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Ministry of Education and Culture
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The BVI’s progress on climate change and financial services were presented at the 15th OCT-EU Forum and OCTA Ministerial Conference in Aruba last week.
The conference was held from February 20 to 24 and was represented by a delegation headed by BVI London Office Director, Mr. Benito Wheatley; Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, Mr. Joseph Smith-Abbott and BVI London Office Deputy Director, Dr. Sandra Besson.
During a plenary session on climate change on February 24, Mr. Smith-Abbott made a presentation on the BVI's participation in the OECS Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) project on climate change adaptation and sustainable land management.
"It was my pleasure to share the progress BVI is making on climate change as a part of the OECS GCCA project. I also offered recommendations on how the Overseas Countries and Territories can implement a wider climate change thematic programme for the Caribbean supported by the EU’, Mr. Abbott said.
The Deputy Secretary also participated in a workshop on implementing the EU's BEST programme on biodiversity in the margins of the 15th OCT-EU Forum.
BVI’s London Office Director and EU Representative, Mr. Benito Wheatley delivered a report at the OCTA Ministerial Conference on the Financial Services Partnership Working Party (PWP) meetings held in 2016, which the BVI co-chairs with the European Commission.
Mr. Wheatley said, "We had a highly successful year of engagement with the EU on financial services which I was happy to report on. We have plans to deepen our dialogue with the EU on tax and transparency in 2017. The BVI will continue to lead in this area."
The Premier of the Turks & Caicos Islands, the Honourable Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson was elected the Chair of OCTA for 2017, while European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Mr. Neven Mimica led the EU delegation at the Aruba meetings.
The BVI is a member of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA), and associated with the EU. BVI is represented at the annual OCT-EU Forum and OCTA Ministerial Conference each year.
The Government of the Virgin Islands is committed to strengthening international relationships, in positioning the Territory for the future.
Photo caption: Mr. Joseph Smith-Abbott presents at the climate change plenary on February 24, 2017. (Photo credit: Provided)