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Covenant will recognise Island forces personnel 4 January 2013

FOLLOWING a public consultation the Council of Ministers is giving its backing to the introduction of an Armed Forces Community Covenant in the Island.

The Covenant is an official declaration, on behalf of the Isle of Man and its Government, recognising the special role and contribution of those Island residents who serve, or have served, in the British Armed Forces. Similar Covenants have been developed throughout the United Kingdom as local expressions of the national Armed Forces Covenant which was formalised by the UK Government in 2011.

The concept was the subject of a public consultation in the Island between August and October 2012, and the response was overwhelmingly in favour of establishing a Community Covenant here. Endorsement of the Covenant’s principles will be sought at the January sitting of Tynwald by Juan Watterson MHK, who led the consultation process and has now been appointed as ‘Armed Forces Champion’ to progress the initiative.

Mr Watterson, who is Minister for Home Affairs, commented:

‘I am delighted to have been appointed as Armed Forces Champion for the Isle of Man. I see a Community Covenant as a way of giving recognition to the men and women from the Isle of Man who serve or who have served, often with great distinction, in the British Armed Forces. Although the Covenant concept comes from the UK, the content of the Manx Community Covenant has been a matter entirely for the Island to decide. It is intended as a voluntary statement of mutual support and a framework for the Island’s public, private and voluntary communities to come together to ensure that serving and retired members of the Armed Forces and their families are not disadvantaged by their service.’

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