18th July 2014
The Honourable Premier of Montserrat Mr Reuben T Meade and other elected leaders of the UK’s Overseas Territories, met in the Cayman Islands on 15-17 July, 2014, to discuss the forthcoming Joint Ministerial Council Meeting (JMC), scheduled for December in London.
The purpose of the Joint Ministerial Council is to implement the principles of the 2012 White Paper on Security, Success and Sustainability and to agree at the ministerial level on collective issues between the governments of the Overseas Territories and Britain.
This week’s meeting in the Cayman Islands discussed measures aimed at securing the long-term economic futures of the OTs.
The key areas are; economic diversification, good governance, global standards of financial regulation accountability and transparency, environmental sustainability, and security and immigration.
On the matter of economic diversification the leaders of the Overseas Territories say they want to build sustainable economies that are more resilient and capitalize on changing global trends.
They have also committed to upholding the principles of Good Governance in the administration of our respective territories and to recognize the right to self determination of all people of the Overseas Territories.
With financial services a key economic driver for the OTs, the leaders say the goal is for global standards of financial regulation, accountability and transparency. Coming out of this week’s meeting in the Cayman Islands, one of the world’s leading offshore financial centres, the leaders have affirmed that they will continue to lead in the fight against financial crime and continue to be responsible international financial centres that facilitate global trade and investment in line with the emerging global consensus.
Environmental sustainability is another focal point. As vulnerable small territories whose economies are dependent on environmental sustainability, the commitment from the leaders of the British Overseas territories is to continue their long history of caring for and nurturing our environments.
On the topic of security and immigration, the leaders have stressed that they will ensure the security and protection of their borders and the safety and welfare of the people, including access to all passports, specifically emergency travel, despite the UK’s new policy to repatriate the printing of all passports to the United Kingdom by the end of this year.
The leaders said they reaffirmed their commitment and respect for the principles outlined in their respective Constitutions and will uphold their obligations to their electorate and the people they serve.
The meeting in the Cayman Islands from July 15 to 17 was attended by leaders from the British Overseas Territories of Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar and Montserrat.
17th July 2014
The Honourable Premier of Montserrat Mt Reuben T Meade this week joined heads of government of the UK Overseas Territories(OCTs) attending a meeting in the Cayman Islands which concluded on 17 July.
On the agenda are issues of mutual interest including prosperity, economic development, environment and green energy.
Premier Meade has been given a leading role on a wide range of issues between the British and other European governments and their respective OCTs.
4th July 2014
Statement by the The Honourable Premier of Montserrat Mr Reuben T Meade at the 35th Regular 35th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) meeting at St Johns, Antigua & Barbuda 1-4 July 2014.
The Montserrat Premier also signed the Agreement establishing the Caribbean Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) of which Montserrat has been up to this point a de facto participating member.
The Department of Trade is the focal point for CROSQ matters on Montserrat. (For further information on CROSQ go to www.crosq.org)
As a founding member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Montserrat has continued to retain full membership of CARICOM and remains an up to date subscriber to all of the specialized agencies in our region and the CARICOM Secretariat. Montserrat also participates fully in the Common External Tariff (CET).
We have legal provisions for the automatic grant of 6 months stay under the freedom of movement obligations and CARICOM skills certificates are also honoured in Montserrat, but we do not yet have in place the institutional arrangements to issue those Certificates.
Montserrat also issues land holding licenses to CARICOM nationals as an administrative procedure in seeking to comply with CARICOM’s right of establishment obligations, and we intend to remove all impediments except for those related to cost recovery; and of course our compliance with the movement of capital obligations is assured within the framework of the East Caribbean Currency Union.
Montserrat therefore proposes for the Conference to be alerted of the Government of Montserrat’s intention to accede to the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and to participate in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).
We are fully competent to do so on entrustments received from our main sponsor the United Kingdom Government for our continued full participation in the regional integration movement.
You may also be aware that as at January 1st of this year 2014, a new Direction was issued by the European Union, which is equivalent to the CARICOM-EPA and creates an opportunity now for the French and Dutch Departments in the Caribbean to also join in our Regional Integration Movement.
We in Montserrat are clearly ahead in this team effort and it’s strengthening by actions from our internal and external partners, including the private sector globally is encouraging.
In Montserrat, we continue to view the regional integration movement as presenting an over-arching economic platform that can be beneficial to our peoples.
It provides space for employment creation and extending opportunity for joint ventures and increased functional cooperation among our governments and people.
It is our intention therefore to bring the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (CSME) Bill to our parliament for its first reading before September of 2014 and we anticipate the enactment of the Bill by the end of this year 2014.
Montserrat will also proceed to engage with the CCJ and CDF to ensure concurrent accession to these entities, which are inextricably linked to the Revised Treaty.
Montserrat therefore intends to deposit an Instrument of Accession to the Revised Treaty by the next meeting of the Conference.
In order to forestall any legal action that may be taken against Montserrat in relation to its CSME Obligations, pending the completion of legislative and administrative arrangements for implementation, we invite the Conference to:
(I). Approve that Montserrat shall enjoy reasonable time-frames to put in place the institutional arrangements to comply with its Treaty obligations following upon Accession to the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas for participation in the CSME;
(ii). That these reasonable time-frames are agreed with and implemented in consultation with the CARICOM Secretariat, particularly the Office of the General Counsel.
20th June 2014
The Honourable Premier of Montserrat Mr Reuben Meade this week signed Memorandum of Understanding twinning Montserrat with counties in the UK and Spain.
The first was with the territory’s namesake, Montserrat of Valencia Spain, and the other with the county of Hertfordshire in the UK.
Hertfordshire is a county full of contrasts that blend together to create a superb quality of life for residents and visitors alike.
Situated in the south east of England, the county is about 20 miles from London but still retains its own unique identity, with thriving modern towns and picturesque villages set in beautiful countryside.
The balance of these contrasts is an unrivalled atmosphere and quality of life which attracts both people and businesses to the county.
In November 2013, a national Quality of Life Index listed Hertfordshire as the third-best place to live in the UK.
For more go to ZJB-Spirit of Montserrat Premier Meade signs ‘twinning’ MOUs
18th June 2014