Chagos Islands All-Party Parliamentary Group: Coordinator's Summary
The Chagos Islands All-Party Parliamentary Group recently held their latest meeting, where they discussed the recent Chagos Citizenship Bill, upcoming legal action and future plans to raise the issue of the Chagos Islands in relevant forums. Thanks as ever are due to Group Coordinator David Snoxell for providing the below summary.
The Chagos Islands (BIOT) APPG held its 66th meeting on 31 January. Members discussed Henry Smith's BIOT (Citizenship) Bill which he had introduced in the Commons on 16 January and commended his speech. They looked forward to the debate on the second reading on 16 March.
The Group also discussed a proposed parliamentary visit to the Chagos Archipelago and agreed that Mauritius should be consulted and included in the programme.
Members reviewed the statement that the Group had issued at its last meeting on 6 December concerning the UN General Assembly request to the International Court of Justice for an Advisory Opinion, which was sent to the ICJ Registrar by the Chairman on behalf of the Group. They were satisfied that it remains an accurate reflection of the Group's views and understanding of the issues.
The Group took note of the status of current litigation on which a judgement is awaited since the Supreme Court heard the case in June last year and also the forthcoming Judicial Review of the Government's decision on 16 November 2016 not to allow resettlement which is due to begin on 14 May.
In its tenth year the Group considered the prospects for progress in 2018 and decided that the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London in the week of 16 April provided an opportunity for the Group to meet the Mauritian delegation. The Chairman would write to the Prime Minister Mr Pravind Jugnauth and invite him to address the Group. It was also pointed out that the Commonwealth Parliamentarians' Forum, 26 Feb-1 March which meets in London in preparation for CHOGM provided an opportunity for members to meet Mauritian parliamentarians.
The next meeting will be on 21 March.