Resilience and transformation highlighted as OECS 40th anniversary launched


The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission on Monday unveiled planned activities for the 40th Anniversary of the OECS, with Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit saying that the last four decades in the sub-region have been marked by resilience and transformation.

Activities to commemorate the June 18, 2021 milestone will include a virtual Thanksgiving Service; a series of public sector consultations and business-focused webinars; the launch of an OECS teachers resource booklet on regional integration; the launch of an OECS Youth Assembly; a development partners symposium; and the premiere of a special bi-lingual production dramatised by the Che Campeche theatrical group.

“This 40th year is a historical marker on a road of increasing convergence, greater anticipation and unyielding possibility,” said Skerrit, who is chairman of the OECS Authority.

“Notwithstanding the bad weather through which we have journeyed, there have been bursts of sunshine. Notwithstanding the pain we have endured, we have also enjoyed the blessings of rain and we have reached this milestone for one simple reason — we have always focused on the things that unite us rather than the things that divide us.”

Director-General of the OECS Dr Didacus Jules, in his remarks, noted the need to celebrate past success but also look to the future.

“Our celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States will involve not just looking back at the road already travelled but importantly also looking forward to the road ahead. In doing this, we will be acknowledging the incalculable contributions of many who walked before us and the significant accomplishments on this journey to regional integration laid out in the road map of the Revised Treaty of Basseterre,” he said.

The OECS was established on June 18, 1981 as an international, inter-governmental organization dedicated to regional integration in the Eastern Caribbean. Seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate and promote unity and solidarity among the members, known as the Treaty of Basseterre, named after the city in St Kitts and Nevis where the agreement was signed.

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  1. A survey of Caribbean people in and outside the region on the expectations of economic development from Caricom is likely to indicate an 80% (guesstimate) that Caricom has not met the expectations and Caricom is dead.
    It’s possible that they will explain this by singing the calypso Three Blind Mice (Youtube) by Dr Hollis Liverpool, The Mighty Chalkdust. For emphasis, everybody, listen to it and think about its relevance today!

    So what now? Is it time for the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to bring about a business/industrial revolution in the individual and collaborative economies?
    The OECS proclaims it is dedicated to their economic harmonisation and integration. The global pandemic, natural disasters, climate change impact have laid bare our economies.The priority action now should be economic development by a business/industrial revolution in the Eastern Caribbean.
    Recently a commenter in an electronic media wrote that Tesla and Nio should be investments in A&B; another that Amazon should establish a fulfillment hub in A&B; geo-thermal energy can be developed in Dominica; renewable energy can lower electricity costs. There’s no lack of ideas for development and growth in the field of health, agriculture,telecommunications, transportation, infrastructure, biotechnology, oceanography, archeology it in the Eastern Caribbean.The Dream is there! Caribbean economic historians, economists, technocrats, financiers can provide the Details to make the Dream a Reality.
    What’s needed is CAPITAL (MONEY), Labor and Resources. Access to Capital in the OECS at affordable and sustainable low rates is paramount; productive labor coming from an educational system that prioritizes STEAM, science,technology, engineering, mathematics powered by a Caribbean consciousness; land, sun, sea (ocean), sand, water and natural vegetation. The innovative and creative combination of these will build businesses and industries in the Eastern Caribbean and solve our financial, health and cultural problems.
    There’s an interesting recent article on regional financial services sector: Good ideas come to the Caribbean to die, (Jamaica Observer, 3/7/2021).
    Also, Every Island for itself……iwItness News Opinion ( 9 Mar 2021).
    Congratulations on 40 years but it must be bold and act now to seize the moment, carpe diem!

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