The British Virgin Islands (BVI) and United States Virgin Islands (USVI) will continue to strengthen ties as senior Government officials prepare to meet and report on areas of shared interests during the 6th Inter Virgin Islands Council (IVIC) on Thursday, May 8 at Maria’s by the Sea Hotel.
Executive Director in the International Affairs Secretariat, Ms. Sylvia Moses stated, “The IVIC is the formal side of the BVI-USVI relationship where our legislators and policy makers explore different ways to support or enhance the relations between the BVI and USVI, and monitor or introduce policies designed to improve the quality of life for the people of the two Territories.”
In the Fifth Sitting of the Third Session of the Second House of Assembly meeting held on March 13, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE stated, “Our Territories’ mutual commitment to the Inter-Virgin Islands Council demonstrates that both our Governments recognise the need to build an even more effective framework for continued meaningful and productive social, economic and political exchanges. It is a forum for mutual consultation and collaboration between the respective governments.”
Premier Smith added, “Today our Territories’ mutual interests and challenges are different than in 1951, but the spirit of family and oneness are the same.”
A number of initiatives have arisen from the council meetings. These include gang awareness sessions in the community and at the Elmore Stoutt High School and information exchange between law enforcement personnel in both jurisdictions.
Premier Smith will head the BVI delegation which includes permanent secretaries and relevant senior officers.
The council will receive updates on law enforcement, pleasure boating, tourism and education. Also to be discussed are initiatives to explore the scope of cooperation in BVI musician work permits.
The BVI Government’s representation at the Inter Virgin Islands Council Meeting reaffirms its commitment to strengthening regional and international relations, as well as maintaining its close ties with the USVI.
The Inter-Virgin Islands Council was established on Saturday, 29 May, 2004, when former USVI Governor Dr. Charles Turnbull and Chief Minister Honourable Dr. D. Orlando Smith signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding. The Council’s first meeting convened on St. Croix in April, 2005.
More on the work of the Government of the Virgin Islands can be found on www.bvi.gov.vg; Facebook, YouTube or Twitter at BVIGovernment.