At the recent Ministerial Forum held in the British Virgin Islands from 25-27 February 2015, SHG’s UK Representative, Mrs Kedell Worboys MBE, was unanimously elected as President of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA) Executive Committee.
Prior to her election as President, Kedell has served as Vice-President on the Executive Committee for two years.
As President, Kedell will have oversight of the OCTA’s objectives to:
- Provide a discussion forum for ideas and debates on subjects of shared interest
- Work for the mutual interest of the members
- Share specific information on subjects of shared interest benefiting all Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
- Make recommendations when necessary to the Governments of all OCTs and Member States to which they belong concerning appropriate measures to be taken
- Develop effective working relations, as a group, with the institutions of the European Union, the group of African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and its secretariat and other relevant international, multinational and regional organisations
- Share successful experiences with members in areas of shared interest
- Defend the joint interests of members and represent these interests to institutions of the European Union and others.
Kedell commented on her new role:
“St Helena is one of the smallest OCTs and to take on the Presidency at this pivotal point in time is both a great responsibility and an honour. The profile of St Helena will be significantly raised and the increased contact with the EU benefits also the preparation of documentation to secure the funding allocated under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF). I can also ensure that all OCTs, especially the smaller ones such as St Helena, are not left out of the decision making process and can access all funding mechanisms.”
Governor Capes warmly welcomed Kedell’s appointment:
“Kedell has accumulated much valuable experience that makes her a perfect fit for this role. Her understanding of the dynamics involved in the relationships between the OCTs and the EU will be of great benefit in meeting the challenges ahead.”
This year is an important one for OCTA and OCTs. The EC agreed at the Forum that OCTA would be the Regional Authorising Officer for the Thematic Budget Line of the 11th EDF. OCTA will also prepare a new Strategic Plan to enable the EC to extend the Technical Assistance project using unspent funds, and this will also form the basis on which activities are agreed and funding sourced. This will include a discussion on membership fees and a possible further project funded through the European Commission.
OCTA was founded in 2001 and formally constituted within Belgian law in 2002 – St Helena was a founding member. 22 OCTs are linked to the four Member States – the UK, France, Netherlands and Denmark are members of OCTA.
31 March 2015