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UK new strategy for Overseas Territories to be discussed at the Consultative Council

Tuesday, November 22nd 2011 - 18:39 UTC
Full article 35 comments
Foreign Office Minister for the Overseas Territories, Henry Bellingham Foreign Office Minister for the Overseas Territories, Henry Bellingham

Falkland Islands representatives will be attending the annual Overseas Territories Consultative Council on November 23/24 in London when the British Government's new strategy for its Overseas Territories will be at the heart of discussions.

Hosted by Foreign Office Minister for the Overseas Territories, Henry Bellingham, the meeting will bring together Premiers, Chief Ministers and elected representatives from across Britain's Overseas Territories. The Falklands delegation includes Dick Sawle and Jan Cheek, Members of the Legislative Assembly.

Discussions will focus on the UK Government’s strategy and look forward to the proposed 2012 White Paper on the Overseas Territories. There will be sessions on a wide range of subjects including: aviation safety, good governance, criminal justice, economic development, and environment and climate change.

The Council will be attended by Ministers from the Departments for International Development; Transport; Environment; Energy and Climate Change; the Treasury; Home Office; Ministry of Defence; Culture, Media and Sport; and Business, Innovation and Skills.

Speaking ahead of the meeting Foreign Office Minister Henry Bellingham said:

“I am delighted to welcome elected leaders from the Overseas Territories to this year’s meeting in London. Much has happened since Territory leaders gathered here 12 months ago and I am delighted that the UK Government has developed and agreed a clear strategy towards the Territories focused on increasing our engagement with them; working together to strengthen good governance arrangements, public financial management and economic planning, where necessary; and developing external support for the Territories.

“A strong demonstration of our increased support for the Territories was provided by this Government’s decision to build a new airport on St Helena. I will be joined at the meeting this year by several colleagues from across the Government. This is a sign of the strengthening engagement of the whole of the UK government with the Overseas Territories.

“I look forward to discussing with Territory leaders their ideas for the development of our partnership which will help us develop our thinking for the White Paper on the Overseas Territories that we intend to publish next year.”

In addition to the Council meeting, leaders and elected representatives will meet the Foreign Secretary; attend a reception hosted by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association as well as having bilateral meetings with Mr Bellingham.

The United Kingdom’s 14 Overseas Territories, spread across the globe, are diverse communities. They range from the island of Pitcairn with its 47 inhabitants, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, to Bermuda, which has a population of over 62,000 and is one of the world's major financial centres. The total population of the territories is around 239,000.

The Consultative Council, held annually since 1999, is a forum for discussion of key policy issues between British Ministers and Heads of Overseas Territories' Governments. The Council meets once a year in London.

Top Comments

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  • xbarilox

    what happened? now suddenly the overseas territories are important? the sky's not looking so bright, it seems that there is a storm coming closer and closer

    Nov 22nd, 2011 - 07:28 pm 0
  • briton

    A strong demonstration of our increased support for the Territories was provided by this Government’s decision to build a new airport on St Helena

    May I suggest that the islander representatives, press the government on what they intend to do with all the harm that Argentina is doing to the islanders,
    A suggestion that perhaps the British government provide more stead fast deterrent and more robust in it treatment of argentine intrusions,
    A suggestion that perhaps if the government cannot or will not stop the harassment , then perhaps a tit for tat be made available,

    Perhaps a good time also to see if the attitudes of the rest of the overseas territories have changed in their support for the islanders, rather that the disgraceful lies put out by Argentina,

    Just a thought, just an opinion

    Nov 22nd, 2011 - 07:32 pm 0
  • Raul

    A good time to sit down and discuss the sovereignty of the Islands and comply with resolution 2065 (XX) of 1965, ratified by later resolutions 1973 (3160, XXVIII) 1976 (31/49), 1982 (37 / 9), 1983 (38/12), 1984 (39 / 6), 1985 (40/21), 1986 (41/40), 1987 (42/19) and 1988 (43/25). They all declare the existence of a sovereignty dispute and reaffirm the invitation made ​​in resolution 2065 (XX) Parties (Argentina and the United Kingdom) ”to proceed without delay with the negotiations recommended by the Ad Hoc Committee on the Situation with regarding the implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of independence to colonial Countries and Peoples, to find a peaceful solution to the problem, taking due account of the provisions and objectives of the United Nations Charter and Resolution 1514 (XV), and the interests of the population Malvinas.A Islands since 2004, the Argentine government to the Malvinas Islands Question to appear on the permanent agenda and in the paper by the Bureau of the General Assembly.

    Just a thought, just an opinion

    Nov 22nd, 2011 - 07:52 pm 0
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