Prime Minister Wescot signs Joint Position Paper at OCTA Ministerial Conference in South Pacific
GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Honorable Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams, on Monday signed the Joint Position Paper (JPP) on the first day (Monday) at the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA) Ministerial Conference and the OCT-European Union (EU) Forum on the South Pacific island of New Caledonia.
The Sint Maarten delegation arrived in New Caledonia on Sunday. The JPP entitled, “The Future of the Relations between OCTs and EU,” signing was the first official act of the prime minister at the conference.
Sint Maarten’s approval of the proposals put forward in the JPP is of the opinion that they provide an effective basis for a more current and relevant Association Decision, post 2013.
Sint Maarten hopes the provisions in the paper will be given serious consideration by the European Commission and further developed within a cooperation framework that will be mutually beneficial to all parties concerned.
The Ministerial Conference is the highest political body of OCTA which meets on an annual basis to discuss and agree on policy matters concerning the Association.
The discussions at the meetings are primarily centered on a new EU-OCT cooperation structure. The existing Overseas Association Decision (OAD) or the OCT Decision will expire in 2013.
The OAD is primarily a trade regime which gives the OCTs free market access to the EU. The intention of the decision is also to help create economic and social prosperity in the territories.
The trip is being funded by the EU and is being coordinated by the Department of Interior and Kingdom Relations (BAK) that falls under the Ministry of General Affairs.
New Caledonia is a French OCT which is located in the Southwest Pacific Ocean approximately 751 miles East of Australia and 930 miles Northwest of New Zealand.
Prime Minister Wescot using OCTA Ministerial Conference to build networks for Sint Maarten
GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Honorable Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams, is using the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA) Ministerial Conference and the OCT-European Union (EU) Forum currently taking place on the South Pacific island of New Caledonia, to build networks with other OCTs. Sint Maarten is also using the opportunity to highlight challenges as well as opportunities as a new member within the OCT group.
The Sint Maarten delegation under the leadership of Hon. Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams also supports proposals for OCTs to gain greater accessibility to EU funding programs.
On Tuesday morning conference delegates were welcomed to the opening of the OCT-European Union (EU) Forum which was officiate by Member of the French Government in charge of the Overseas Territories Minister Marie-Luce Penchard, President of the Government of New Caledonia Philippe Gomes and Commissioner Andris Piebalgs.
There was also a session on “Future OCT-EU Relations,” which entailed the presentation of the Joint Position Paper and of the political resolutions adopted by OCTA as well as statements by Heads of the delegations of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Other statements were made by Member of the European Parliament Maurice Ponga, President of the Regional Council of Martinique on behalf of the Conference of Presidents of Outermost Regions Serge Letchimy (video message) and a statement by Commissioner Andris Piebalgs.
The Ministerial Conference is the highest political body of OCTA which meets on an annual basis to discuss and agree on policy matters concerning the Association. The trip is being funded by the EU and is being coordinated by the Department of Interior and Kingdom Relations (BAK) that falls under the Ministry of General Affairs.