The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), created in 1981, is an inter-governmental organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance between countries and dependencies in the Eastern Caribbean. It also performs the role of spreading responsibility and liability in the event of natural disasters, such as a hurricane.
The main organ of the OECS, the Secretariat, is based in the capital city of Castries, Saint Lucia.

OECS partners with CTU to promote ICT-Development in Eastern Caribbean

Dr. Didacus Jules, Director General of the OECS Commission, with Nigel Cassimire, acting Secretary General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, at the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the OECS and the CTU in Tortola, BVI on September 30, 2015.
Dr. Didacus Jules, Director General of the OECS Commission, with Nigel Cassimire, acting Secretary General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, at the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the OECS and the CTU in Tortola, BVI on September 30, 2015.

TORTOLA, BVI – An agreement between the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) promises to deepen collaboration between the institutions in leveraging information and communications technology to support development in the sub-region.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Tortola, British Virgin Islands on September 30, representatives from both organizations expressed confidence that the formalization of their collaborative relationship would redound to the benefit of their member states.

“This agreement will allow us to converge our efforts and expertise and multiply the output of our shared objectives,” said Dr. Didacus Jules, Director General of the OECS Commission.

“The CTU has an unrivaled track record as an actioned-oriented organization and as the region’s premiere telecommunications body. We are looking forward to collaborating more closely with them to develop strategies and practical initiatives to promote the interest and advancement of OECS member states through the effective use of information and communication technologies (ICT),” Jules added.

Nigel Cassimire, speaking on behalf of the CTU Secretary General, Bernadette Lewis stated “The CTU has a long history of supporting the sub-region in areas that include telecommunications policy formulation, spectrum management, internet exchange point proliferation, technical capacity building and public education on the development opportunities ICTs presents. We fully expect our work in the sub-region to be strengthened by this agreement.”

The OECS is an international treaty organisation whose membership comprises Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines. Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands and Martinique are associate members of the OECS.

The CTU is an inter-governmental organization, established by Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads, with a mandate to facilitate development and the formulation of policies for the region’s information and communication technologies (ICT) sector. It has twenty regional state members, including all the OECS countries, as well as private sector and civil society members.

Dr Jules’ departure “a tremendous loss to CXC”

Dr Didacus Jules will be the new Director General of the OECS.
Dr Didacus Jules will be the new Director General of the OECS.

“While I applaud the appointment of Dr Didacus Jules as Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), his leaving CXC will represent a tremendous loss to the organization.”

That is the view of Professor E Nigel Harris, Chairman of CXC and Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies. Professor Harris was responding to the announcement that Dr Didacus Jules, current Registrar of CXC has been selected by the OECS Authority as the sub-region’s next Secretary General.

“During the six years of his tenure as CXC Registrar, Dr Jules sought to accomplish transformational changes in the organization,” Professor Harris stated. These he said included the aggressive use of Information and Communication Technologies to make CXC an IT-intelligent organization, expansion of outreach to global education organisations, significant broadening of international recognition and currency for CXC certification, and the engagement of regional leaders in both government and opposition in confronting some of the challenges of the region.

Professor Harris also lauded Dr Jules for his leadership in securing a new CXC Headquarters in Barbados and noted that this would be one of Dr Jules’ enduring legacies.

Dr Jules expressed his appreciation for “the tremendous privilege and trust extended by the Council in my appointment and in fully supporting the transformation of the organization over the past six years.” He thanked the Pro-Registrar, Mr Glenroy Cumberbatch, the management team and the staff for their contribution to this collective effort and for the amazing journey that the experience had been.

“I am confident that once we have completed the new Strategic Plan 2020, which will be brought for approval in April, the transformational direction of CXC will be consolidated and expanded”

Dr Jules leaves CXC in mid-April and is expected to take up his new position on 1 May.

Dr Jules joined CXC on 2 April 2008, becoming its fifth Registrar.

For further information, please contact Cleveland Sam, Public Information Officer at (246) 227 1892 or via e-mail @ CSam@cxc.org.

