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Saint Vincent PM: OECS Economic Union urgent and compelling

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Contact: Adhara King


Tuesday, March 17, 2009 – Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Honourable Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said in light of current turmoil in the global economy, the region should look ever more to coordinating the elaboration and implementation of vital policies.


The Vincentian prime minister spoke Monday evening as the featured speaker at a public discussion, held at the National Cultural Centre on the constitutional implications of an OECS Economic Union.


“I have revered elsewhere, that a crisis is a terrible thing to waste. Thus, an enduring legacy of these most daunting economic times must be a profound deepening of the regional integration movement, especially within the OECS. The realization of the quest for a more perfect union of the member countries of the OECS is urgent and compelling,” said Dr. Gonsalves.


Prime Minister Gonsalves said if the region is to emerge from the depths into which it has been plunged, the implementation of the economic union is vital. He said the situation was brought about by external forces - however the region cannot depend on these forces for rescue, and should instead unite in a collaborative effort.


“Island chauvinism, a potential overreach by some regional bureaucrats, and the petty politics of village states are the debilitating interlopers which threaten to undermine the efficacy of the proposed Economic Union enterprise, and its necessary and consequentially altered political superstructure,” Dr. Gonsalves said.


The case for the formation of an Economic Union within the OECS, Prime Minister Gonsalves said, has always been strong from the organization’s inception in 1981. Since then, he said, through the OECS, an authentic supranational institutional architecture has been built around a solid core of unity.

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