Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has expressed gratitude to United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, for the UN’s support to the Virgin Islands regarding COVID-19 response and sustainable development.
The Premier and Guterres met in the margins of the CARICOM Conference in Paramaribo, Suriname from July 3 to 5.
According to Premier Wheatley, “it was an honour to meet UN Secretary-General Guterres and to thank him”.
“I was also very pleased that he is aware of our ongoing efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030,” Dr Wheatley stated.
Premier Wheatley also had a courtesy telephone call with UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Didier Trebucq. He said they discussed continued cooperation between the Virgin Islands
and the UN on a joint programme for social protection and youth economic empowerment. They also pledged to explore other areas of technical assistance where the UN can assist the Virgin Islands
in achieving the SDGs.
During the conference, the Premier also provided an update to the regional leaders on the progress of his government’s reform plans.
“Government reforms are progressing well. Previously initiated reforms have been integrated into our reform programme mutually agreed with the United Kingdom,” the Premier said.
He also noted he and his Government of National Unity remain committed to keeping CARICOM abreast of the progress the territory is making in implementing the reforms.
Additionally, Dr Wheatley thanked CARICOM for its steadfast support and offers of assistance to the Virgin Islands
during its recent political turbulence. The Premier also pledged the Virgin Islands
’ full support to CARICOM as the regional body takes steps to address and respond to various regional and international challenges.
“The British Virgin Islands is a proud Associate Member of CARICOM and will remain fully engaged as we tackle challenges together as a region,” Dr Wheatley said.
The Premier was joined in Suriname by Special Envoy of the Premier, Benito Wheatley, and Assistant Secretary for External Affairs, Dwynel Davis.