Beautiful Virgin Islands

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

We want the UK to be a partner in eradication of colonialism

We want the UK to be a partner in eradication of colonialism

Education Minister and Deputy Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley expressed hope that the United Kingdom (UK) would be a partner with the BVI in its efforts at decolonisation.
Speaking at a ceremony earlier this week to observe the birthday of BVI’s first Chief Minister, H Lavity Stoutt, Dr Wheatley said it was part of the mandate of the United Nations (UN) that colonialism is eradicated.

In 2020, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring the period 2021-2030 the Fourth International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism.

This resolution called upon UN Member States to intensify their efforts to continue to implement a plan of action for the Second International Decade.

“We have a mandate to continue our evolution as a people and we want the UK to be a partner with us in this process,“ Dr Wheatley said.

He expressed pride at Barbados achieving the status of a Republic recently but said despite the BVI‘s numerous strides and accomplishments over the years, its journey is not complete.

“We have a Cabinet now instead of an Executive Council, but our journey is not over. We have a Premier and not a Chief Minister, but our journey is not over. We have a National Security Council now, but our journey is not over. I submit to you, there is more work to be done,” Dr Wheatley said.

“As we approach constitutional talks,” Dr Wheatley continued, “I know the Premier and leader of the territory, in consultation with the people of the Virgin Islands, will lead a discussion about what are the next steps to complete this yet to be completed journey.”

Government officials have continued to advocate over the past few years for the BVI’s efforts at self-determination, with Premier Fahie recently being called to defend reports in the UK press that he was moving the territory in the direction of independence.

He later explained that his comments were taken out of context and said any move towards independence would be through the people of the Virgin Islands, arguing that he would be foolish as a leader to insist otherwise.
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