Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE will attend the Joint Ministerial Council Meeting (JMC) and other meetings in the United Kingdom from Thursday, November 26, to Wednesday, December 2.
Prior to his departure, Premier Smith said he welcomed the opportunity to report on the Territory’s progress and promote discussions on topics of that are critical to the development and future of the Virgin Islands.
The Premier said past meetings have been very constructive and he believes the ongoing partnership dialogue will continue to keep relations between the United Kingdom (UK) and Overseas Territories (OTs) on a firm footing.
Topics to be discussed at this year’s JMC plenary sessions include child safeguarding and economic development, along with environmental issues of interest and concern, including climate change and the upcoming United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties 21 meeting in Paris.
During his visit to the UK, Premier Smith will also meet with the Overseas Territories Minister, James Duddridge MP to discuss UK-BVI relations. He will also update the British Virgin Islands All Party Parliamentary Group on the Territory’s progress.
Premier Smith is accompanied by acting Permanent Secretary, Mr. Brodrick Penn. Director of BVI London Office Mr. Benito Wheatley will also attend the meetings.
The annual JMC meeting presents a unique opportunity to dialogue and engage with UK Ministers and leaders from other Overseas Territories. The Joint Ministerial Council is a group comprising Premiers/Chief Ministers of OTs and members of the UK Government. The JMC was launched in October 2012 following the publication of the June 2012 white paper titled: The Overseas Territory: Security, Success and Sustainability. Premier Smith will join other OT leaders to discuss UK-OT relations.