Written statement to Parliament

Overseas Territories: Joint Ministerial Council

Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds has updated parliament on the first Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council meeting.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Mark Simmonds

Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds said:

I chaired the first meeting of the Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council in London from 4-5 December. This Council brings together the political leaders from the Overseas Territories and UK Ministers. It provides a forum for the exchange of views on political and constitutional issues and has a mandate to lead work to review and implement the strategy and commitments in the June 2012 White Paper The Overseas Territories: Security Success and Sustainability and to promote the security and good governance of the Territories and their sustainable economic and social development.

The Council agreed a communiqué which identified priority issues and set out a comprehensive action plan for joint work. A copy of this communiqué has been laid in the Library of the House. The communiqué reflects the commitment of the governments of the Overseas Territories and the UK to work together to support economic growth and jobs; to protect the environment and create green growth; to harness effectively the support of the EU, the Commonwealth and other international organisations; and to deliver better government, better education and stronger, healthier and safer communities.

In line with our commitment in the White Paper we will report to Parliament on progress in implementing the commitments in the communiqué by territory governments and UK Departments.

The annual Joint Ministerial Council succeeds the Overseas Territories Consultative Council set up in 1999. It was attended this year by political leaders and representatives of the following Territories: Anguilla; Bermuda; the British Virgin Islands; the Cayman Islands; the Falkland Islands; Gibraltar; Montserrat; Pitcairn; St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

On 5 December the Prime Minister welcomed Territory leaders to 10 Downing Street: the first time that Overseas Territory leaders have had a collective meeting with a Prime Minister.

Further Information

More information on the Joint Ministerial Council

Read the Joint Ministerial Council communiqué

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Published 19 December 2012