OECS Leaders Reaffirm Objection to Direct UK Rule Over BVI

OECS leaders at their summit in Montserrat last week.
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Leaders of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) have reaffirmed their objection to the imposition of direct colonial rule over the people of the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

The OECS notes that their “human rights and inalienable right to self-determination set out in the United Nations (UN) Charter and relevant UN resolutions should not be violated by any party.”

According to the communique issued after the meeting of the sub-regional leaders last week, the grouping commended Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. Natalio D. Wheatley and his government of National Unity “for their firm commitment to good governance and the ongoing successful implementation of the Framework for the Implementation of the Commission of Inquiry and other reforms.”

Premier Wheatley praised the OECS for ensuring the survival of democratic rule in his British Overseas Territory after a Commission of Inquiry had proposed that the island cease to exist in its current format for at least two years.

Premier Wheatley said it was because of the intervention of the OECS community “that the people of the Virgin Islands still have democratic representation, including a House of Assembly, a premier…and a cabinet.

“We sincerely thank you,” Wheatley said, without once making direct reference to the one-man commission

The OECS leaders said they also support “the request of the Government of National Unity for a visiting mission to the Virgin Islands by the UN Special Committee on Decolonization (C-24).” Calling also for the United Kingdom (UK) Order in Council being held in reserve to suspend the British Virgin Islands (BVI) constitution to be withdrawn without delay.”

They have agreed to a common position at the relevant UN fora to support the self-governance and right to self-determination of the people of the British Virgin Islands and reaffirmed “the right of the people of the British Virgin Islands to democratic governance and to freely elect their representatives to the legislature (i.e., House of Assembly) within the constitutionally due period.”


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