OECS Leaders To Discuss Economic Union

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
February 12, 2008 (CUOPM)

St. Kitts and Nevis‘ Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas is among OECS Heads of Government appointed to a sub-committee to refine the Economic Union work programme.

During the recent meeting of the 46th Meeting of the OECS Authority in Roseau, Dominica, sub-regional leaders were engaged in extensive discussions on the next steps towards the OECS Economic Union and stressed the urgent need to begin the proposed consultations on the draft Economic Union Treaty, beginning with engagements with governments, ruling and opposition parties, non-governmental organisations and other interest groups with a view towards mobilising the widest possible support for the objectives and goals of the Economic Union.

Heads emphasized the fact that this consultation exercise is a political process in which the political leaders must take the lead and the Authority appointed a sub-committee of Heads, comprising St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas; Prime Minister of Dominica, Hon. Roosevelt Skerritt; Prime Minister Hon. Baldwin Spencer of Antigua and Barbuda and St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves to assist in refining the Economic Union work programme by the inclusion of relevant political language and to determine the points of political intervention.

It was further agreed that the first political engagement with the governing and opposition parties would take place in Grenada before the end of February, to be followed by similar activities in other Member States sequentially.  Heads agreed to the establishment of Working Groups to provide policy support and technical inputs to the Economic Union process.  The Working Groups would cover the areas of Justice, Law and Order; Foreign Affairs; Public Administration; Management of Human and Natural Resources; Cooperation, Coordination and Consolidation of Economic Arrangements, and Transition Issues in the Economic Union.

Heads agreed to establish special units within the Prime Minister/Chief Minister’s office with specific responsibility for regional integration matters, including the OECS Economic Union process by the end of February 2008.

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