OT leaders find common ground in Gibraltar

| 11/09/2013

(CNS): The Cayman Islands premier has said that the eight government leaders from the overseas territories that met in Gibraltar this week found many ways to work together to arrive at a consensus ahead of the annual Joint Ministerial Council Meeting of the Overseas Territories in London in November. The focus of this year's meeting with the UK and its territories will be on the jobs and growth. “With discussions on economic diversification, employment, promoting investment, and vocational training, I am confident that this year's JMC meeting will be a very informative and timely one,” Alden McLaughlin said, as he left the Mediterranean territory Wednesday.

“If the calibre of the discussions in Gibraltar were any indication, I am certain that the JMC will be a very productive meeting, and will provide an ideal forum for the Overseas Territories to work with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to agree on action items and make commitments for our continued partnership in promoting the Cayman Islands and the other overseas territories," the premier added.

McLaughlin was joined by  his JMC "Sherpa", Jennifer Ahearn, the chief officer from the health ministry, for the three day Pre-JMC meeting, which he said provided an excellent opportunity for him to meet counterparts in the OTs and discuss the unique OT issues.

"This Pre-JMC meeting provided a great forum to explore how we can work together collectively to better address some of these issues when we attend the JMC meeting in November," he said, adding that the solidarity he felt between the OT leaders was gratifying. McLaughlin described a renewed appreciation of the importance of building and maintaining relationships with his counterparts in the other overseas territories. 

"While the eight overseas territories are diverse and have their own unique challenges, our discussions in Gibraltar this week were about the many areas in which we can work together, with a view to arriving at a consensus on the way forward that will strengthen our collective position," he said.

Both he and Ahearn left Gibraltar Wednesday for London, where the chief officer in her Sherpa role will attend a one-day meeting at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to discuss the progress on the commitments from the 2012 JMC Communique, agree the priority items for this year's meeting, and confirm the agenda. The day will also include sessions on three key issues: Jobs and Growth, Health, and Criminal Justice. 

Meanwhile, the premier will be joined by Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton and  counsellor Roy McTaggart, who will all head to Jersey to meet with several key players in Jersey's financial services sector.

"Visiting Jersey will provide the Cayman Islands with an opportunity to learn more about the successes and challenges that Jersey has faced in many areas, with a particular focus on financial services,” the premier said.

The men also have meetings with the chief minister, the minister for treasury and resources, and the minister for economic development, as well as the bailiff, the lieutenant governor, and representatives from Jersey Finance Limited

McLaughlin said the trip would allow government to develop the relationship with Jersey, which, like Cayman, is recognised as a leader in the financial services industry.

The Joint Ministerial Council Meeting will be in London during the week of  25 November.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is a good opportunity for them to see what Jersey is doing about immigration to ensure its people get an equitable share of that country's pie

  2. Traveling Hypocrites says:

    Living large eh while those at home try to scatch out  an existence yes and these are the same people complaining about others globe trotting.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are such a fool. This is an important meeting of OT heads of govt. but all you can see is "living large". This is no comparison to McKeeva's globe trotting casino vacations with complete entourages at public expense.

    • Anonymous says:

      My goodness, will there be anything which you will see as useful by this governement? Look here, NO government can operate just by having its ministers and its leader stay in the islands at  work. We are very much a part of the global arena, ask the Financial Services sector folks.

       For goodness sake whether you like the PPM or not use common sense. 

      There is a place for phone calls, Skype and video conferencing etc. Nothing will replace the presence of our country's representative at these tables. If the relevant minister or Premier  is not present at these key meetings representing Cayman the opportunity to speak up for the needs of our islands is lost. Importantly too, by being present this allows Cayman's representative to be apart of the various discussions ensuring that resolutions or other decisions being made are helpful to the various sectors of our islands. 

      The credibility of Cayman is not only a result of the work the government does here at home alone, its a combination of hard work at home and being present abroad in a variety of fora to showcase the voice of Cayman and to lend Cayman's voice to regional and international dialogue. Its quite simple you are not out there, you are forgotten, you loose opportunities of all sorts.

