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OTCC Meets In Turks And Caicos

by Amanda Banks,, London

13 June 2008

The leaders of the UK's Overseas Territories met recently to prepare for the Overseas Territories Consultative Council (OTCC) meeting in London later this year.

The nearly ten-hour one-day pre-OTCC meeting was held in Turks and Caicos on 9th June, and was hosted by the country’s Premier Michael Misick.

The leaders discussed a wide array of issues high on the agendas of individual counties, as well as issues of mutual importance.

Bermudian Premier Ewart Brown explained that:

“These meetings are enormously valuable because it gives all of us a better understanding of the struggles and successes of our neighbours. By shaping an agenda in this way we can go to London more organized, with more clearly defined objectives. That’s tremendously important because our time in London is short. It’s essential that we articulate our collective position concisely because there is precious little time.”

One of the most significant agreements from the recent summit called for a review of the White Paper entitled “Partnership for Progress”. That paper, written in 1999, laid out the specifics of the working relationship between the overseas territories and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in the United Kingdom.

Premier Brown stated: “Reviewing the details of ‘Partnerships for Progress’ will allow us to determine whether promises made were promises delivered. And perhaps more importantly, it can help us determine whether mutual benefit has been derived since the White Paper was released. We want to find out where we progressed and where we prospered.”

The Overseas Territories plan to have the review complete before the October OTCC meeting in London, so that its findings can be discussed with FCO officials.

The countries represented at the meeting were: Bermuda, Turks and Caicos, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat and St. Helena.

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