Pre-OT Council meetings in Bermuda

 The Pre-Overseas Territories
Consultative Council meeting was officially opened at Bermuda’s Fairmont
Hamilton Princess Resort Friday with welcome remarks by Bermuda Premier Ewart
F. Brown.

Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush
was among the delegates attending the meeting to discuss the concerns and needs
of the Overseas Territories in advance of the OTCC meeting in the UK later this
year.

In his opening remarks Bermuda’s
Premier Brown said, “In the time that we have been holding these meetings in
advance of our discussions with the UK, we have come to understand the power
inherent in speaking with one voice. We have come to understand that we do
possess the ability to make that voice be heard. And we have come to understand
that we are stronger together than apart.”

Topics on the agenda for discussion
at the Pre-OTTC meeting included: the European Commission Report on civil
protection in the Caribbean; civil aviation; a regional high-security prison;
contingent liabilities of the UK to its territories; naturalisation and the
role of the premier in approving persons naturalised; law and order and the
role of the premier and elected members in the National Security Council; the
role of the governor in appointments of senior members of government and
redefining consultation; constitutional advancement; and the need for change of
borrowing guidelines.

Other oversees attendees at the
Pre-OTCC meeting were British Virgin Islands Premier Ralph T. O’Neal; Anguilla
Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Social Development Edison Baird;
Montserrat Minister of Communications and Works and Labour Charles Kirnon; and
British Virgin Islands Member, House of Assembly Vincent Scatliffe.

The Pre-OTCC meetings took place
from 3 – 6 June 2010. Following the Pre-OTCC meeting Premier Bush travelled to
London, where he will have budget discussions with UK Parliamentary Under Secretary
of State Henry Bellingham on Tuesday.