The British Virgin Islands government says it has strengthened cooperation with the United Nations ahead of losing future European Union support for sustainable development at the end of 2020 when the Brexit transition period expires.
EU assistance to the BVI and other British Overseas Territories will terminate with Brexit - the UK’s departure from the EU.
At the just-ended Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) between the UK and the OTs, the British government reassured the OTs that it acknowledges that its withdrawal from the EU will impact them, "particularly in the areas of eligibility for and access to funding, and trade.”
It said “it has and continues to represent the interests of the Overseas Territories in the UK-EU negotiations, in particular on trade and funding programme.”
The British government had also stated that “in consultation with Territory Governments, (it will) “take their interests and needs into account when designing future funding streams, programmes and policies to promote the sustainable economic development of the Territories.”
But for its part, the BVI government is taking a more proactive approach.
In a press release, it says: “To advance the sustainable development of the islands, the British Virgin Islands Government has secured technical assistance from the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) to help develop a National Sustainable Development Plan for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.”
It also says it is collaborating with the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC) on a summit of the regional commission’s 14 Associate Member Countries (AMCs) in 2021 that will focus on addressing the assistance gap to the AMCs as they strive to meet the SDGs.
Commenting on the British Virgin Islands cooperation with the UN, Premier Andrew Fahie said: “The British Virgin Islands will continue to deepen our relationship with the UN as we work closely on the local response to COVID-19 and engage with regional and international partners to lay the groundwork for post-pandemic recovery, climate resilience and sustainable development for Caribbean SIDS."
In response to the disruption caused by COVID-19 to the sustainable development agenda and the negative economic, social and health impacts of the global pandemic, the UN is helping the British Virgin Islands to address the effects of the virus as a part of its Multisectoral Response Plan for the Eastern Caribbean.