Minister Plenipotentiary Fleming-Artsen heads delegation to OCTA Ministerial Meeting in Belguim

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PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Minister Plenipotentiary, Hon. Josianne Fleming–Artsen headed the Sint Maarten delegation to the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) Extraordinary Ministerial Conference on June 17th, 2015 in Brussels, Belguim.

The OCT British Virgin Islands Political Declaration of 26th February 2015 called for the development of an OCTA strategy aimed at establishing the strategic response required to address key issues regarding the future of OCTs and the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA) for the period 2015-2020.

As a result on June 17th, The Executive Committee of OCTA, in agreement with the OCTA Chair presently Curacao, presented an Interim Strategic Plan 2015-2020 to the Extraordinary Ministerial Conference in accordance with art.25 of the Association, for approval.

The proposed strategic orientation focuses on three pillars, namely, policy dialogue, strategic partnerships and the sustainable development of OCTs.

Furthermore, OCT members committed to ensure the sustainability of the work done by the Technical Assistance to OCTA project under the  10th European Development Fund by using  the OCTA financial provisions accumulated since 2008, as well as other OCTA resources, to initiate the setting-up of an OCTA secretariat in Brussels during the second semester of 2015.

The long-term structure of this secretariat will be determined according to the final strategy to be agreed upon during the 14th Ordinary Ministerial Conference to be held early 2016 in Brussels.

Besides the structure of the OCTA secretariat, members assembled also committed themselves to fully address other outstanding issues of the strategy in the lead to the 14th Ministerial Conference.

Outstanding questions on which OCTs will have to continue to exchange and come to a decision in order to complete the reflection initiated under this new Strategic Plan include, the governance structure of the organization, the revised structure and level of membership fees, and the Articles of Association and status of the organization.

PHOTO CUTLINE: Minister Hon. Josianne Fleming–Artsen (3rd from left) with members of her delegation.