In their continued efforts to foster a modern partnership with the United Kingdom (UK), Overseas Territories (OTs) Heads of Government, at a preparatory meeting today in Cayman Islands agreed on priority areas for discussion in the upcoming Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) scheduled for December 2014.
The areas for discussion are economic diversification, global standards of financial regulation accountability and transparency, good governance, environmental stability, and security and immigration.
Premier Smith said, “I am pleased that leaders of the OTs were able to reach consensus on a number of areas that are relevant to all OTs and on which we should engage further dialogue with the UK in the fall of 2014,” adding, “The BVI and other OTs will be fully engaged with the UK on the issues and that matters related to financial services will be a top priority for BVI engagement.”
The upcoming JMC meeting provides an opportunity for the UK and the OTs to work together on a wide range of issues and to agree priorities and plans for implementation.
In December, leaders will discuss economic diversification and the importance of capitalising on changing global trends and building sustainable economies that are more resilient.
In recognising the right of all people of the OTs to self-determination, leaders will discuss strategies to uphold the principles of good governance.
Also, leaders will also discuss the global standards of financial regulation accountability and transparency and how their respective territories continue to lead in the fight against financial crime and facilitate global trade and investment in line with the emerging global consensus.
Additionally, leaders will discuss their commitment to environmental sustainability focused on their Territories’ long history of caring for and nurturing the They will also dialogue on matters of security and immigration to ensure the protection of borders and the safety and welfare of their people, including access to all passports and specifically emergency travel.
The purpose of the JMC meeting in December is to implement the principles espoused in the 2012 White Paper on Security, Success and Sustainability and to agree at the ministerial level on collective issues between OT Governments and the UK Government.
The annual meeting, which is being hosted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), brings together political leaders and representatives of the UK and OT leaders. It also provides a forum for the exchange of views on political and constitutional issues.
Premier Smith is currently being accompanied in Cayman Islands by Acting Permanent Secretary, Mr. Brodrick Penn.