The BVI and other British Overseas Territories will no longer have access to any future funding for sustainable development from the European Union as the UK’s Brexit deal took effect on January 1, 2021.
According to a statement from Premier Andrew Fahie, the BVI “has long enjoyed a politically beneficial relationship with the European Union through our Associate Status as one of the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) directly associated with the bloc”.
Through this relationship the BVI was able to gain funds from the European Development Fund and other initiatives to tackle climate change, marine biodiversity and pursue renewable energy goals.
Premier Fahie said these benefits have now stopped although existing projects made under these agreements will continue.
Replacing EU with UN
Premier Fahie said the BVI government is currently strengthening ties with the United Nations amid the fallout from Brexit.
“In terms of the replacement of EU funding, we have taken steps to strengthen relations and cooperation with the United Nations to advance the sustainable development of the territory.”
He said the BVI signed a Memorandum of Understanding was signed on November 2, 2020, with the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, Luis Felipe Lopez-Calva, to deepen the level of cooperation with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
The Premier said this deepened cooperation will assist the territory with the implementation of a National Sustainable Development Plan toward the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
“With the support and partnership of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN-ECLAC), the territory is already in the process of advancing a National Sustainable Development Plan,” Fahie said.
“In addition, UN ECLAC has also agreed to co-chair a summit with the Virgin Islands of the regional commission’s 14 Associate Member Countries (AMCs) in 2021 that will focus on addressing the assistance gap to the AMCs as they strive to meet UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals,” Premier Fahie further explained.
Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.