OECS and CARICOM Member States to Prepare for 9th Meeting of WTO Trade Ministers in Indonesia

Alicia Stephen
Alicia Stephen

CASTRIES, St. Lucia – Senior Trade officials from the OECS and wider CARICOM Member States will meet in Saint Lucia on September 10-11, to prepare for Ninth Meeting of WTO Trade Ministers in Bali Indonesia scheduled for December 3-6 2013.

The Members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have been engaged in negotiations on the Doha Development Agenda since it was launched in November 2001.  The last twelve years of negotiations have yielded limited success and the DDA has been on the brink of failure on more than one occasion.  However, the region has registered  major achievements in the recognition of special and differential treatment for Small Vulnerable Economies across negotiating issues including inter alia agriculture, non-agricultural market access, services and subsidies.

CARICOM officials will decide on the strategy that Ministers will be advised to pursue in the negotiations in Bali.  The meeting will focus its attention on a cluster of issues including the draft trade agreement on trade facilitation, agriculture and development issues, as well as the future work programme of the WTO after the December meeting. The region’s interests lie in advancing the development focussed work of the WTO and ensuring that the potential benefits of trade liberalization are accessed by our firms. Also at stake is the future of the multilateral trading system which includes a binding dispute settlement mechanism that provides small developing countries with a forum for challenging the policies of larger developed countries.

Funding for this activity has been provided by the ACP-MTS Programme, and EU funded project designed to support ACP participation in the multilateral trading system.

Antigua and Barbuda Parliament to be Home of OECS General Assembly

CALIVIGNY ISLAND, Grenada – Heads of Government of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States meeting on Calivigny Island in Grenada for a Special Retreat of the OECS Authority have agreed that the parliament of Antigua and Barbuda will be the home of the OECS General Assembly.

Prime Minister Spencer speaking from Grenada on Monday evening said that based on a proposal presented by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda which outlined the amenities and features of the Antigua and Barbuda parliament, Heads agreed that it would be ideal for the General Assembly which will consist of Members of Parliament and Legislatures from member states of the OECS.

The OECS General Assembly is one of the new organs established under the Revised Treaty of Basseterre establishing the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Economic Union.

The OECS General Assembly will be the body responsible for considering and reporting to the OECS Authority on any proposal to enact Acts referred to it by the Heads or Council of Ministers.

The General Assembly will consist of five members of parliament from Independent States with at least one member coming from the opposition benches.  The members must consist of the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition. The Legislature from the other member states of the OECS will elect three members with two members coming from the elected government while the opposition will elected one member.  Members of the Assembly are eligible to serve for two years from the date of election.

“This is an important achievement for Antigua and Barbuda.  We have been leading the way in matters relating to OECS integration and to have the OECS General Assembly in Antigua and Barbuda is a symbol of our commitment to the cause of bringing the region closer together.  The Government is looking forward to the convening of the General Assembly very shortly,” said Prime Minister Spencer.

The Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda is believed to be one of the most modern and state-of-the-art architectures in the region.  Among some of its notable features and amenities are its multimedia and technology features, conference and workshop facilities, Observation Deck and dome shaped Debating Chamber.

The Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda, which is approximately 47, 000 square feet was built in 2006 by the Hadeed Group of Companies.

Chief Minister Meade attending OECS Heads retreat in Grenada

BRADES, Montserrat – Chief Minister Reuben Meade is presently in Grenada participating in the 52nd Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Authority Meeting.

The two-day retreat on the privately-owned Calivigny Island comes days after the official start of the OECS economic union to which Montserrat has not yet signed off.The prime ministers, premier and chief ministers are discussing matters related to the implementation and operations of the OECS Economic Union especially rules of procedure, free movement, update on the EU financing and the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

Heads will also discuss the OECS Secretariat Manpower and Workforce Plan, review the resources deployed in representational activities at the regional and nationals levels and OECS Regional Security matters.

The union treaty commits member states to common policies in a wide number of areas and to free movement of citizens and goods across their borders.