Prime Minister signs joint position paper at ministerial conference opening

POSTED: 03/1/11 12:43 PM

St. Maarten – Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams on Monday signed the Joint Position Paper (JPP) on the Future of the Relations between OCTs and EU on Monday. The signing was part of the first day of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA) Ministerial Conference and the OCT-European Union (EU) Forum on the South Pacific island of New Caledonia.
The St. Maarten delegation, which arrived in New Caledonia on Sunday, believes the JPP provides an effective basis for a more current and relevant association decision post 2013 when the existing Overseas Association Decision (OAD) or the OCT Decision will expire. The OAD is primarily a trade regime which gives the OCTs free market access to the EU. The intention of the decision is also to help create economic and social prosperity in the territories.
“St. Maarten hopes the provisions in the paper will be given serious consideration by the European Commission and further developed within a cooperation framework that will be mutually beneficial to all parties concerned,” the prime minister said in a statement.
The Ministerial Conference is the highest political body of OCTA, which meets on an annual basis to discuss and agree on policy matters concerning the Association. The discussions at the meetings are primarily centered on a new EU-OCT cooperation structure. The trip is being funded by the EU and is being coordinated by the Department of Interior and Kingdom Relations (BAK) that falls under the Ministry of General Affairs.
New Caledonia is a French OCT which is located in the Southwest Pacific Ocean approximately 751 miles East of Australia and 930 miles Northwest of New Zealand.

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