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OECS Technical Team Reviews Treaty of Basseterre

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005 - A Technical Committee has been appointed by the OECS Heads of government to Review the “Treaty of Basseterre.” This process is to allow for the strengthening of the Treaty, with a view to the formation of an economic union. The Committee which comprises regional technocrats met in St .Lucia on Tuesday May 10th, 2005, under the Chairmanship of Sir Dwight Venner Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank – ECCB.

The committee is charged with shaping proposals for the consideration of the OECS Prime Ministers who will meet in Dominica next month.

The proposals will in the main fall under two broad options. The first will consider the possibility of amending the Treaty to include features and conditions that will support and sustain an economic union. The second option is to create a new Treaty of closer integration for the formation of an economic union as well as to forge closer amalgamation in other policy areas.

Communications Officer at the OECS Secretariat Mr. Kendol Morgan says as far as the Heads are concerned the Treaty of Basseterre has served well over the past 24 years. He says the political leaders intend to ensure the Treaty which brought the OECS group to life in 1981, remains a relevant and vital force in today’s changing global climate.

“The heads have agreed that based on the report of a consultant, perhaps it is time to look at a new Treaty to replace the Treaty of Basseterre which reflects the times that the sub-region is in at the moment. The feeling is that the Treaty has served the region well in the past 24 years as the countries have engaged in activities related to functional cooperation but now that the sub-region is moving closer to strengthening ties economically and creating a single economic space, perhaps a new treaty to reflect this should be the way to go,” Morgan explains.

The Technical Committee comprises representatives from each of the nine member states, the OECS Secretariat and personnel from the Economic Union Project directly charged with the task of creating the OECS Economic Union.

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