REMARKS BY THE HON. DR. HUBERT A. MINNIS, MP PRIME MINISTER OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS ON THE OCCASION OF THE SIGNING OF THE 8TH AMENDMENT TO THE LETTER OF AGREEMENT ON NARCOTICS CONTROL AND LAW ENFORCEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

Posted on: August 10, 2018

Cabinet Ministers;

Chargé d’Affaires, Stephanie

Bowers;

Senior Government Officials;

Other Representatives of the United States Government;

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good morning.

I am pleased to participate in today’s signing ceremony for the 8th Amendment to

the Letter of Agreement on Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement between the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and the Governments of the United States of America.

The original Letter of Agreement was signed on 24 September 2010.

Since then, the Agreement has provided equipment, technology and training opportunities in various areas of law

enforcement by the United States of America to the Royal Bahamas Police Force, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and the Department of Correctional Facilities.

My Government remains resolute in our commitment to address corruption.

This most recent Amendment will result in the United States providing over $1.4 million for Law Enforcement

Professionalization Support, and Rule of Law, Transparency and Anti-Corruption Reform in The Bahamas.

Additional activities will include: assistance with legislative reform,

the creation of anti-corruption bodies and the provision of training,

technical assistance and equipment to law enforcement, and the financial, judicial, and civil society sectors.

Numerous reports and studies have been published by many international organizations on the effects of corruption on the political, social, and economic development, of developed, and developing countries.

As such, the additional support from our neighbour will help to facilitate the advancement of three of the Government’s key priorities,

namely, to advance our national security strategies to reduce crime,

strengthen our borders,

and reduce the recidivism rate for a safer Bahamas.

Moreover, the scope of the amendments to the existing Agreement with respect to transparency and anti-corruption will support public sector modernization and the ease of doing business.

This lends well to the aggressive targeting of systematic corruption by my Government, which:

* aims to reduce the significant burden which corruption places on the public purse;

* to further stimulate foreign direct investment by enhancing confidence in our institutions;

* improve the quality and standard of government services; and

* to decrease the level of inequality.

In closing, allow me to express, on behalf of the people of The Bahamas, our gratitude to the United States Government for its continued support in a number of critical areas.

The Government of The Bahamas is committed to working with our longstanding friend and ally, to further strengthen relations, and to accomplish the desired outcomes of this Agreement.

Thank you and good morning

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