      Coming off Mckeeva's travel schedule anyone would be jaded, but folks, governments have a job to do and attending meetings in places near and far is just part of what they have to do to propel the islands ahead. 

      Be reasonable. 

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am very happy to see Premier McLaughlin and  ex Premier Bush  now leader of the Opposition,  doing such a wonderful job working together. "Who can say that prayers were not answered" I truly believe that Mr  Bush will bring some good things to the new government.  The man has the experience, also he has that great ability to meet and discuss matters with people overseas.  I am also sure that almost every one in the house realize that He can be an asset to steering this country forward.  Mr Alden the new Premier will learn alot by working along with the oppositon Bush.   It is now time for all of the people on both sides of the fence mend the hole in the wall and move forward with these two brilliant leaders.  Congratulations, you are doing a great job. 

    • Anonymous says:

      What are you smoking? This article had nothing to do with McKeeva Bush.

    • SSM345 says:

      18:53, What flavour is the Kool-aid today?

      "Mr  Bush will bring some good things to the new government"

      Really? Like what? The things he forgot to bring over the last 4 years while he was spending our money in casino's?

      "I am also sure that almost every one in the house realize that He can be an asset to steering this country forward."

      Seriously? Where the rass have you been, are you just returning to the Cayman Islands after a long absence?

      "Mr Alden the new Premier will learn alot by working along with the oppositon Bush."

      Is that you Mac?

  4. Anonymous says:

    What the heck is a 'sherpa'? Last I heard it was someone who did all the work carrying huge supplies up Mount Everest so the white men (like Edmund Hillary) could get praise for climbing it. But someone told me today it is now a government term for a "gopher". Interesting. Ms Ahearn is a seriously able person and Chief Officer. But in these sensitive times when posters to this site are looking at everything "Caymanian", why did Alden not take a born Caymanian at chief officer level as his "sherpa"? For example Sonia McLaughlin, Ken Jefferson, Sam Rose, Dorine Whittaker, Timothy Hubbell, Stran Bodden, Dax Basdeo? Mystifying really, is it not?

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh, for goodness sake. Really?! Do you HAVE to reduce the conversation to that level?  Perhaps Alden didn't take a 'born Caymanian at Chief Officer level' because he's clearly not as bigoted and myopic as you seem to be. The woman is a Chief Officer. The role required a Chief Officer. What's the problem? Geez. SMH.

    • Anonymous says:

      It's not the 'posters' to this site looking at everything Caymanian, it is YOU. You say yourself that Ms. Ahearn is a seriously able person and Chief Officer…… So what's the problem? Get over yourself and allow her to do the job we are paying her for, which is serving the people of these Islands, which unfortunately includes YOU. 

    • Anonymous says:

      "Born Caymanian" = illegal discrimination.

  5. Anonymous says:

    In fact they found so much common ground, the Spanish said, "we want some of that" and started to harrass people entering and leaving Gibraltar.

    Cayman will do well to remember, both in this case and the Falklands, those BOT's voted clearly to remain BOT's and the UK is standing up and has stood up for them against their foes. And will continue to do so until they vote not to be part of the UK.


    • Whodatis says:

      Interestingly, that alliegance didn't work out for every BOT, in fact it led to the ultimate destruction of some British Overseas Territory Citizens.

      Watch and learn; "Stealing a Nation".

      Apparently, colour matters quite a bit to the UK.

      However, I am sure some will suggest we ignore certain chapters of relevant history … I wonder why?

      • Whodatis says:

        * allegiance

      • Pit Bull says:

        Chagos Bingo !

        • Whodatis says:

          Yes Pit Bull, we all see that after all this time you (and your friends) still regard the Chagos issue as a humorous one.

          Are you always so callous when it comes to "British" citizens, or similarly to the British government on this occasion, do you regard non-White Brits as somewhat … sub-human?

          History is history. Try as you may, you cannot snicker it away into oblivion.

          Deal with it … all of you.

