Prime Minister Dr. Drew Stresses the Importance of Regional Integration in His Maiden OECS Authority Address

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, October 19, 2022, (SKNIS) – The importance of regional integration was highlighted by Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew, today, Wednesday, October 19, in his maiden address to the 72nd Meeting of the OECS (Organization of Eastern Caribbean States) Authority being held in Montserrat. Prime Minister Dr. Drew commended the sub-regional body on the progress it has made over the last 20 years in advancing regional integration among the Member States.

In his well-received presentation to the Authority, Prime Minister Dr. Drew said that it is his belief that all Member States share strong commitments to regional integration, be it on the economic, social or environmental fronts.

“Our regional integration is not only robust but deep in substance and wide in scope touching all the pillars of sustainable development. It is firmly rooted in the revised Treaty of Basseterre, my hometown, the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development at the level of the United Nations,” said the St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Dr. Drew reflected on the initial signing of the Treaty of Basseterre on June 18, 1981, that gave birth to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) with seven Eastern Caribbean states as full members, namely, Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe are associate members of the OECS.

Forty-one years later, Prime Minister Dr. Drew said the OECS has now “evolved into an Economic Union, thereby deepening the level of integration, incorporating the free movement of all nationals of the Member States who signed the Protocol. This improved iteration of the OECS is embodied in the Revised Treaty of Basseterre.”

Dr. Drew added, “My invitation to us to take a walk down memory lane was not intended to evoke feelings of nostalgia or to pat ourselves on our backs for the strides we have taken along this fearless path of regional integration. I would rather invite us to explore the possibilities of expanding the scope of our movement. I am encouraged by the body of work that has been taken by the OECS Commission and the individual Member States to take the process forward by implementing the provisions of the Revised Treaty of Basseterre.”

The opening ceremony of the 72nd Meeting of the OECS Authority was held under the auspices of the OECS Chairman, the Honourable Easton Taylor-Farrell, the Premier of Montserrat. The two-day meeting is being held from October 19-20.

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