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Treat climate crisis with ‘greatest urgency’, Bahamas leader tells UN Assembly

Treat climate crisis with ‘greatest urgency’, Bahamas leader tells UN Assembly

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 28 Sep 2019, 02:04 am

New York: Hurricane Dorian, one of the most destructive Atlantic storms ever recorded, “is a generational tragedy” for The Bahamas, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said on Friday.

Addressing the UN General Assembly, nearly one month after Hurricane Dorian devastated two major population centres in the archipelagic nation, Mr. Minnis urged his fellow world leaders to treat the climate crisis as the greatest challenge to the planet.

“I add my urgent plea to the cries and voices of many other leaders and citizens of the global commons, urging the nations of the world here assembled to treat the global climate emergency as the greatest challenge facing humanity.

“It is a challenge that, if not treated with the greatest urgency, will continue to ravage small island states, such as The Bahamas, and will also have devastating impact on more developed states.”

Hurricane Dorian slammed two islands in the northern Bahamas, Abaco and Grand Bahama, causing 56 deaths. Six hundred people are still missing.

At its peak, the hurricane packed winds of 185 miles per hour and generated storm surges as high as 23 feet.

Prime Minister Minnis described Hurricane Dorian as a “physical apocalypse” for some communities which include Marsh Harbour, the formerly picturesque main town on Abaco, now reduced to rubble.

Although the hurricane has left Bahamians heartbroken, he said citizens are grateful for international assistance received in the aftermath.

Prior to Dorian, The Bahamas was hit by major hurricanes from 2015 to 2017. Hurricanes in the region have grown “increasingly lethal” over the past three decades, according to Mr. Minnis.

He added that because the islands of The Bahamas stretch over some 180,000 square miles of ocean, the country can be affected by any number of hurricane trajectories.

“Our heating climate results in the increased severity and frequency of hurricanes for our archipelago, and also destroys our natural defenses against such storms. Coral and mangrove degradation, land erosion, increased tidal movements and the myriad other consequences of global warming, increase our vulnerability and handicap our ability to develop and to establish effective resilience,” he continued.

Minnis said small island countries “are on the frontlines of being swallowed into an abyss created initially by human activity and increasingly by inaction.”

The Prime Minister expressed support for the UN Secretary-General’s strategy to address the climate crisis, including his call to provide concessionary financing to affected nations.

Photo Caption and credit:
UN Photo/Loey Felipe
Hubert Alexander Minnis, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly’s General Debate. (27 September 2019)

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm