Hannes Richter

Ambassador Nowotny Visits The Bahamas

Hannes Richter
2005_bahamas.jpgAmbassador Nowotny and Governor - General Dumont; painting of Queen Elizabeth II in background

On December 9, 2004, the Austrian Ambassador to the United States, Eva Nowotny, presented her Letter of Credence to Her Excellency Dame Ivy Dumont, D.C.M.G., Governor-General of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. Ambassador Nowotny is the sixth Austrian Ambassador to the islands.

At an official ceremony held at the Government House, Ambassador Nowotny emphasized Austria's commitment to parliamentary democracy, individual freedom, rule of law and respect for human rights. "Austria and the Bahamas uphold the principles of international law as well as respect for and reliance on the United Nations as guarantor and protector of the interests of all nations, big or small."

Ambassador Nowotny mentioned that during the term of Austria's Presidency of the European Union (EU) in 2006, it will preside over a summit meeting between the European Union and all the Latin American and Caribbean countries in Vienna in May 2006. The meeting will attach great importance to negotiations on an Economic Partnership Agreement between the Caribbean countries and the EU. By strengthening the production and supply capacities of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, sustainable development will be promoted in the region. Moreover, the bilateral relationship between Austria and the Bahamas could be enhanced through the exchange of expertise on issues affecting the field of tourism, an important source of revenue in both countries. In view of the problems surrounding the fragile eco system of the Bahamas, another area of fruitful cooperation might lie in environmental technology.

Dame Dumont honored Ambassador Nowotny's visit by emphasizing the twenty-six years of warm and cordial relations that have existed between Austria and the Bahamas. Through successive agreements since 1975, the Bahamas has enjoyed preferential non-reciprocal access to the EU market for their fisheries and rum products. The EU receives almost 30% of all of the Bahamas' total exports. Governor-General Dumont also expressed her sincere appreciation for the generous grant given the islands by the EU, which helped sustain recovery from the considerable damage caused by the hurricanes in September 2004.