OCTA

Overseas Countries
and Territories Association

Signature du MoU par M. Thierry Santa, président de la Nouvelle-Calédonie et président de l’OCTA(1)

OCTA and UKOTA: the beginning of a new path

Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, French Polynesia, French Southern and Antartic Lands (TAAF), Greenland, New-Caledonia, Saba, Saint-Barthelemy, Saint-Pierre-and-Miquelon, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Wallis and Futuna

 

Results of the OCTA Extraordinary Ministerial Conference, June 24, 2021

 

20 OCT delegations attended the extraordinary ministerial conference organized virtually on the 24th of June, under New Caledonia’s chairmanship.

This extraordinary meeting was dedicated to the formalization of the withdrawal of the 9 UK territories[1] from OCTA’s membership and to the establishment of a new framework of cooperation, detailed in a MoU between OCTA and the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA).

Since 1 February 2020, UK territories are no longer EU OCTs as per Annex II to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. While OCTA’s members are associated to the EU according to its statutes, it was agreed, after an extensive process of consultation, that the collaboration between UK territories and OCTA shall evolve in a different way.

OCTA’s chairman, M. Santa, highlighted in his opening speech that “the health crisis has revealed the importance of cooperation and solidarity with our neighboring countries and territories. It is a chance for the citizens of our territories to get to know each other, to exchange our experiences, and to maintain our collaboration for the future while making the most of all existing levers for the benefit of our populations”.

The MoU will enable cooperation on issues of common interest such as post covid 19 economic recovery, climate change, biodiversity, oceans and sustainable energy. Regional cooperation in accordance with the Overseas Association Decision including Greenland, and the implementation of European Development Fund (EDF) projects where UK OT are involved are also part of the priorities outlined in the MoU.

All Delegations recognized the value of their joint cooperation over the past 20 years and the achievements in raising awareness of the OCTs and in defending their common interests. UK territories were among the founding members of OCTA and throughout their membership contributed significantly to the development and leadership of the Association and all its bodies (Chairman, Executive Committee).

The Hon Walter H Roban, JP MP, Deputy Premier and Minister of Home Affairs of Bermuda, acknowledged that “UK Territories and OCT associated to the EU unanimously decided to continue the collaboration and to develop a framework for strong cooperation in the spirit of a joint partnership”.

The extraordinary meeting was also the occasion to review OCTA’s statutes to take into account the impact of the reduction of the membership to 13 OCTs[2], which are related to the Member States of France, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

 

Contact: Pablo Lopez-Herrerias | OCTA Secretariat Coordinator | pablo@overseas-association.eu

 

[1] Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Turks & Caicos Islands

[2] Greenland (DK)

Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Sint-Maarten (NL)

French Polynesia, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, New Caledonia, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna (FR)