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UNESCO Representatives 

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H.E. Sir Sidney Poitier, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Sir Sidney Poitier’s
50-plus year career span has seen this Academy Award winning actor, director, producer and best selling author receive many honors and awards; the most meaningful being the knighthood awarded to him by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II in 1968. He is the recipient of four honorary doctorate degrees, the last from New York University. He was honored at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival with the designation of Commander of Arts and Letters, which is France’s most prestigious commendation.

In 2002, Sir Sidney was presented with a second Oscar for “his extraordinary performances and unique presence on the screen and for representing the industry with dignity, style and intelligence.” He has received the BAFTA Award, three Golden Globe Awards, an American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award; the Kennedy Center Lifetime Achievement Award; the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award; 5 NAACP Image Awards and 2 Golden Bear Awards from the Berlin Film Festival.

Currently, His Excellency serves as Ambassador to Japan for The Commonwealth of The Bahamas and Ambassador to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Sir Sidney is President and CEO of Verdon Cedric Productions.

He is married to Joanna Shimkus Poitier and is the father of six daughters, a grandfather of four and most recently, a great-grandfather of one.

Owen S-M. Bethel, Chairman, Bahamas National Commission for UNESCO & Bahamas Representative to Executive Board of UNESCO
is President and Managing Director of The Montaque Group, consisting of Montaque Securities International, Ltd., Montaque Corporate Partners Ltd., Montaque Capital Partners Ltd., and the Bahamas FilmInvest International Ltd. He is also Resident Director of the StarCapital Group of Companies, a global bio-technology and energy investment firm.

Prior to establishing Montaque Securities International in 1994, Mr. Bethel was Executive Director of The Bahamas Financial Services Secretariat and The Bahamas Investment Authority (1990 – 1994), both Government bodies in the Office of the Prime Minister to promote financial services and investment opportunities in The Bahamas and facilitate investors through the relevant approval process. The agencies also advised the Government on policies, strategies and legislation to be implemented in the respective fields.
Mr. Bethel graduated from Carleton University, Canada with a Bachelor of Arts in Law and Political Science (1977). He then studied both law and finance and received his Master of Laws (LL.M.) from University College, University of London, England (1982). Mr. Bethel started his professional career with Credit Suisse both in London and Nassau, and then became Assistant to the Executive Director at both the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, Washington, D.C. (1985 – 1990).

Mr. Bethel has participated in numerous international financial and legal conferences. He is a contributor to several professional manuals and trade magazines. He was instrumental in the development of legislation for the mutual funds industry and served on the Securities Market Task Force, a governmental body responsible for the creation of a capital /securities market and stock exchange in The Bahamas. His firm launched the first publicly offered domestic mutual fund in The Bahamas. Mr. Bethel is the recipient of the CIBC/Ernst & Young Emerging Entrepreneur Award (1996). He is a member of the International Fiscal Association, the International Tax Planners Association, and the Society for Trust & Estate Practitioners. Mr. Bethel also serves on the panel of the American Arbitration Association.

He currently serves as Chairman of the Antiquities, Monuments and Museums Corporation, Chairman of the Bahamas National Commission for UNESCO, and the representative for The Bahamas on the Executive Board of UNESCO.

He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Historic Bahamas Foundation (2004-Present), Doctors Hospital Health System Limited (2003-Present), and Finance Corporation of Bahamas (2004-Present). He has served as Deputy Chairman of the Antiquities, Monuments & Museums Corporation (2003-2006). He has also served as Chairman of the Board of Advisors to the Centre for Entrepreneurship at the College of The Bahamas (1997-2001); Managing Director of InterTrust Bank (1995-2000); and Director of Surety Bank & Trust (1997-2000).

Mr. Bethel has served as both Chairman and a member of the Board of the Hopedale Centre for Special Needs Children, and a member of the Board of P.A.C.E. Foundation.

He is the father of two daughters, Natalie and Meghan.