The Cayman Islands took the lead role at Monday’s meeting in London of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA) Political Council
Premier Alden McLaughlin, current President of the Political Council of UKOTA, chaired the session with the assistance of Eric Bush, Cayman Islands Representative in London and the current Chairman of UKOTA.
The Political Council meeting incorporated an in-depth review of the activity of UKOTA throughout the year.
Matters discussed included the provision of a part time secretary to support the work of UKOTA, issues to do with BOT citizenship of children born out of wedlock, as well as the hosting of next year 2019 pre-JMC Meetings.
It was agreed that the BOT citizenship issue should be raised at the JMC meetings and that the Cayman Islands will host the 2019 pre-JMC meetings at the beginning of July.
This will allow Overseas Territories leaders to participate in our sixtieth anniversary celebrations.
Also discussed were issues relating to the safeguarding of children, constitutional matters, passports, environment and climate change, European Union engagement and OT’s student engagement.
Commenting on the outcome of Monday’s meeting, Premier McLaughlin noted “we have covered a range of issues today and sought to reach some level of consensus between the Overseas Territories so we are able to speak with a unified voice when we address UK Ministers during the JMC meetings.”
He went on to say “we look forward to hosting the Leaders of OT Governments on our beautiful Islands at next year’s pre JMC, not only to progress discussions, but to share with them our culture and Celebrate Cayman festivities.”
In addition to his duties as the current President of UKOTA these meetings present an opportunity for Premier McLaughlin to meet with his fellow Overseas Territories leaders to discuss matters regarding UKOTA, as well as to discuss and agree positions to be taken at the upcoming Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) meetings with the UK Government.
Following the meeting the delegation met with The All Party Parliamentary Group for the Cayman Islands at Portcullis House.
The meeting was Chaired by Sir Graham Bradey MP.
The Premier updated the APPG on the strong performance of the Cayman economy and also discussed concerns about the EU blacklisting process, and the upcoming constitutional talks with the UK Government.
The day ended with the Premier attending a private dinner for the Heads of Overseas Territories Governments hosted by Lord Ahmad, Minister for the Overseas Territories.