Heads of Government from United Kingdom (UK) Overseas Territories (OT) in the Caribbean met on Saturday, 29 July 2023, to discuss issues of mutual importance and agree on actions to address shared challenges. Chaired by the Premier of the Cayman Islands, Hon. Wayne Panton, the meeting was held in Miami, Florida.
The packed agenda covered a wide range of topics of interest to the territories, including improved engagement and information sharing between Caribbean OTs, beneficial ownership, representation at international forums and the United Kingdom’s relationship with its Overseas Territories. Opportunities were explored to foster greater awareness among the territories of the shared historical and heritage links, especially through youth, sports and cultural exchanges.
The meeting was also used to prepare for the next Joint Ministerial Conference in November 2023 and discuss Overseas Territories' participation in the upcoming United Nations Climate Conference (COP28) and other similar forums.
In attendance were Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Hon. Charles Misick; Premier of the British Virgin Islands, Hon. Dr Natalio Wheatley; Premier of Anguilla, Hon. Dr. Ellis Webster; Deputy Premier of Bermuda, Hon. Walter Roban as well as Cayman Islands Minister for Youth, Sports, Culture and Heritage, Hon Bernie Bush and Premier of Montserrat, Hon. Joseph Taylor-Farrell participated in the meeting virtually. Several senior officials and civil servants from the respective Overseas Territories joined the session.
In underscoring the importance of the Heads of Government meeting, Premier Panton noted his gratitude to his counterparts for their willingness to participate in the important discussions. “Our respective Overseas Territories find themselves at a critical juncture. While we welcome the increased levels of engagement and interest in the Overseas Territories that are now emanating from the UK, it is important that we come together as a regional group to share our observations and experiences. The weekend’s successful meetings reaffirmed the strong spirit of friendship and partnership between the Caribbean OTs. They reminded us of our similar priorities and challenges due to our geographical and cultural ties. It is therefore critical to exchange ideas and agree joint positions on solutions wherever possible,” he emphasised.
“It remains a priority of my Government to strengthen partnerships and increase collaboration with our regional counterparts as together we are stronger. Therefore, it is important that the Cayman Islands continues to play its role in facilitating strong and mutually beneficial relationships with our regional neighbours.”
Earlier this year, Premier Panton, other Overseas Territories and United Kingdom Ministers participated in the Joint Ministerial Council in London to discuss issues aimed at promoting the security and good governance of the territories, sustainable development, economic and social progress, and to agree on priorities, develop plans and review implementation.
Source: CIG News