By Theresa Goodwin
Accelerating the regional integration process to create a better quality of life for the people of Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) will be one of the five key priorities for the upcoming year.
This is according to the incoming Chairman of the OECS Authority, Grenadian Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell.
“We must pick up the pace of this relay and as we round up this dangerous curve, we must recognise that our integration marathon is not simply about endurance, but also other factors,” Dr Mitchell outlined during the opening ceremony of the 70th meeting of the OECS Authority.
The other key arears of focus, during his term as Chairman, include re-inventing the economies of the region, valuing the environment, building resilience, and enabling equity and inclusion.
“Using this approach there will be cross-cutting themes which enriches the quality of our efforts. Entrepreneurship, Gender Equity, Digital innovation and the empowerment of youth are the interlink strands that will make the process stronger and the results better,” the incoming chair added.
The virtual meeting was held yesterday to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the OECS. The OECS was established on June 18th, 1981 as an international, inter-governmental organisation dedicated to regional integration in the Eastern Caribbean.
Seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty that year, agreeing to cooperate and promote unity and solidarity among member states, known as the Treaty of Basseterre, named after St Kitts and Nevis where the agreement was signed.
Today,the OECS grouping is comprised of Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines, with Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Martinique and Guadeloupe being associate members.
Among the main agenda items for yesterday’s meeting was the addition of St Martin as the 12th OECS member state.