Press Release

Premier's Office
Release Date:
Sunday, 26 May 2024 - 7:34pm

Premier of the Virgin Islands, Honourable Dr. Natalio D. Wheatley will be absent from the Territory from Sunday, May 26 to Thursday, May 30, for the purpose of attending the fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Antigua and Barbuda.

The theme being observed this year is “Charting the Course Toward Resilient Prosperity”.

The objective of this conference is to review SIDS’ sustainable development progress and propose a new decade of partnerships and solutions to achieve resilience by the international community.

The Premier said, “The Small Island Development States (SIDS) Conference provides an excellent opportunity to bring sharp focus to the plight of the Virgin Islands and other OTs, which have been excluded from development finance based on our Overseas Territories status.”

Premier Wheatley also indicated that he anticipates that, “This Conference will allow us to lobby regional and international partners to support our strategic position as it relates to better positioning ourselves to advance climate resilience, sustainable development, and the realisation of our sustainable development goals.”

Minister for Communications and Works, Honourable Kye M. Rymer, has been appointed to carry out the duties of Premier and Minister for Finance during this period.

Honourable Vincent Wheatley is also attending, which is sponsored by the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO). As a result of the foregoing, Honourable Dr. Karl Dawson will act as Minister for Health and Social Development between May 26 and May 31.

Honourable Rymer’s appointment will be in accordance with the Virgin Islands Constitution Order, 2007 Section 55 (2) which states, “If both the Premier and the Deputy Premier are expected to be absent from the Virgin Islands for more than forty-eight hours, the Governor shall authorise another Minister designated by the Premier to perform the functions of the office of Premier; and the Governor shall revoke this authority on the return to the Virgin Islands of either the Premier or the Deputy Premier.”

Honourable Dr. Dawson’s appointment is according to Section 52(2) of the Virgin Islands Constitution Order 2007 which states, “The Governor acting in accordance with the advice of the Premier shall, by instrument under the Public Seal, appoint Ministers from among the elected members of the House of Assembly.”

The Government of the Virgin Islands remains committed to the overall development of the Territory through the strengthening of its relationship with the United Kingdom.


Sonjé Greenidge

Information Officer II
Department of Information and Public Relations (GIS)
Telephone: 468-2742