Fifty Sixth Meeting of the OECS Authority discussed a wide range of issues

OECS Chairman PM of SVG Ralph Gonsalves

ZIZ News…Nov 27, 2012 — The Fifty-Sixth Meeting of the OECS Authority was convened at Rosalie Bay Resort in Commonwealth of Dominica over the period November 22-23, 2012 under the Chairmanship of Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

With the exception of the British Virgin Islands, all Member States were in attendance and representation of Heads of Government included Anguilla, Commonwealth of Dominica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Also in attendance were the Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) and the Secretary General of the Caribbean Community.

OECS Heads of Government considered the work undertaken by the OECS Secretariat in the preparation of background papers and negotiating briefs on key issues, and the establishment and the operationalisation of the OECS Negotiating Team geared towards advancing discussions on Martinique’s accession as an Associate Member of the OECS. Heads agreed to the technical and institutional arrangements put in place to determine the nature and scope of the membership and to undertake the negotiations including trade and functional cooperation and ease of travel between Martinique and OECS Member States.

Heads further agreed to proceeding first with Martinique followed by Guadeloupe as proposed by both French Departments.

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Among the discussion was the accommodation of the Revised Treaty of Basseterre in the further revision of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

The OECS Heads of Government mandated the Secretariats of the OECS and CARICOM to meet at the earliest possible opportunity to conclude on the implementation of a decision of the Conference of CARICOM Heads of Government in 2007 to accommodate the Revised Treaty of Basseterre within a further revision of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. Heads also agreed that this matter would be placed on the agenda of the upcoming CARICOM intercessional meeting which is scheduled to be held in Haiti in February 2013.

Meanwhile OECS Heads of Government approved the process which will allow Member States to establish and publish baselines from which their maritime zones are to be measured. Heads also agreed to a revised OECS maritime boundary delimitation strategy that will allow Member States to negotiate boundaries among themselves prior to commencing delimitation proceedings with third States. The OECS Heads of Government agreed that the OECS Secretariat will continue to collaborate with the Commonwealth Secretariat to obtain Technical Assistance to prepare for the delimitation its maritime boundaries.

Heads reaffirmed the earlier decision that all actions being undertaken by Member States on maritime boundaries will be within the previously agreed arrangements.

OECS Heads of Government also engaged in a dialogue and consultation with a delegation from the OECS Private Sector on a range of issues regarding Private Sector Development and considered this as the beginning of continued interaction between the Heads of Government and the Private Sector. Heads of Government agreed on the need to establish institutional mechanisms and arrangements, through a Business Forum, comprising representatives of the Private and Public Sectors, to advance actionable items that will enhance the regional economic developmental thrust.

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