Overseas territories leaders meeting in Grand Cayman
GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands -- Elected leaders of the UK’s Overseas Territories, met in the Cayman Islands on 15-17 July 2014 to discuss the forthcoming Joint Ministerial Council Meeting (JMC), scheduled for December in London.
The purpose of the Joint Ministerial Council is to implement the principles of the 2012 White Paper on security, success and sustainability and to agree at the ministerial level on collective issues between the governments of the Overseas Territories and Britain.
Last week’s meeting in the Cayman Islands discussed measures aimed at securing the long-term economic futures of the OTs.
The key areas are economic diversification, good governance, global standards of financial regulation accountability and transparency, environmental sustainability, and security and immigration.
On the matter of economic diversification the leaders of the Overseas Territories say they want to build sustainable economies that are more resilient and capitalize on changing global trends.
They have also committed to upholding the principles of good governance in the administration of the respective territories and to recognize the right to self determination of all people of the Overseas Territories.
With financial services a key economic driver for the OTs, the leaders say the goal is for global standards of financial regulation, accountability and transparency. Coming out of this week’s meeting in the Cayman Islands, one of the world’s leading offshore financial centres, the leaders have affirmed that they will continue to lead in the fight against financial crime and continue to be responsible international financial centres that facilitate global trade and investment in line with the emerging global consensus.
Environmental sustainability is another focal point. As vulnerable small territories whose economies are dependent on environmental sustainability, the commitment from the leaders of the British Overseas territories is to continue their long history of caring for and nurturing our environments.
On the topic of security and immigration, the leaders have stressed that they will ensure the security and protection of their borders and the safety and welfare of the people, including access to all passports, specifically emergency travel, despite the UK’s new policy to repatriate the issue of all passports to the United Kingdom by the end of this year.
The leaders said they reaffirmed their commitment and respect for the principles outlined in their respective constitutions and will uphold their obligations to their electorate and the people they serve.
The meeting in the Cayman Islands from July 15 to 17 was attended by leaders from the British Overseas Territories of Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar and Montserrat.