Minister John Cortes represented the Government at this year’s Joint Ministerial Council of the Overseas Territories hosted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at Lancaster House in London.
The meeting included a briefing by the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, and sessions attended by U.K. Government Ministers and chaired by Overseas Territories Minister Lord Ahmad. Other U.K. Ministers attending specific sessions included the newly appointed Secretary of State for Development, Penny Mordaunt, Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mel Stride, Minister for Climate Change Claire Perry and Minister of State for DfID Lord Bates.
Working sessions centred largely on the aftermath of this year’s hurricanes that devastated British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands and Anguilla in particular. Other discussions centred on Tax Transparency and Beneficial Ownership, Health, and Child Safeguarding where Gibraltar is leading on a number of initiatives including fostering.
Climate Change was also prominent in the agenda, with considerable progress being made on achieving representation of the Territories in the post-Paris Agreement Conferences, extension of agreements to the Overseas Territories, and collaboration on renewable energy initiatives.
The two-day event ended with a reception hosted by Secretary of State for Europe and the Americas Sir Alan Duncan, who had spent his early childhood in Gibraltar and spoke at this year’s National Day.