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Discover the 13 Overseas Countries and Territories of the European Union

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DIPLOMAT MAGAZINE “For diplomats, by diplomats” Reaching out the world from the European Union First diplomatic publication based in The Netherlands. Founded by members of the diplomatic corps on June 19th, 2013. "Diplomat Magazine is inspiring diplomats, civil servants and academics to contribute to a free flow of ideas through an extremely rich diplomatic life, full of exclusive events and cultural exchanges, as well as by exposing profound ideas and political debates in our printed and online editions." Dr. Mayelinne De Lara, Publisher

By Roy Lie Atjam

The Overseas Countries and Territories Association, OCTA; French: Association des pays et territoires d’outre-mer de l’Union européenne,  is an international organisation founded on 17 November 2000 during the conference of Prime Ministers of Overseas Countries and Territories in Brussels, Belgium.

The Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA) is an organisation which serves as a platform, helping the OCTA members to realise their common goals by working collectively, policy dialogue, promotion of common positions and partnerships for the sustainable development of OCTA. It currently has 13 members.

The OCTA members: Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, French Polynesia, French Southern and Artic Lands, Greenland, New Caledonia, Saba, St Barthelemy, St Pierre and Miquelon, St Eustatius, St Maarten, Wallis and Futuna.

The 19th annual EU-OCTA Forum  Ministerial Conference took place on  21 November 2022, hosted by the President of New Caledonia, Mr Louis Mapou, Chair of OCTA since December 2020. Representatives of the Overseas Countries and Territories met in Nouméa, New Caledonia.

The OCTA  representatives met to set the political orientations and priorities for the future of the Association. The results of the discussions are in a Political Declaration and were presented to the European Commission.

The Ministerial Conference is the highest governing body and establishes the mandate to the executive committee for the next 12 months. The exchanges between the 13 European -OCTA members mainly focused on the evolution of governance, the results and the prospects of the partnership with the European Union post-2021.

The Executive Committee members for the coming year were elected, with the EU representative for Curaçao elected President and Sint Maarten’s EU representative elected to the position of Vice-President.

The remaining members of the executive committee are Aruba, Greenland and Wallis et Futuna. The Treasurer and Secretary will be chosen at the first meeting held by the Executive Committee in December.

The conference was updated on the status of various EU-funded programmes such as Archipel, EU, the GO programme and the Caribbean, Pacific and Indian Ocean Regional programmes under the 11th EDF.

The Minister Plenipotentiary of Sint Maarten in the Netherlands,  H.E. Minister Rene Violenus, attended the 19th annual EU-OCTA Forum and Ministerial conference in Nouméa, New Caledonia. 

The Minister also headed the delegation consisting of Ms Carol Voges, the EU representative for Sint Maarten and Director at the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary and Ms Nikima Hickinson, Senior Policy Advisor at the department of BAK.

During the EU-OCTA Forum, Minister Violenus signed the Multi-annual Indicative Programme (MIP) 2021-2027 on behalf of the Government of Sint Maarten. The focus of the MIP will be on sustainable and resilient energy, to the amount of € 7.7 million.

The 19th Overseas Countries and Territories – European Union Forum Nouméa, 22 November 2022 concluded with a 19 points joint Forum presentation.

The next OCT-EU Forum is scheduled to take place in Brussels in the second half of 2023.

New Caledonia: Terre de Parole, Terre de Partage-“Land of speech, land of sharing”(motto)

Photo New Caledonia Government

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