Governor Delivers Throne Speech at Opening of the New Cayman Islands Parliament
On Friday (4 December) the Governor delivered his Throne speech in the newly named Parliament. His Excellency congratulated the Cayman Islands on their constitutional reforms, paid tribute to the Government for its handling of the pandemic and spoke with optimism about the future, highlighting the opportunity to build back greener. Governor also highlighted UK support to Cayman including with the development of the Cayman Islands Regiment. He stressed his continued commitment to the islands.
The Governor passed on messages of congratulations on the constitutional reforms and the creation of the new Parliament from HRH The Prince of Wales, the UK Prime Minister and Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon.
HRH The Prince of Wales said: “It gives me great pleasure and pride to congratulate the people of the Cayman Islands on the agreement to reform and modernise your Constitution, and on the creation of your new Parliament which, together, represent an important moment for the strong and vibrant democracy that exists in the Islands. “Having such fond and special memories of our visit to the Cayman Islands in March 2019, and of the remarkable warmth of the welcome we so touchingly received, my wife and I particularly wanted to send the new Members of Parliament, and all the people of the Cayman Islands whom they represent, our warmest wishes and to say how much you are all in our thoughts at this time.”
UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said: “I would like to congratulate the people of the Cayman Islands on their constitutional reforms, which signal how far they have come in developing into a mature democracy. New powers come with a heavy burden of responsibility, which no politician should bear lightly, but I am confident that the members of the Cayman Islands Parliament will build upon the successes of recent decades, which have propelled the Islands forward as a modern democracy working in partnership with the United Kingdom.”
Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, who was UK Minister for the Overseas Territories at the start of the negotiations and now, also sent his good wishes. He said: “I am delighted that the constitutional reforms are now coming into effect. This signals another step forward by the people of the Cayman Islands to advance the vibrant democracy they have built as the foundation for prosperity which shines as an example to others across the Caribbean.
“I congratulate the Honourable Premier who played a pivotal role and leaves these changes as part of his substantial legacy. I also congratulate the then Leader of the Opposition, current Deputy Leader of the Opposition, and other members of the negotiating team, for the role they played in securing a successful negotiation. I look forward to working with the new Cayman Islands Parliament.”
The Governor said: “Those messages (from HRH, UK PM and Lord Ahmad) underline the highly constructive UK/Cayman dialogue on constitutional change that brought us to this point today.
“As UK Ministers said at the recent Joint Ministerial Council virtual meeting, the constitutional talks with Cayman were a role model for how such talks should be conducted and one other Territories could follow. The Cayman delegation demonstrated cross-party agreement and unity at those talks, which had a powerful impact on the UK and the success of the negotiations. I was pleased to play a role myself as observer in December 2018, shortly after I was appointed Governor. I have worked closely with the Premier since then to ensure the process moved forward, including navigating the inevitable delays caused by Covid.”