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British Overseas Territories

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 9 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what response his Department has made to proposal of the Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands that Governors should be excluded from future meetings of the Overseas Territories Consultative Council; and if he will make a statement; (155818)

(2) which Chief Ministers of overseas territories have indicated their support for the idea that Governors should be excluded from future meetings of the Overseas Territories Consultative Council; and if he will make a statement.

In advance of the November 2006 Overseas Territories Consultative Council, the Chief Ministers and equivalents of the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat, and the Turks and Caicos Islands proposed that governors should not attend the meeting. My noble Friend the former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, subsequently agreed with Chief Ministers that governors should attend the meeting to help the discussions on issues where they were particularly closely engaged in the territories, including law enforcement, international financial regulation and disaster management. A successful Overseas Territories Consultative Council meeting was held on this basis.