Premier Romeo Updates UK Gov on Hurricane Response Capabilities
The Honourable Premier Donaldson Romeo updated leaders of the Overseas Territories and UK Government Representatives of Montserrat’s mitigation and response capabilities for the 2018 hurricane season at the Pre Joint Ministerial Council in London.
Premier Donaldson Romeo travelled to London earlier this month for talks with UK Ministers and Leaders of the Overseas territories primarily on the status of preparations for the upcoming hurricane season and recovery from Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
The Premier engaged in a series of meetings which started on June 12th where he met with other Caribbean Overseas Territories’ Leaders and the London Representative from Bermuda for a Pre-Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) ‘Caribbean and Bermuda Territories Heads of Government’ meeting.
At this meeting the Chief Minister of Anguilla, Victor Banks, Deputy Premier of the British Virgin Islands, Dr. Kedrick Pickering and Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson each provided an update on their Territories’ recovery following the devastating effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on their respective islands.
It was during the JMC, Premier Romeo spoke of the need to build resilience in each of the Caribbean Territories and Bermuda, pointing out that although Montserrat did not endure the force of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the island nevertheless sustained damage.
On the following day, June 13th, the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA) hosted the Pre-JMC Meeting at Church House in West-minster.
The UKOTA Pre-Joint Ministerial Council meeting provided the Overseas Territories heads of delegation to find common ground on matters relating to the recent Sanctions and Money Laundering Bill and its subsequent assent on May 23rd
Immigration, the environment and climate change, disaster preparedness and matters relating to the UK exiting the EU were also key aspects of the discussions.
The leaders also agreed the topics they would like to have included in the agenda for the annual OT-UK Joint Ministerial Council to be held in November 2018.
The Honorable Premier’s meetings in London concluded on Thursday, June 14th with the UK Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council on EU-Negotiations hosted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and chaired by FCO Minister for the Overseas Territories, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon.
Lord Ahmad invited the heads of the territories’ delegations affected by the September hurricanes to provide an update on their recovery and with support from officials provided information on the UK’s response in respect of logistical and financial support.
Premier Romeo told the meeting that the devastation the other Islands suffered highlighted the urgency for the UK and Montserrat to work together to address Montserrat’s resiliency.
He said, had Montserrat been hit the island would probably be even worse off in the aftermath.
The Hon. Donaldson Romeo also had bilateral meetings with Lord Ahmad and with the Minister of State at the Department for International Development, the Rt. Hon. Lord Bates. Montserrat’s Financial Secretary, Honourable Colin Owen, and the UK Representative for the Government of Montserrat, Janice Panton MBE also attended the meetings