          *In all seriousness, have you researched the issue? Did you watch the linked documentary? What are your true feelings on the plight of the Chagossians?

          Man up, let's have a serious discussion – if you are up to challenge. (Anyone else can feel free to jump in as well.)

          I'll be looking forward to your reply(ies).

          • Pit Bull says:

            The central fallacy in the Chagos issue is judging past conduct by current mores, just like claims for compensation today for 17th century slavery.  In the middle of the cold war the steps taken in respect of these islands and its sparse population were taken in the genuine belief of the greater good.  I doubt those steps would be taken today, but they were taken back then in the beluief that it was correct.  Later compensation was paid and agreed.  The present "activists" wish the UK to spend hundreds of millions on a scheme which is simply not worth it.  I applaud the steps of the UK governments of recent years not to buckle to the naie politically correct sentiments of those who support these activists.  And yes, I hold the view that if it was in the interests today of the UK to move the entire population of an island for the great good of the state then it could and should be done, although I cannot see it ever being an issue.

            • Anonymous says:

              Ummm….the Chagos issue is actually a current one so your response fails on its premise. It reflects how the FCO is behaving today.

              There was no real agreement for compensation. The poor Chagos Islanders were not legally advised and had no idea what they were signing. In any event the amount they received bears no relationship to what they have endured.

              Somehow I think if this had been Falkland Islanders involved (rather than "Man Fridays") your view would be different, but for the same reason that would never happen.      

            • Anonymous says:

              Nation first.  Regions second.  Easy.

            • Whodatis says:
              • "Past conduct"
              • "claims for compensation today"
              • "17th century slavery"

              Yours is a very interesting approach to the matter at hand, and I see what you're trying to do.

              However, my question was not regarding compensation for the crime against humanity (inflicted by the British government on British citizens, no less), but more to do with your genuine view on the actual wrong.

              I see you consider yourself a bit of a wordsmith, however, any view that requires that much elastic tends to be founded on or hiding the stench of manure.

              Honestly, I expected such a reply from you and was not seriously hopeful of an honest or humane response – considering the way the issue has provided you with such humor here on CNS.

              Anyway, you have a right to your opinion and I, as a fellow non-White BOTC (fellowship to the Chagossians that is) have the right to mine. I believe even you would agree that I would be a fool to adopt yours – all things considered.

              *What is most interesting about your response is the way it highlights the great difference in concerns between Brits like yourself and "Brits" like me when it comes to these issues. I / we could not care less about "compensation" or reparations as neither will restore one's dignity, value or heritage.

              Individuals like yourself fail to grasp the most basic concept of how so many people in this world have been dispossessed, displaced and disregarded on the basis of completely uncontrollable issues i.e. skin color, nationality, ancestry, and legacy.

              Collectively these factors make up the very essence of individuals like myself and from the very outset of British colonialism to its current format, "British" individuals like myself have been regarded and treated as "Tarzans and Man-Fridays". This is not only true of the overseas territories, but within the mainland itself.

              Regardless, as I mentioned earlier, you have the right to not give a damn about such issues and in fact to make jokes and punch-lines until the cows come home – it is what it is.

              However, as you do so please bear in mind that individuals like myself also have the right to remind the room of truthful history and to hold fast to the survivial skills of suspicion, mistrust and skepticism when it comes to the British government.

              You know, sort of like how the British government is behaving right now in regards to Russia over the Syria issue … cold war era and all that stuff.

              See you around, PB.

              • Pit Bull says:

                Did you make a point there? Did not see one.

                • Whodatis says:

                  Hmmm … forgot to follow up on this post.

                  I guess what I am now witnessing speaks for itself.

          • Anonymous says:

            Apparently if you don't "Hug-a-Chagossian" you view people who are not white as sub-human.  Quite a leap of "logic" there from Whodatis. 

            • Whodatis says:

              Poster, had you researched the topic at hand you would have understood the direct relevancy and context of my words.

        • Anonymous says:

          Congratulations. The George foreman grill is yours. Enjoy.