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Burt on talks with UN official over 'renewed push for colonialism'

David Burt, the Premier (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

The Premier said yesterday he welcomed talks with a United Nations representative to defend against moves that suggested “a renewed push for colonialism” by powers such as Britain.

A post on David Burt’s twitter account said: “Recently met the new United Nations Resident Coordinator, Dr Garry Conille.

“I welcome deeper engagement with the UN as Bermuda works with other non-sovereign territories to protect against recent actions that signal a renewed push for colonialism by administering powers (UK).”

The tweet was accompanied by a photograph of Mr Burt on a virtual call.

Jamaican-based Dr Conille was appointed as the UN’s Resident Coordinator for the country and others in the region, including Bermuda, last August.

The UN website said: “Mr Conille brings more than 20 years of experience to his new position, most of them at the United Nations and international non-governmental organisations.

“Prior to the appointment, Mr Conille served as Resident Coordinator in Burundi, from 2017 to 2020 and before that, as Under-Secretary-General for Programmes and Operations with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, from 2015 to 2017.

“Mr Conille was also Regional Director for the Africa Region at the United Nations Office for Project Services from 2014 to 2015, having previously led the United Nations Development Programme Millennium Development Goals support unit, from 2008 to 2010.”

The UN added that Dr Conille had a medical degree from the State University of Haiti and a Master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina.

The website said that Dr Conille was Chief of Staff to former US president Bill Clinton when he was UN Special Envoy for Haiti in the wake of a devastating earthquake in 2010.

Last night, the Premier said: “I think we have seen recently that the United Kingdom has taken actions that are not in line with the wishes of democratically elected local governments.

“As the United Nations are responsible for the decolonisation movement through the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonisation, I thought it would be important to raise these matters on behalf of Bermuda as well as other overseas territories.

“Future meetings will be held by the Deputy Premier, who assists me on external affairs matters.

“Dr Conille is a skilled diplomat and was happy to engage in conversation. The meeting lasted only ten minutes.”

• UPDATE: This story has been updated to include comments from the Premier.

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Published February 16, 2021 at 9:57 am (Updated February 16, 2021 at 9:58 am)

Burt on talks with UN official over 'renewed push for colonialism'

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