British Virgin Islands Forms New Council With European’s Caribbean Territories

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By the Caribbean Journal staff

The British Virgin Islands has signed an agreement to form a new body aimed at fostering greater cooperation between the British and Dutch territories in the Caribbean.

The Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories Council includes the BVI, Anguilla, Aruba, Bonaire, Cayman, Curacao, Montserrat and Sint Maarten as members, with Saba and Sint Eustatius inducted as associate members.

Curacao will be the chairman of the executive body of the council, with Cayman as vice chair and the BVI as secretariat.

“We are embarking on a bold new venture by coming together to establish a mechanism by which we can become more integrated with each other and the region on a whole,” said BVI Deputy Premier Dr Kedrick Pickering. “The overall goal of the council is to foster greater regional cooperation among us for our mutual benefit and advancement. It will also serve as a forum for us as leaders to set a common regional and international agenda and coordinate positions and issues of mutual interest and concern.”

The signing came during a visit by Pickering to Curacao.

“We went with a mission to form the Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories Council, and I must say, we did exceptionally well,” he said.

Pickering said regional cooperation, particularly between overseas territories in the Caribbean, was “very important and necessary,” given changing global economic conditions and the small size of the territories individually.

“We share common concerns related to myriad issues, including waste management, maritime management, climate change, renewable energy, transportation and food security,” he said. “As we continue to develop we also face issues related to infrastructure connectivity and human resources.”