Hamilton, Bermuda — A pre-Joint Ministerial Council meeting of British Overseas Territory leaders was held last week in Bermuda to discuss issues of mutual interest and the forthcoming Joint Ministerial Council Meeting (JMC) with UK Ministers to be held in December 2015 in London.
The purpose of the Joint Ministerial Council 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 Overseas Territories governments and the UK government.
At the meeting in Bermuda, leaders discussed measures to secure the territories’ long-term economic futures:
Economic Diversification and Development – To build sustainable economies as stable banking sectors that are more resilient and capitalize on changing global trends. To seek innovative solutions, in partnership with the UK, to develop robust and effective infrastructure across all of the Overseas Territories.
Building Communities and Strengthening Families – To develop innovative health care and social services in the territories, including mental health services and the creation Overseas Territories Sports council.
Good Governance and International Affairs – To continue to uphold the principles of Good Governance in the administration of our respective territories and recognize the right of all people of the Overseas Territories to self-determination. To reiterate the UK’s constitutional responsibility for defending Overseas Territories in international forums amongst key stakeholders where the Territories have committed to meeting international standards.
Global Standards of Financial Regulation Accountability and Transparency – To continue 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 – As vulnerable small territories whose economies are dependent on environmental sustainability, and at greatest risk of climate change, to continue a long history of caring for and nurturing their environments.
To reaffirm the commitment and respect for the principles outlined in their Constitutions and to uphold the obligations to the electorate and the people served.
Overseas Territories present were Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands.