THE OECS TURNS 35 YEARS OLD THIS WEEK

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Photo Caption: Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Hon. Timothy Harris

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JUNE 12th, 2016 (PRESS SEC) – Thirty-five years ago this week, the Treaty of Basseterre was signed on June 18th, 1981 in the capital city of St. Kitts, establishing the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). 

The original signatories were Antigua and Barbuda (signed by Deputy Premier Lester Bird); Dominica (Prime Minister Mary Eugenia Charles); Grenada (Prime Minister Maurice Bishop); Montserrat (Minister of Education Franklyn Margetson); St. Kitts and Nevis (Premier Kennedy Simmonds); St. Lucia (Prime Minister Winston Cenac), and St. Vincent and the Grenadines (Deputy Prime Minister Hudson Tannis).  By signing the treaty, they agreed to cooperate with each other and promote unity and solidarity among the OECS membership.  The British Virgin Islands joined the OECS in November 1984 and Anguilla in May 1995; both are associate members. 

Tomorrow, Monday, June 13th at 9:00am, the 35th Anniversary Celebrations will be launched at a press conference that is scheduled to simulcast in all OECS Member States.  Dr. Didacus Jules, the Director General of the OECS Commission, will deliver welcome remarks.

The outgoing OECS Chairman, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Keith Mitchell of Grenada, will deliver a feature address at the press conference.  Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris will also deliver a feature address as the incoming OECS Chairman.  The OECS Authority meets twice a year and its chairmanship changes every June.

A Q&A session will follow a presentation by Mr. Anthony Severin, the OECS Commission’s Head of International Relations, on the role of the OECS institutions.  In addition to Director General of the OECS Commission, Dr. Jules, the heads of the other OECS institutions who will be at the press conference are Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC), the Honourable Dame Janice M. Pereira; Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Mr. Timothy Antoine; Director General of the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA), Mr. Donald McPhail, and Managing Director of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL), Mr. Embert Charles.

On Wednesday, June 15th, starting at 9:30am, a church service will be held at the Immaculate Conception Church in Castries, St. Lucia, where the OECS Secretariat is based.

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