I chaired the third meeting of the overseas territories joint ministerial council in London on 2 and 3 December. The key theme of this year’s council was building the prosperity and economic development of the territories. The council was attended by political leaders and representatives from Anguilla; Ascension Island; Bermuda; the British Virgin Islands; the Cayman Islands; the Falkland Islands; Gibraltar; Montserrat; Pitcairn; St Helena; Tristan da Cunha and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
In addition to prosperity and economic development, UK Ministers and overseas territory leaders also discussed financial services, defence and security, policing and criminal justice, the role of the environment in delivering prosperity, migration, passports and border security, health, and pensions. The council agreed a communiqué which identified priorities and set out a clear road map for joint work in the year ahead. A copy of this communiqué has been deposited in the Libraries of both Houses. The communiqué reflects the commitment of the Governments of the overseas territories and the UK to continue to work together in partnership to achieve the vision set out in the June 2012 White Paper “The Overseas Territories: Security Success and Sustainability”.
In line with our commitment in the White Paper we will continue to report to Parliament on progress in implementing the commitments in the communiqué by territory Governments and UK Government Departments. We have also deposited in the Libraries of both Houses a report on progress made in meeting the commitments in the communiqué from the Joint Ministerial Council in 2013. The communiqué, UK progress report and reports by the territories are available for viewing on the website: www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/overseas-territories-joint-ministerial-council