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Saint Lucian Ambassador says OECS Economic Union essential for continued survival of small states

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Contact: Adhara King

Friday, March 20, 2009 – Saint Lucia’s Ambassador to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States(OECS) Dr. June Soomer said discussions on the constitutional implications of OECS Economic Union are essential for functional cooperation and longevity.


Constitutional advancement and integration, Soomer said, are mechanisms that must be employed to consolidate independence.


“In these challenging times, two very important consultations are taking place in our country. The first which commenced a few years ago deals with constitutional reform. It marks the first time in our history that we are being given the opportunity to hear our voices reflected in our constitution. The second is the consultation on OECS Economic Union; this too, is a first,” said Soomer.


While there have been discussions on the way forward for CARICOM, as reflected by the “Time for Action Report”, this is the first time input is being made into the OECS treaty.


Given current global trends, Soomer said, the survival of small states must be given special attention.


“We cannot afford to waiver on the provisions of the revised treaty of Basseterre and on OECS Economic Union. We must make our input so that what will emerge in December 2009, will be an Economic Union that will benefit each citizen of all our small countries,”said Soomer.


The 1958 Federal Constitution which governed the formation of the West Indies Federation, Soomer said, was considered a weak document due to immense ambiguity.


However, she said, due to the demonstrated successes of OECS integration, there is no room for ambiguity in the OECS Economic Union.

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