Prime Minister in Brussels to attend Ministerial OCTA Meetings


Prime Minister Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams will be present for the opening of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association’s (OCTA) 2011 Ministerial Conference in Brussels on Monday morning.


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The opening welcome will be delivered by OCTA Chairman followed by the presentation of reports on the organizations activities throughout the past year and the planning for 2012.

Throughout Monday there will be several round-table discussions and presentations about European Union (EU)-Overseas Countries & Territories (OCTs) Partnership 2013; Achievements and Prospects for OCTA; Trade, Regional Integration & Innovation; and Renewable Energy and Climate Change.

Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams, in the first quarter of 2011 attended the OCTA Ministerial Conference and the OCT-EU Forum held on the South Pacific island of New Caledonia.

After Sint Maarten acquired country status in October 2010, Sint Maarten is now officially an OCT, but before that the Netherlands Antilles was an OCT.

The OCTs are non-European countries and territories that have special relations with Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

They are associated with the European Community with a view to promoting their economic and social development and establishing close economic relations between them and the Community as a whole.

The European Community Treaty states that the association of the OCTs with the Community ‘shall serve primarily to further the interests and prosperity of the inhabitants of these countries and territories in order to lead them to the economic, social and cultural development to which they aspire.’

There are in total approximately 25 OCTs. The OCTs are constitutionally linked to a Member State, but without being part of the Community.

The European Commission has since 2005 suggested building a new relationship based on the OCTs and EU membership of the same family.