OECS Director General hails PM Douglas’ ‘exemplary leadership’

St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas (left) and Director General of the OECS Her Excellency Dr. Len Ishmael (photo by Erasmus Williams)

ST. KITTS, JUNE 23, 2010 (CUOPM) – This Federation’s Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas is being credited for his “exemplary leadership” of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) over the past several months which culminated with the signing of the new Treaty establishing the Economic Union last Friday.

Director General of the OECS Secretariat, Her Excellency Dr. Len Ishmael in a letter to Prime Minister Douglas expressed her deepest admiration for his exemplary leadership displayed throughout the journey that has led to last Friday’s signing of the Revised Treaty of Basseterre that established the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States Economic Union.

“That we have come so far is testimony to the principled, dignified and resolute leadership which you have displayed throughout this most complex period of preparation and negotiating the text of the new Treaty, in your capacity as Chairman of the OECS,” Dr. Ishmael said.

“Fate sometimes conspires in the most magical of ways to bring about the influence of events which result in the creation of history. There can be no doubt that the handing over by Montserrat of the Chairman to you last year, followed by your resounding victory at polls in January of this year, were but moments preordained- because yours were the hands which were required to steer us around, above and through the many hurdles which required both resolution and accommodation to bring this process to conclusion.”

She reminded Prime Minister Douglas, the longest serving Head of Government in the Caribbean, of his “steely resolve to allow no distractions from the main goal of achieving conditions conducive to allowing for consensus among your colleagues so that this long awaited aspiration to create an Economic Union among the membership of the OECS could finally be attained.”

“The people of the OECS will forever hold you in their debt,” said the Director General.

Dr. Ishmael thanked Prime Minister Douglas “not only for the qualities of your leadership, but for the unwavering support of your office which I personally, and my colleagues have been able to count on for the last seven years. I am more proud than I am I could say, to be associated with you in this most memorable moments in the history of region which we hold so dear.”

She pointed out that in the midst of the gloom surrounding the impacts of the world economic recession and the sense of instability within the wider region, the new Treaty is cause for celebration.

“The fact that this goal will be attained in the very year in which the UN General Assembly will gather to review, debate and deliberate on the achievements by SIDS, fifteen years after the birth of the Small Island Developing States Barbados Plan of Action, adds a special significance to what is being accomplished by the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States in 2010,” said the OECS Director General.

Dr. Ishmael noted that the OECS “continues to go where no other small island developing states have gone before, and in so doing has captured the imagination and the admiration of all who get to know our story. That story could not have unfolded in the way in which it has, without your leadership.”

In congratulating Prime Minister Douglas on the history that is being made under his chairmanship of the sub-regional grouping, the OECS Director General concluded: “June 18th 2010 will forever be one of the proudest moments in my professional and personal lives. I thank you for that honor.”

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