Categorized | Local, News, Regional

OTC meeting ends with focus on collaboration in accessing EDF

l to r: Dr. Orlando Smith, BVI, Mrs. Sarah Wescott- Williams, St. Maarten, Premier Reuben T. Meade and mr. Hubert Hughes, Anguilla

l to r: Dr. Orlando Smith, BVI, Mrs. Sarah Wescott- Williams, St. Maarten, Premier
Reuben T. Meade and mr. Hubert Hughes, Anguilla

Two weeks ago Montserrat hosted an Overseas Territories Council meeting where in attendance were Several political leaders of Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories. They were: Mrs Sarah Wescott-Williams of Dutch St Maarten, Mr. Hubert Hughes of Anguilla and Dr. Orlando Smith of the British Virgin Islands, and their delegations, along with delegate representatives from Curacao and Turks and Cacaos.

Premier, the Honourable of Montserrat, Mr. Reuben Meade, chaired the conference which discussed European Union funding for the Overseas Territories. More specifically, the points discussed during the two-day conference included items such as the updating of the OCTs on the status of Small and Medium Enterprise program remaining from 10th European Development Fund (EDF), to select the sectors for submission for regional cooperation within the 11th EDF, to select countries to work on the proposals for the selected sectors, to select the Regional Authorizing Officer for this programming period and to commit to cooperate with other EU partners in the region namely the ACP and Overseas Regions of Europe.

As a result of the meeting the Caribbean Wide Project concerning Small and Medium Enterprise program now gets into motion with the first steering committee meeting and stakeholder forum to be held in the British Virgin Islands on the 2nd of June, 2014

IMG_1336The Premier had brief words of welcome at the opening of the council meeting, but at the closing which included a press conference with the heads present, He expressed, “…pleasure of having with us,” the Chief Minister from Anguilla and Delegation, Prime Minister of St. Maarten heading the St. Maarten delegation, the Premier of the British Virgin Islands also with his delegation, as he added, “we’ve also had representation form Curacao, Turks and Cacaos and clearly Montserrat.”

He announced that the other OTs, “unfortunately could not have made the meeting but our discussion documents will also be submitted to them for their perusal, for their consideration and for their input as well.”

He reported that, “Within the EU Regional allocation there are pretty much three schematic areas which we pretty much need to look at, this meeting came down to the selection of three areas,” of priority, “namely waste management and renewable energy, Montserrat will take the lead in preparing the submission; Tourism, the lead will be St. Maarten, and Health would be the British Virgin Islands.”

The expectation was to have submissions coming from each of the delegations which will come to Montserrat and then circulated to all of the participating members.

Each of the heads summarized the activities and the agreements going forward, reporting that they looked at the Overseas Territories, not as a disparate group but as a grouping of countries. Expressed by Premier Meade, he said, “I deliberately say countries who have committed to work together are pooling our resources ensuring that our communication mechanism are established as such so that where ever there is information, where ever there are opportunities that we share that information amongst ourselves so that together we can move forward on behalf of the peoples we represent.”

They spoke of looking at, “what lessons can we learn from one another, what synergies can we have among ourselves. This is part of what we are about, creating those synergies, creating the communication links amongst ourselves so that we can move forward together and better utilize the resources that are available to us globally,” positions they hope can come out of their meeting.

Sarah-Westcott---St-Martin---IMG_1366

St. Maarten Prime Minister Wescott-Williams

At her opportunity to speak, Dutch St. Maarten Prime Minister Wescott-Williams expressed thanks to, “the Government of Montserrat, not only with the usual pleasantries…in expressing thanks to the host country, but for the what I believe are the extra efforts that have been made to make it possible for us to gather here on Montserrat for this meeting and …for really going the extra mile to assisting us in getting here.”

Whilst expressing gratitude, also, “to my two colleagues here at the table and the delegations who form part of these meetings, the more that we can boast about being able to tap in to different funding sources especially those that allow us a Region to use these sources, the more incumbent it is upon all of us to meet and discuss the priorities for all of us,” she said.

She added that with respect to the main issues coming out of the meeting , Renewable Energy, Tourism and Health topics, it was good to be able to have that discussion once again, “and the old adage of United we can accomplish so much more also applies in this case.”

