Today, September 22nd 2022, Premier and Finance Minister Dr the Honourable Natalio Wheatley will lead a delegation to represent the British Virgin Islands during the Ninth Meeting of the Inter Virgin Islands Council, which is being held in the United States Virgin Islands.

The BVI delegation consists of Deputy Premier and Minister for Communication and Works Honourable Kye Rymer, Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Marlon Penn, Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Honourable Melvin Turnbull, Attorney General Honourable Dawn Smith, Permanent Secretary Mrs Caroyn Stoutt Igwe, Financial Secretary Jeremiah Frett and other senior public officers.

In addition to Dr Wheatley, and the BVI delegation, the meeting will be attended by USVI Governor Albert Bryan Jr. and members of the USVI Cabinet.

The meeting of the council, which formally oversees the relationship between the BVI and USVI, brings together policy makers from both territories to discuss ways of enhancing this relationship.

In a statement from the Premier’s office, it was revealed by Permanent Secretary Stoutt Igwe that the meeting will be co-chaired by Wheatley and Bryan. The pair is due to receive reports from three of the twelve standing committees responsible for areas of shared interest between the territories.

These will be:

The Committee on Energy and Utilities

The Committee on Tourism

The Committee on Pleasure Boating and Sports Fishing.

The Inter Virgin Islands Council was established on May 29, 2004, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between then USVI Governor Dr Charles Turnbull and Chief Minister Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE.

The council last convened in February of 2020.

In this instance, under the then leadership of Premier Andrew Fahie, the meeting resulted in the donation of protective kits and body armour to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force from counterparts in the US Virgin Islands Police Department.