St Helena Government's UK Representative, Kedell Worboys MBE, has recently been appointed Chairperson of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA). This means St Helena also holds the Presidency of UKOTA, with the Elected Representative from St Helena set to chair the UKOTA Political Council meeting later this year.
I was pleased to accept the nomination from my colleagues in UKOTA and undertake the responsibility of Chairing UKOTA with the support of the St Helena Government. This is a particularly challenging year with the uncertainty around Brexit and the implications for the Overseas Territories. It also raises the profile of St Helena.
UKOTA was established in 1994 by the Governments of the UK's Overseas Territories (OTs) who have a permanent population in the UK. Membership is equal regardless of the size, or the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), of any OT.
The 12 inhabited OTs, including St Helena, Ascension, Tristan da Cunha, and the Falkland Islands, are scattered across the globe, with a combined population estimated to be 350,000.
The main work of UKOTA is representing the collective view of the OTs through dialogue and contact with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and through other UK Government Departments; both at official and Ministerial level. UKOTA also engages with other bodies in relation to protecting the critical biodiversity of the OTs, which make up 90% of the UK's biodiversity.
The Chairmanship of the Association rotates each year.
Source: St Helena Government