On October 12, 2009, the United Kingdom announced an update and report describing its steps taken toward its newly formed government in Turks and Caicos (UK). The report enumerated measures to restore what the UK calls, "principles of good governance and sound financial management in the Turks and Caicos Islands."
Slowly but surely, the world is learning of the news of the UK takeover of the Turks and Caicos Islands though it has been nearly one month since the "British Invasion".
Many assume that since Turks and Caicos is an island territory of the UK, that UK had a legal right to take over governance of the islands. The UN recognised Turks and Caicos as a territory of the UK only under the condition of a partnering relationship between the two.
The European Union, the United Nations and CARICOM (the Caribbean nation bloc), all condemn the UK's action of terminating Turks and Caicos' constitution and taking over the islands' government.
This week, the United Nations continued its nearly 20 year-long push, by its decolonisation committee, to readdress the need to eradicate colonialism. Turks and Caicos Islands and 15 other territories were on the agenda.
Though the United Nations has had much success with delivering territories from colonisation, the last remaining 16 have caused the committee to announce, "a crucial need to generate new momentum and ensure that the 16 remaining Non-Self-Governing Territories were able to exercise the right to self-determination."
The UN's General Assembly made a statement and report of its own this week, specifically addressing Turks and Caicos (October 9, 2009):
… the 16 remaining Non-Self-Governing Territories were able to exercise the right to self-determination..
… how long must people in the colonized Territories wait before they were fully emancipated…
… Turks and Caicos Islands was a clear move in the wrong direction. …the process of decolonization should be seen from an economic, cultural and social perspective, and not confined merely to the legal front…
… the Turks and Caicos Islands regarding the unilateral actions taken by the colonial Powers … calling for the immediate restoration of the Territory’s Government.
The UK defends its actions by citing corruption by Turks and Caicos' former Premier, Michael Misick, and it responds in part as follows:
This was a serious constitutional step which the Government did not take lightly. But these measures were essential in order to restore the principles of good governance and sound financial management. It remains our intention that elections should be held by July 2011, if not sooner.
The UK has not explained why the newly elected government, which had been installed six(6) months prior to UK's overthrow, was not honored. Speculation that UK had designs on the newly popular vacation destination have been rampant.
This act by the UK has caused international watch committees to see this as a triple threat. Not only has the UK unilaterally decided to take over governance of Turks and Caicos, but it has taken control from a duly elected new government and did so without any partnership or other mitigating options to support the new installation. This has caused the many international committees to call the UK's actions, aggressive and unlawful.
The UK has the further burden of addressing its reason for suspending jury trials in Turks and Caicos as well as the length of time, "at least 2 years", that it plans to remain in power in the islands.
The UN plans to continue the debate though it has made its opinions publicly clear. It condemns the UK's take over of Turks and Caicos.