18 September 2019

Activities of Secretary-General in Bahamas, 13-14 September

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres arrived in the Bahamas from New York on Friday afternoon, 13 September.  He went there to show the United Nations solidarity with the Government and people of the Bahamas after the onslaught of Hurricane Dorian.

He first met with Prime Minister Hubert Minnis along with other Bahamian Ministers.  They then held a press conference.

The Secretary-General, accompanied by Prime Minister Minnis, visited a shelter for Hurricane Dorian evacuees from Grand Bahama and Abaco Islands.  He spoke to reporters outside the shelter.

Later in the afternoon, the Secretary-General met with Nicole Campbell, Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, and Captain Stephen Russell, Director of the National Emergency Management Agency, of the Bahamas at the National Emergency Management Agency Operations Centre.  After the meeting he toured the facilities and met with United Nations staff and from other humanitarian organizations who were supporting the Government in relief efforts.  He then spoke to reporters outside the centre.

On Saturday morning, the Secretary-General flew to Marsh Harbour Airport in Abaco Island.  He immediately toured the disaster zones in both Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands by a helicopter which was provided by the armed forces of the Netherlands.

At mid-morning, the Secretary-General went to the National Emergency Management Agency Operations Centre in Marsh Harbour and was briefed by representatives from United Nations agencies on the progress of relief efforts.  He also gave a brief interview to Bahamian television.

The Secretary-General then toured the area known as The Mudd.  Since it was raining, the tour was done by car, but he briefly got out to survey the area and filmed a video for social media.

Before his departure for Nassau airport, he had short interviews with Radio France International, Dutch Press and ABC News, and he held a press stakeout at the airport before leaving for New York.  He said that he had never seen such a level of systematic devastation.  “Hurricane Dorian has been classified as category five,” he said, “I think it's category Hell.”

He arrived back in New York early on Saturday evening.

For information media. Not an official record.