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OECS Geneva Technical Mission Getting Down to Business

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005 - One month after its historical launching on June 28th, 2005, the OECS Geneva Technical Mission has reportedly been well received by other Caribbean missions, already established in Geneva.

Caribbean countries are increasingly setting up missions in Geneva where the World Trade Organization - WTO is headquartered, with the hope of providing territories with more effective representation at the WTO level.

The small OECS mission has been given the tremendous responsibility of becoming the vehicle by which the sub-region will have a stronger voice at WTO negotiation sessions.

Senior Communications Officer of the OECS Secretariat Mr. Kendol Morgan says, the commissioning of the Geneva Technical Mission is vital to the long term welfare of smaller and weaker nations.

“There are lots of meetings, lots of discussions taking place and countries of the OECS have a small capacity for taking part in these negotiations. So they‘ve decided to work jointly. OECS countries decided they would set up a joint mission to interface with the WTO, engage in discussions and articulate their positions”.

Director General of the OECS Secretariat Dr. Len Ishmael recently called for the recognition that countries of the world are at different levels of development and that the playing field is not level.

The Communications Officer says the mission was launched with financial and other support provided by the European Commission, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the OECS Mission in Brussels.

Mr. Morgan said countries no longer have the luxury of having an option about having a physical presence on the global scene. “It is a question of absolutely having to take part in the negotiations because it is going to have an impact on the way that we live and work in these islands. One cannot opt out. That’s the key issue. Can you afford to opt not to participate? You need to take part effectively, so you pool your resources to do it.”

The OECS Geneva Technical Mission is currently headed by Charge d’Affaire Elliott Paige.

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