High level Political Representatives of ten Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) of the EU have agreed to establish an OCT Council for the Caribbean region. Climate change and disaster management, as well as relationships with the EU, cooperation with other EU regions in the Caribbean, sustainable leadership in the Caribbean and strategic development within a sustainable framework will be among the areas of cooperation.
The Council was established through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on 26 April 2012 in Curacao. Curacao was elected as Chair for the Council, while the Cayman Islands is the Vice Chair and British Virgin Islands holds the Secretariat.
The aim of the Council is to work on a joint agenda for sustainable development and a roadmap to establish a Caribbean Agenda with respect to the new Agreement of the OCTs that is currently being prepared by the EU and that should come into effect on 1 January 2014. The Council wishes to enhance their relationship with the EU and ensure that the needs and interests of the Caribbean OCTs are incorporated.
The Council provides a formal institution to work together among all Caribbean OCTs on areas of common interest. Those are cooperation within different constitutional frameworks, transportation and logistics, capacity building and sharing / human capital development, waste management, climate change, renewable energy, disaster management, strategic development within a sustainable framework within small countries/territories, relationship with EU, sustainable leadership in the Caribbean and development of Public-Private-Partnerships.
On each topic specific working groups have been initiated and will present a Working Plan by 1 September 2012. The Council will meet again on 23 September 2012, prior to the next EU-OCT Forum.
Learn more on the Montserrat Government's website or Statia News.
About Europe overseas
The European Union (EU) includes 34 overseas territories (with 16 of 34 located in the Caribbean): 8 Outermost Regions and 26 Overseas Countries and Territories. They are linked to 6 EU Member States: Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. Found in every ocean, from polar to tropical latitudes, they are home to a unique diversity of species and ecosystems of global significance, which are highly vulnerable to human impacts and increasingly the impacts of climate change.