Recognition of the Government of the Virgin Islands’ first year in office


Premier of the Virgin Islands

Honourable Dr. Natalio D. Wheatley

Recognition of the Government of the Virgin Islands’ first year in office

Wednesday 24th April  2024

Warm greetings to the people of the Virgin Islands!

Today marks a significant milestone on our collective journey towards building a sustainable nation.

Exactly one year ago, the people of the Virgin Islands placed their confidence in my administration to safeguard our beloved Virgin Islands, against challenges irrespective of their origin.  Today, I am here as your Premier to not only thank you for your confidence that you have instilled in me, but to continue to solicit your support and to listen to your needs as we strive to create a greater Territory for all. 

Over the past year, we have earnestly sought to honour the profound trust placed in us, ever mindful of the Biblical teaching that “To whom much is given, much will be required.” I fully grasp the weight of this responsibility and strive daily to lead with both humility and assurance.

With a renewed sense of purpose, a shared vision, and unwavering determination, we set about the people’s business a year ago. We embarked on a journey to not only advance but to transform our Territory in a manner that current and future generations of Virgin Islanders can be proud of.

I would like to acknowledge the challenges we’ve encountered over the past year, including securing the resources needed to recover from the worst disaster in our history, brutal inflation brought on by global conflict, the rigorous work of governance reform, the shifting international regulatory landscape, and ever increasing financial obligations in the face of limited resources. Despite these obstacles, we continue to move forward together, fueled by vigor, hope, and determination.

Despite the complex and challenging external circumstances, despite the vulnerabilities that small island developing states such as ours experience, despite our internal struggles to transform our public service to better meet the needs of our growing society, my perspective is extremely optimistic.

My confidence is buoyed by a fervent belief in the capabilities and good nature of the people of the Virgin Islands.  I am positive in the knowledge that God has blessed us with beautiful natural resources that are a wonder for all to see.  I am encouraged that our tourism arrivals continue to grow, resulting in some of the best numbers we have seen in our history.  I am grateful that our financial services industry continues to be world-class.  Our young people continue to make us proud on the international stage, whether through their professional accomplishments, sports, academics, or culture.  We have a lot to be grateful for.

I assure the people of the Virgin Islands that we are guided by a strong and clear vision.  We have passed a National Sustainable Development Plan.  We are now dedicating the resources to transform that Plan into a series of practical steps which will move us from plans to progress.  We are laying the groundwork for sustained excellence over time.

Like many small territories, we face a long road of hard work ahead. I stand before you today with a steadfast belief in our ability to not only complete this work but also to continue as a leader among nations. We are prepared to take the essential steps to prioritize our greatest asset—our people—and to foster their continued confidence in our leadership. Together, we will rise to new heights, striving to make our nation one of the greatest on this earth.

I say this with a heart full of admiration and appreciation: my people have a proven historical record to withstand. We have a reputation trail-blazing freedom, and overcoming adversities, and in the wake of man-made and natural disasters, we are a people who have rebuilt, and transformed our society with our heads held high.

We not only withstand, but we triumph!

Indeed, our resilience is collectively demonstrated on a day-to-day basis as we press towards developing our Territory across social, economic, and political spheres while simultaneously equipping our people to be world-class citizens.

For this reason, my confidence in my government and the people of the Virgin Islands is reinforced and amplified.

My administration pledges to continue to deliver for the people of the Virgin Islands through strategic national transformation.

Through Building, through development goals underpinned by the need for sustainable growth.

I am pleased to announce the Inaugural Territorial address scheduled for May 16, 2024, where my government and I will discuss or past accomplishments and present goals; ideas on solving our territories challenges, celebrating our accomplishments, putting our best foot forward as we continue to work towards, “Building a Sustainable Nation”.

I thank you.

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