Thursday, December 10, 2009

BVI Premier Attended Eleventh OTCC Meeting

On December 9, the Overseas Territories Minister at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK Chris Bryant hosted the eleventh meeting of the Overseas Territories Consultative Council (OTCC) in London. The meeting was attended by Premiers, Chief Ministers and other representatives of the UK Overseas Territories - Anguilla, Ascension, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St Helena, Tristan da Cunha, Turks and Caicos Islands. The BVI Territory was represented by Premier Hon. Ralph O'Neal.

This was the first OTCC meeting hosted by Mr. Bryant, who followed Gillian Merron in the post of Foreign Office Minister. In his statement after the Consultative Council, Christ Bryant said that members of the meeting covered a lot of issues over the 7-9 December, during the discussions that were wide-ranging, open and constructive.

On Monday 7 December, Mr. Bryant met leaders from five Caribbean British Overseas Territories - Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Montserrat. The discussion was focused on the extent and nature of the UK government's liabilities in the Caribbean Overseas Territories and their role in managing them.

Also, at the request of the Territories' leaders, on 8 December - the day before the Consultative Council - a Forum was held to review the 1999 Government White Paper “Partnership for Progress and Prosperity - Britain and the Overseas Territories”. The White Paper established the principles that have guided the relationship between the UK and Territories since 1999, and the Forum became the first stage of a consultation process on the future of the UK/OT relationship.

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