Premier Cox and former Premier Dr Brown to speak at conference in Cayman Islands
Premier Paula Cox, is to be a keynote speaker at a conference at the University College of Cayman Islands later this month.
She will be joined by former Premier Ewart Brown, political commentator Walton Brown and a host of Caribbean leaders in politics and academia.
The “50-50 surveying the Past, Mapping the Future” Conference will be held in the Cayman Islands from March 21 23 and is jointly organised by UCCI and the University of the West Indies.
The Premier will present a paper on “Bermuda’s Success Story” while Dr Brown’s paper is entitled “Is the UK-OT Relationship Based on Mutual Interests? Bermuda and the Uighurs Case Study.”
An abstract of Dr Brown’s presentation on the conference website says, “The United Kingdom and the Overseas Territories have a relationship meant to be based on mutual interests.
“In a rapidly changing world it is becoming clear that UK interests and those of the OTs are not always aligned. A Bermuda case study illustrates this fact today.
“The decision by Bermuda to provide refugee status to four Uighurs detained in Guantánamo Bay caused significant tension in the UK-Bermuda relationship. While the UK stressed they have responsibility for Bermuda’s external affairs, Bermuda’s position is that it has responsibility for who is able to reside in the country.
“More importantly, Bermuda’s interests have often been aligned with the United States given the island’s close economic ties with that country and it makes sense to enhance the relationship.
“Taking four detainees to assist President Obama with his plans for closure of the bases helped to strengthen those ties. The paper explores the factors leading to the decision to offer refugee status, the internal and external political fallout and the impact on Bermuda-US relations.”
Walton Brown will present a paper on “New Millennium Colonialism: How the United Kingdom Sustains the UK-OT Relationship.”
Mr Brown will argue that despite the United Kingdom’s officially neutral position on whether its colonies go independent, “in practice, the UK not only seeks to strengthen its relationship with the OTs, it is actively devolving power back to the UK,” according to the abstract of his paper.
“The British have been pursuing a multi-pronged approach to achieve this goal through an as yet unsuccessful effort at getting the OTs delisted from the UN list of non-self governing territories, devaluing the OTs passport, and asserting UK authority over the constitutional powers previously granted to the OTs under the claim of “contingent liability” along with the claim the line of demarcation between foreign and domestic policy has become increasingly blurred.
“There is little public discussion on these issues in the Caribbean OTs (including Bermuda) and what the public sees as the maintenance of a status quo constitutional arrangement with the UK is in fact a constantly evolving and increasingly asymmetrical relationship.
“Given that UK interests do not necessarily align with the interests of the Caribbean OTs, the latter may well find their prospects for greater autonomy and democracy constrained in the years to come.”
Others scheduled to speak at the conference include the Barbados Leader of the Opposition, Owen Seymour Arthur, former Minister of State for External Affairs of the US. Virgin Islands Dr. Carlyle Corbin, Harvard Professor Orlando Patterson, and Chief Justice of the Cayman Islands Anthony Smellie.
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