cost of implementing Summit commitments, particularly for smaller and less well-off Countries. In this regard, greater emphasis must be placed on the costing of commitments during negotiations in preparation for the Summit. Otherwise, the result may be Declarations that fail to move much beyond goal-setting. There must also be greater harmonization of interests during the negotiation process to ensure that the final Declaration serves the needs and respects the contexts of all Member States, as opposed to reflecting the wishes of some Member States.
Paragraphs: 89, 91 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  5/15/2012 
Conclusion
I. Assessment of Bahamas’ responses to implementation of the commitments
115. The Government of The Bahamas has made significant moves to implement commitments concerning a variety of policy areas:
Social Safety Net –
• Launched in September 2010 – the National Prescription Drug Plan
• Unemployment Insurance for 13 weeks.
• Unemployment Work Programmes - Jump Start, Work Placement & Employment Exposure, National Job Readiness and Training.
Youth –
• Launch of “VOLUNTEER BAHAMAS” Programme in October 2011.
Health –
• Major expansion and renovation of Government owned tertiary health care facilities and completed plans for the introduction of new “mini-hospitals” in three of the more populated rural Islands (Family Islands)
• Draft Food and Nutrition Policy in 2008
• In 2011 the Department of Public Health Primary Health Care clinics began routinely managing HIV infected patients to allow increased access to health care services.
Culture -
• SelfStarters Programme resulted in 28% of recipients of business grants producing businesses that reflected and promoted Bahamian craft, foods, arts, promotions and entertainment.
Environment –
• The Government of The Bahamas launched in April 2011, its National Programme to Promote Sustainable Energy and Energy Conservation with compact fluorescent light bulbs, solar water heaters and photovoltaic systems.
• Participation at the 17th UN Durban Conference (COP 17) on Climate Change held in South Africa.
• Participation in the Global Environment Facility Full Size Project (GEF FSP) focused on incorporating climate change impact and mangrove conservation into conservation planning, in The Exuma Cays’ Land and Sea Park.
• Participation in the Caribbean Challenge (goal to protect 20% of marine and coastal resources by 2020).
• Newly enacted Forestry Act in 2010 established the Forestry Unit.
• Hosted the UNESCO Experts Meeting on the Effects of Climate Change in September, 2011.
• Accession to the Protocol Concerning Protected Areas and Wildlife to the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region, 1990
• Ban on shark fishing in territorial waters.
Public Security –
• Introduced national legislation - The Trafficking in Persons (Prevention and Suppression) Act 2008 - to satisfy obligations under the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
Democratic Governance –
• the establishment of an Internal Monitoring Unit for Local Government.
• the introduction of a Local Government Junior Council.
• the systematic general and specific training of elected Local Government Practitioners.
• Ratification of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo Convention).
• Amendments to the: Parliamentary Elections; Customs Management; Criminal Justice; Business Licence Act (s).
• Enacting of the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence, Mental Health, Firearms, Good Samaritan and The Trafficking in Persons (Prevention and Suppression) Act (s) in 2008.
II. Challenges The Bahamas faces in implementation
116. The Bahamas has faced issues with sustained coordination across the breadth of Government Agencies for implementation of Summit Commitments and reporting on their implementation in an expeditious manner. Going forward, the development of an implementation committee, or formal delegation for follow-up to an existing inter-Agency Body, to coordinate the execution of commitments in a timely and cohesive manner would increase The Bahamas’ ability to carry out commitments and report on them in a satisfactory manner. Such a committee should be inter-Ministerial in nature in order to ensure consistency in understanding the mandates for The Bahamas and, for evaluating implementation of commitments.
Paragraphs: 91 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

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