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VI seeks CARIFORUM membership to maintain EU ties

Assistant Secretary for External Affairs in the Premier’s Office Najan Christopher, left, with CARIFORUM Director General Percival Marie, right. Photo: BVI London Office
The Virgin Islands Government will likely no longer be an OCT after Britain exits the European Union in March 2019. Photo: The Frontier Post
The Virgin Islands Government will likely no longer be an OCT after Britain exits the European Union in March 2019. Photo: The Frontier Post
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Najan Christopher, the Virgin Islands Government’s Assistant Secretary for External Affairs in the Premier’s Office, has welcomed confirmation from CARIFORUM Director General Percival Marie that the Virgin Islands (VI) is eligible for Associate Membership in the regional body that is tasked with engaging in policy dialogue with the European Union (EU) on behalf of a number of Caribbean states.

Option after UK leaves EU

According to a London Office Press release, the confirmation came at a CARIFORUM Regional Consultation in Barbados from April 11-12, 2018 “which focused on establishing an effective platform for dialogue" between CARIFORUM and French Caribbean Outermost Regions (ORs) and British and Dutch Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs), according to the Territory’s Ambassador to London and the EU, E. Benito Wheatley.

Ms Christopher said, “We welcome that Associate Membership is open to the VI. This status would give us a more meaningful status in CARIFORUM whereby we can participate in the Caribbean’s policy dialogue with the EU and regional coordination, but the moment we remain an Observer.”

What is CARIFORUM

The VI Government, will likely no longer be an OCT after Britain exits the EU in March 2019. In response, the Government is seeking to replicate the VI’s current relationship with the EU through CARIFORUM and other regional mechanisms.

CARIFORUM is the Caribbean Forum of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group. Its Member States include Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

8 Responses to “VI seeks CARIFORUM membership to maintain EU ties”

  • Just saying... (26/04/2018, 21:53) Like (4) Dislike (5) Reply
    she could also head the London office
  • about time (26/04/2018, 22:17) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    they starting to realize the importance of alliances if they intend to play and carve out a space for us in this global game. These are rough times trying to do it alone.
    • agreed (27/04/2018, 15:42) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      "....the Government is seeking to replicate the VI’s current relationship with the EU through CARIFORUM and other regional mechanisms.."

      BVI could have been so much further along in our external relations. But ONLY WHEN WE see it fit, we full speed joining all kinds of things. What has been the success of CARIFORUM since its existence in 1975? What specifically does "a more meaningful status in CARIFORUM" mean when tensions within the group have grown over issues of trade and immigration; http://www.caribbean360.com/news/barbados_news/cariforum-could-be-unravelling; and still continue today. Besides ITC matters, what are the other specific benefits BVI can derive from this membership?

      We have associate membership in OECS and CARICOM; but for years, our seat at their tables have been empty. Will this also carryover into CARIFORUM? Jimmy cliff words of Action Speaks Louder than Words are surely ringing true in this place.
  • traveller (26/04/2018, 23:47) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I will like to know if we will be able to acquire an EU Passport. If not would we be able to travel without any problems.
    • please (27/04/2018, 08:30) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
      Of course on your UK passport there will not be any problems travelling to Europe, do not listen to the media scare mongers. The EU will not put on travel restrictions on UK citizens, will be the same as it is now just without the automatic right to live in EU countries.
    • Nothingfromthem (27/04/2018, 19:35) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      Leave the blasted passport alone. We have a Virgin Islands passport. We are not European Union Citizens. We need to chart our own destiny. It is always something for something. If we get nothing from them, they will get nothing from us. We want independent sovereignty.
      • Think before you act (28/04/2018, 03:12) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        The problem with that logic is that the BVI cannot support it self. The only reason we have been doing well is because of American dollars and British security, go independant now watch the place fall into arnachy with this corrupt govenment. This is'nt about race or supporting colonialism it's about making snap decisions based on feelings. We would need visas to visit other places that we can visa free now. Trust me the bvi-usvi waver free situation might be in danger, do you really think CBP will support a foreign country visiting their soil just like that? I don't know about you but I prefer travelling often not stuck on 59 sq miles and needing a load of visas.
  • just asking.... (27/04/2018, 11:46) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    so who is the new head of the London office?


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