BVI Premier and Minister of Finance, Andrew A. Fahie is leading a delegation to the annual Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) being held from November 23 to 26.
This year’s JMC meeting is being held virtually via conferencing software in light of restrictions due to the on-going Covid-19 pandemic.
The response to the Covid-19 pandemic will feature as one of the main areas of concern for this year’s discussions. Other key topics will include the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union (Brexit), economic resilience, constitutional relationship, international trade, and environmental protection.
The Virgin Island’s delegation includes Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie; Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Carvin Malone; Permanent Secretary Premier’s Office, Dr. Carolyn O’Neal-Morton; Attorney General, Honourable Dawn Smith; Financial Secretary, Mr Glenroy Forbes; Director International Affairs Secretariat, Ms. Najan Christopher, Director of Communications, Mrs. Arliene T. Penn, Special Envoy to the Premier, Mr Benito Wheatley; Acting Director and UK/EU Representative BVI London Office, Ms Tracy Bradshaw; Deputy Director BVI London Office, Ms. Siobhan Flax and Political Affairs Officer BVI London Office, Mr. Xante Chalwell.
The JMC is an annual forum which allows for dialogue between the elected leaders and representatives of the Overseas Territories and those of the United Kingdom. Ministers exchange views on political and constitutional matters of mutual interest and discuss priority areas for the year ahead as it relates to economic and social development as well as governance.
The British Overseas Territories (BOTs), also known as United Kingdom Overseas Territories (UKOTs), are fourteen territories all with a constitutional and historical link with the United Kingdom.
They are remnants of the British Empire and do not form part of the United Kingdom itself. Most of the permanently inhabited territories are internally self-governing, with the UK retaining responsibility for defense and foreign relations. Several are inhabited only by a transitory population of military or scientific personnel. They all have the British monarch as head of state.
As of April 2018, three Territories (the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar and the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia in Cyprus) are the responsibility of the Minister of State for Europe and the Americas; the Minister responsible for the remaining Territories is the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Overseas Territories and Sustainable Development.