Overseas Territories - 'Partnership for progress and prosperity'
Britain’s 14 Overseas Territories, spread throughout the globe, are diverse communities. They range from the tiny island of Pitcairn with its 54 inhabitants, set in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, to Bermuda, which has a population of 60,000 and is one of the world’s major financial centres.
On the launch of the White Paper ‘Partnership for Progress and Prosperity’, in March 1999, the former Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, outlined four underlying principles for the relationship between Britain and its Overseas Territories:
- self-determination for the Territories;
- mutual obligations and responsibilities;
- freedom for the Territories to run their own affairs to the greatest degree possible; and
- Britain’s firm commitment to promote economic development in the Territories and to help them in emergencies.
Mr Cook said in the foreword of the White Paper:
‘The deep bond of affection and respect that exists between the people of Britain and the peoples of the Overseas Territories… is a bond that Britain values highly. It shows how a modern and effective partnership can be built on the foundation of ties that go back centuries.’
This area of the website provides more information on the Territories and the issues surrounding Britain’s relationship with them. If you have any comments or enquiries on the subject please contact:
Overseas Territories Department,
King Charles Street,
London SW1A 2AP