Orlando-Smith

British Virgin Islands Premier, Dr. Orlando Smith

BVI Premier, Dr. Orlando Smith joined in grateful appreciation of services extended to them. He said they realized that if they were, “to band together we would be able to be more effective in achieving better results from the programs…” as he added their pledge to work together inviting themselves to the French Overseas Territories meeting (Martinique, Guadeloupe), where they can join together and form even a greater and stronger union. “We recognize the need and they recognize the need and having got to that position (greater collaboration a nd participation and sharing from the territories) we will all benefit…” he concluded.

Chief Minister Hughes of Anguilla, shared his views as similar to the others, reminiscing on the close ties with Montserrat in matters of common interest. He was full of praise for the Premier and the role he plays on the regional scene.

Environment and tourism –
a powerful lesson to Montserrat especially in the current turmoils of development – Anguilla’s CM Hughes speaks of sensible responsibility that brings economic progress

The press engaged the Chief Minister on matters of tourism, environment and fisheries, (suggested to be extricable linked), to ensure ‘tourism’ survives in the OTs.

 Hubert-Hughes-Anguilla

Hubert- Hughes Chief Minister of Anguilla

Hughes responds : “Anguilla as you know is a very small destination so we have appropriately adopted the upper end, a higher end of the tourism market, we do not go for mass tourism,” noting the size of their population is just about thirteen and a half thousand. “But our tourism succeeds,” he continues “because even when there was the global recession we were still getting the richer people coming to Anguilla. We have not suffered the setbacks as the larger tourism destinations suffered.”

The CM (his designation as they have not yet adopted the offer of a new Constitution from the UK), continued that they have, “passed legislation for our biodiversity, we have tried to protect the mangroves and other areas, we have been very careful about our ecology, we have not tampered with the reefs and we have been very cautious about how we protect Anguilla, because we want to make sure that development is sustainable,”

He said this is so, “because in the interest of maximizing their profits from the investments, the investor does not always protect your natural environment, so we have not only introduced legislations but we also create awareness among our people, how it is so important and critical that we take the initiatives in protecting what we have, while reaping the major benefits.”

Tune in and visit www.themontserratreporter.com for full audio responses

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

l to r: Dr. Orlando Smith, BVI, Mrs. Sarah Wescott- Williams, St. Maarten, Premier Reuben T. Meade and mr. Hubert Hughes, Anguilla

l to r: Dr. Orlando Smith, BVI, Mrs. Sarah Wescott- Williams, St. Maarten, Premier
Reuben T. Meade and mr. Hubert Hughes, Anguilla

Two weeks ago Montserrat hosted an Overseas Territories Council meeting where in attendance were Several political leaders of Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories. They were: Mrs Sarah Wescott-Williams of Dutch St Maarten, Mr. Hubert Hughes of Anguilla and Dr. Orlando Smith of the British Virgin Islands, and their delegations, along with delegate representatives from Curacao and Turks and Cacaos.

Premier, the Honourable of Montserrat, Mr. Reuben Meade, chaired the conference which discussed European Union funding for the Overseas Territories. More specifically, the points discussed during the two-day conference included items such as the updating of the OCTs on the status of Small and Medium Enterprise program remaining from 10th European Development Fund (EDF), to select the sectors for submission for regional cooperation within the 11th EDF, to select countries to work on the proposals for the selected sectors, to select the Regional Authorizing Officer for this programming period and to commit to cooperate with other EU partners in the region namely the ACP and Overseas Regions of Europe.

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As a result of the meeting the Caribbean Wide Project concerning Small and Medium Enterprise program now gets into motion with the first steering committee meeting and stakeholder forum to be held in the British Virgin Islands on the 2nd of June, 2014

IMG_1336The Premier had brief words of welcome at the opening of the council meeting, but at the closing which included a press conference with the heads present, He expressed, “…pleasure of having with us,” the Chief Minister from Anguilla and Delegation, Prime Minister of St. Maarten heading the St. Maarten delegation, the Premier of the British Virgin Islands also with his delegation, as he added, “we’ve also had representation form Curacao, Turks and Cacaos and clearly Montserrat.”

He announced that the other OTs, “unfortunately could not have made the meeting but our discussion documents will also be submitted to them for their perusal, for their consideration and for their input as well.”

