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OECS DAY - "Integration is Vital"

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Contact: John Emmanuel

June 18, 1998 - Integration among the members of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States is to go one step further as the regional body commemorates OECS day today June 18.

As the nine member grouping today marks its 17th anniversary, the process of integration is being stepped up with a decision by the OECS governments to accept neighboring Barbados into the OECS family.  In his address on the occasion, Director General of the OECS Swinburn Lestrade says that the necessary mechanism and modalities still have to be worked out before the important step can be formalized.  According to Lestrade, the need to press on with the integration arrangements is being underscored by the winds of liberalization blowing across the international community, forcing the region to adapt.

Some of  the activities organized for the occasion include an ecumenical service, an exhibition and a visit to the OECS Secretariat on the Morne, Castries.

OECS Day celebrations will give the Secretariat an opportunity to review its work and activities over the last year, focussing primarily on institutional consolidation.   Other areas of contribution include research and briefing documents aimed at informing the position of OECS countries on the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and post Lome VI arrangements.


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