British Virgin Islands Representative Calls on UK to Respect Self-Determination and Seeks New Partnership
By Negilla 'Keena' Cenac, KNC Radio
In a recent development, Benito Wheatley, the Special Envoy of the Premier of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), made a compelling call for the UK to abandon colonialism and uphold the democratic rights and self-determination of the BVI. Wheatley expressed his gratitude to Indonesia for hosting a significant decolonization seminar, where he stressed the importance of sharing updates on the territory's progress for consideration in UN resolutions.
A key demand from the BVI is the removal of the order in council, which has the power to suspend their constitution, and Wheatley emphasized the need for a fresh partnership with the UK, grounded in mutual respect and responsibility. He also acknowledged the crucial role played by the UN in supporting sustainable development and climate resilience in the BVI.
During the seminar, Wheatley highlighted that the primary aspect of decolonization in the British Virgin Islands involves a change in their political status, underscoring the territory's financial self-sufficiency since 1978. The urgent removal of the order in council is seen as essential to respecting the BVI's right to self-determination.
Furthermore, Wheatley placed significant emphasis on the democratic right of the British Virgin Islands to elect their representatives, while also outlining the new government's mandate to continue reforms and work towards a diversified, low-carbon economy. He labeled the UK's imposition of the Order in Council and Reserve as undemocratic and unnecessary, expressing hope for a reconsideration and removal of these measures.
The BVI is striving for a renewed partnership with the UK, based on mutual respect and responsibility, while simultaneously working towards achieving full self-government. Wheatley's acknowledgment of the UN's support in promoting sustainable development and climate resilience in non-self-governing territories like the BVI further underscores the importance of international cooperation.
Throughout the event, Wheatley repeatedly emphasized the significance of collaborative efforts to achieve the political aspirations of the British Virgin Islands, working hand-in-hand with the government and its people. Notably, the joint efforts displayed during the COVID-19 pandemic have exemplified the strength of this partnership and its potential for future progress.
Here's the link to the Youtube Video where you can watch the full speech.