He reported that, “Within the EU Regional allocation there are pretty much three schematic areas which we pretty much need to look at, this meeting came down to the selection of three areas,” of priority, “namely waste management and renewable energy, Montserrat will take the lead in preparing the submission; Tourism, the lead will be St. Maarten, and Health would be the British Virgin Islands.”

The expectation was to have submissions coming from each of the delegations which will come to Montserrat and then circulated to all of the participating members.

Each of the heads summarized the activities and the agreements going forward, reporting that they looked at the Overseas Territories, not as a disparate group but as a grouping of countries. Expressed by Premier Meade, he said, “I deliberately say countries who have committed to work together are pooling our resources ensuring that our communication mechanism are established as such so that where ever there is information, where ever there are opportunities that we share that information amongst ourselves so that together we can move forward on behalf of the peoples we represent.”

They spoke of looking at, “what lessons can we learn from one another, what synergies can we have among ourselves. This is part of what we are about, creating those synergies, creating the communication links amongst ourselves so that we can move forward together and better utilize the resources that are available to us globally,” positions they hope can come out of their meeting.

Sarah-Westcott---St-Martin---IMG_1366

St. Maarten Prime Minister Wescott-Williams

At her opportunity to speak, Dutch St. Maarten Prime Minister Wescott-Williams expressed thanks to, “the Government of Montserrat, not only with the usual pleasantries…in expressing thanks to the host country, but for the what I believe are the extra efforts that have been made to make it possible for us to gather here on Montserrat for this meeting and …for really going the extra mile to assisting us in getting here.”

Whilst expressing gratitude, also, “to my two colleagues here at the table and the delegations who form part of these meetings, the more that we can boast about being able to tap in to different funding sources especially those that allow us a Region to use these sources, the more incumbent it is upon all of us to meet and discuss the priorities for all of us,” she said.

She added that with respect to the main issues coming out of the meeting , Renewable Energy, Tourism and Health topics, it was good to be able to have that discussion once again, “and the old adage of United we can accomplish so much more also applies in this case.”

Orlando-Smith

British Virgin Islands Premier, Dr. Orlando Smith

BVI Premier, Dr. Orlando Smith joined in grateful appreciation of services extended to them. He said they realized that if they were, “to band together we would be able to be more effective in achieving better results from the programs…” as he added their pledge to work together inviting themselves to the French Overseas Territories meeting (Martinique, Guadeloupe), where they can join together and form even a greater and stronger union. “We recognize the need and they recognize the need and having got to that position (greater collaboration a nd participation and sharing from the territories) we will all benefit…” he concluded.

Chief Minister Hughes of Anguilla, shared his views as similar to the others, reminiscing on the close ties with Montserrat in matters of common interest. He was full of praise for the Premier and the role he plays on the regional scene.

Environment and tourism –
a powerful lesson to Montserrat especially in the current turmoils of development – Anguilla’s CM Hughes speaks of sensible responsibility that brings economic progress

The press engaged the Chief Minister on matters of tourism, environment and fisheries, (suggested to be extricable linked), to ensure ‘tourism’ survives in the OTs.

 Hubert-Hughes-Anguilla

Hubert- Hughes Chief Minister of Anguilla

Hughes responds : “Anguilla as you know is a very small destination so we have appropriately adopted the upper end, a higher end of the tourism market, we do not go for mass tourism,” noting the size of their population is just about thirteen and a half thousand. “But our tourism succeeds,” he continues “because even when there was the global recession we were still getting the richer people coming to Anguilla. We have not suffered the setbacks as the larger tourism destinations suffered.”

The CM (his designation as they have not yet adopted the offer of a new Constitution from the UK), continued that they have, “passed legislation for our biodiversity, we have tried to protect the mangroves and other areas, we have been very careful about our ecology, we have not tampered with the reefs and we have been very cautious about how we protect Anguilla, because we want to make sure that development is sustainable,”

He said this is so, “because in the interest of maximizing their profits from the investments, the investor does not always protect your natural environment, so we have not only introduced legislations but we also create awareness among our people, how it is so important and critical that we take the initiatives in protecting what we have, while reaping the major benefits.”

Tune in and visit www.themontserratreporter.com for full audio responses