21 October 2022
Chief Minister, Julie Thomas, is due to depart St Helena on Saturday, 22 October 2022, to travel to the UK to attend the annual Overseas Territories (OTs) Joint Ministerial Council (JMC).
The JMC takes place every year in London and is hosted by the UK Government. It brings together elected leaders and representatives from all of the OTs, as well as UK Ministers, and provides the principal forum for political dialogue and consultation between the UK and the OTs.
The JMC is due to begin on 7 November 2022 with the Chief Minister having a number of official engagements before and after the event itself, as well as a short period of leave.
The Chief Minister will also be joined by key officials, including the Governor Nigel Phillips CBE, Chief Secretary, Susan O’Bey, and St Helena’s UK Representative Kedell Worboys MBE, who will be providing support throughout the trip.
Chief Minister, Julie Thomas, said:
“I am excited to be able to represent St Helena in person as Chief Minister at this year’s JMC. It will be the first time a Chief Minister from St Helena has travelled to the UK for this meeting, and I intend to make the most out of the trip.
“I have a full programme of events lined up. This includes the JMC itself, bilateral meetings with UK Government officials and the Minister for the Overseas Territories, alongside a number of engagements with important island partners and other OT representatives.
“This provides an excellent opportunity not just to promote St Helena, but to also build important links with key UK Government colleagues and the elected leaders of other communities within our OT family. Whilst very different, the OTs face many similar challenges. I look forward to learning about the innovative approaches taken elsewhere and if applicable, how these approaches can be implemented or tailored to work here on St Helena. Networking is important and I firmly believe that a lot can be learnt from the experiences of our OT family, in addition to building strong relationships with the UK Government. Discussions will focus on the importance and need for continued technical expertise and financial assistance to help St Helena to achieve prosperity, with due consideration given for the time it will take for us to implement our plans to move towards renewable energy generation and improved telecom provision. These are areas which need to be addressed, if we are to tackle cost of living pressures and drive economic growth.
“I will also be taking this opportunity to champion the great work underway in St Helena in relation to our blue and green agendas and our projects that showcase the success of collaborative working. It’s important that St Helena itself recognises its successes and how these can act as a blueprint for other OTs.”
The Chief Minister is due to arrive back on St Helena on Saturday, 12 November 2022. Whilst the Chief Minister is off-Island, Minister for Environment, Natural Resources & Planning, Christine Scipio, will be appointed Deputy Chief Minister.
21 October 2022