The United Kingdom and British Overseas Territories’ Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) wrapped up on Thursday, November 26, having begun virtual meetings on November 23. The JMC is the highest forum for political dialogue and consultation between the UK and elected leaders and representatives of the OTs for the purpose of providing leadership and promoting cooperation in areas of mutual interest.
According to a press release issued by the UK, it was “a chance to celebrate the special partnership between the UK and the Overseas Territories (OTs).”
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and elected leaders at the Joint Ministerial Council
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson joined elected leaders at the Joint Ministerial Council (JMC), and representatives from OTs and the UK held wide ranging discussions on a number of topics, including economic issues, COVID-19 response and recovery, protecting vulnerable groups and protecting the environment in both the run up to and beyond COP26.
Leaders heard from His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, ahead of discussions on the environment and COP26, showing the importance the UK puts on its relationship with the Overseas Territories and recognising their huge contribution to the UK’s biodiversity.
The UK outlined support for border security, prisons and criminal justice in the Overseas Territories.
At the conclusion of the JMC, UK Ministers and OT Leaders agreed a joint communique which can be found here. The 11 broad areas outlined in the communique include: Self Determination, COVID-19 and The Global Health Crisis, Economic Resilience, Exit from the European Union (EU) and Trade, Mental Health, Children, Domestic Abuse, Prisons, Border Security,International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Instruments and Implementation (III) Code and Environment/COP 26.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, speaking at the opening of the JMC earlier this week said:
“The UK is absolutely committed to you, to your futures and to our partnership.
“As we go forward and recover from this pandemic, we want to make sure that we build back greener and that we look after island economies that are so vulnerable to climate change.
“In spite of everything, of the difficulties we are going through, we remember that we are united by deep ties of kinship and friendship and history and values. We in the UK government are going to make sure we continue to intensify that partnership.”
Minister Morton, Minister responsible for Falklands and Gibraltar who chaired much of the Joint Ministerial Council, said:
“Our Overseas Territories are part of the UK family. We take our responsibilities towards them extremely seriously, whether that means working with them to defend the OTs from threats, helping preserve the natural environment, or supporting OTs in times of crisis – as we have with COVID-19. When we face global challenges we face them together”
The UK government remains committed the partnership with the Overseas Territories, and to working together so communities flourish as modern, prosperous and strong democracies.