Historic Signing by Antigua and Barbuda facilitates deeper OECS Economic Integration

DG Commends Antigua and Barbuda

OECS Secretariat, Castries, St. Lucia (Tuesday January 4th 2011) – People of the OECS have moved closer towards increased benefits associated with the free movement of skills and persons as well as better business opportunities. This follows Antigua and Barbuda’s historic signing of the Instrument of Ratification for the Revised OECS Treaty of Basseterre Establishing OECS Economic Union.

Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Hon. Baldwin Spencer signed the Instrument of Ratification in St. John’s on Thursday December 30th 2010. In this regard, Antigua and Barbuda is the first OECS Member State to ratify the Revised Treaty of Basseterre Establishing the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Economic Union. In order for the Revised Treaty to enter into force, at least four independent OECS Member States must ratify the Treaty.

PM Baldwin Spencer Signs Ratification Instrument in Antigua and Barbuda

Ratification is the process by which a country indicates that it intends to be bound by an international agreement such as a treaty or convention. Prior to signing the Instrument of Ratification at his office, P.M. Baldwin Spencer expressed his nation’s commitment to deeper regional integration: “By being the first Member State to ratify the Revised Treaty of Basseterre Establishing OECS Economic Union, Antigua and Barbuda wishes to signal its profound commitment to the implementation process.”

The House of Representatives on Tuesday December 2nd 2010, passed a Resolution authorizing the ratification of the Revised Treaty of Basseterre, thus paving the way for the deposit of the Instrument of Ratification from the Government of Antigua and Barbuda with the OECS Secretariat in accordance with Article 25 of the Treaty. Article 25 provides that the Treaty shall be open for signature to all countries specified in Articles 3.1 and 3.2 and shall be subject to ratification by the signatories in accordance with their respective constitutional procedures.

PM Spencer Signs Revised Treaty of Basseterre in Castries

Antigua and Barbuda is the only OECS Member State that has a Ratification of Treaties Act (Cap. 364), and the Act provides in Section 3 that where a treaty to which Antigua and Barbuda becomes party affects or concerns the relationship between Antigua and Barbuda and any international organization, agency, association or similar body, such Treaty shall not enter into force unless it has been ratified or its ratification approved in accordance with the provisions of the Act. Antigua and Barbuda was among the six Independent OECS Member States, to sign the Revised Treaty of Basseterre on 18th June 2010 in St. Lucia. Prime Minister Spencer also shared his expectations of the sub-committee of the Cabinet established under the chairmanship of the Minister for Finance and Economy Harold Lovell to drive the OECS Economic Union implementation process: “…and, early in 2011, I am looking forward to further necessary implementation steps to be proposed by the sub-committee to the Cabinet for action, including the enabling legislation that will allow certain key provisions of the Treaty to be enforceable as part of the law of Antigua and Barbuda.”

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