Statement of the OECS Authority at the Seventy-Third (73rd) Meeting of the OECS Authority
Thursday, July 13, 2023 — Following discussion of the Situation of the British Virgin Islands, the OECS Authority:
Celebrates the historical, cultural, legal, economic, political and familial bonds that the British Virgin Islands shares with the OECS family in the Eastern Caribbean.
Congratulates the people and Government of the British Virgin Island on the peaceful, free and fair General Election held on 24th April.
Welcomes the reappointment of Dr. The Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley as Premier of the British Virgin Islands and his Administration’s continued implementation of governance reforms in the best interest of the people of the British Virgin Islands.
Hails the commitment of the British Virgin Islands’ democratically elected arm of Government to continue public consultations on proposed reforms that will directly affect the people of the society.
Applauds the Government of the British Virgin Islands’ progress in implementing the Framework for Implementation of the COI Report Recommendations and Other Reforms.
Insists that the United Kingdom remove its Order in Council in reserve to immediately impose direct rule over the people of the British Virgin Islands at its discretion.
Urges the United Kingdom or the Governor on the island not to bypass the duly elected arm of the Government to undemocratically impose legislative and policy changes on the people of the British Virgin Islands.
Encourages the United Kingdom to provide the Government of the British Virgin Islands with any requested technical assistance to support governance reform.
Reiterates that colonialism has no place in modern democratic governance in the Caribbean and encourages all concerned to agree a clear and responsible path for the people of the British Virgin Islands to achieve a full measure of self-government in line with the UN sanctioned options available to the Non-Self-Governing Territories (NSGTs) under international law.
Calls for the people of the British Virgin Islands’ inalienable right to self-determination enshrined in the UN Charter, and reaffirmed by the UN Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, to be respected and the international principle of self-governance to be upheld in the islands.
Reaffirms the OECS’ commitment to supporting the British Virgin Islands at annual sessions of the UN Special Committee on Decolonisation (C-24), UN Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonisation), UN General Assembly, and C-24 regional seminars on decolonisation.