By Aabigayle McIntosh
Prime Minister Gaston Browne was among the leaders in St Kitts and Nevis, attending several activities to commemorate the 42nd Anniversary of the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States
One of the activities was the 73rd meeting of the OECS that took place in St Kitts and Nevis on Sunday.
The Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) declared the meeting opened by chronicling the achievements of the grouping indicating that a number of significant gains have been made since the historic signing of the treaty of Basseterre creating an economic union between 11 Eastern Caribbean countries.
Dr Didadcus Jules stated that the grouping has come a very long way over the past 42 years adding that the progress of the journey must not be measured by the distance travelled but the road ahead.
He was speaking at the opening of the 73rd meeting of the OECS that took place in St Kitts and Nevis on Sunday.
“At the center of the OECS initiative is the free movement of goods services capital and labour facilitating regional development and creating new opportunities for businesses and individuals. Sustainability is a pressing concern for the OECS in the face of climate change and environmental degradation”.
OECS 42, he said, places a very strong focus on environmental stewardship and sustainable development.
Dr Jules said it is recognized that member states are vulnerable to the effects of climate change such as rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and loss of biodiversity.
He pointed out that as such they are promoting sustainable practices that preserve natural resources, protect ecosystems, and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
“Progress is the outcome of collective effort and effective governance. OECS 42 seeks to ensure progress in various areas including economic development, social advancement, and good governance. The OECS seeks to promote an enabling environment that promotes innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment,” the director general said.
The 42nd Anniversary Celebrations will be guided by the theme ‘Vision. Integration. Sustainability. Progress will highlight the achievements, progress, and aspirations of the OECS, and will also recognize the commitment and dedication of its 11 Member States, as well as its partners and stakeholders.
Aside from the meeting itself, activities in St. Kitts and Nevis included the OECS in the Classroom School Tour from June 13-16 and the OECS Fun Walk on June 17.
Citizens across all OECS Member States also got the opportunity to join in the celebrations on OECS Colours Day, held on June 16, where they showed their pride and support for the OECS Integration Movement by wearing the OECS Colours of green, yellow, white, and navy blue.
The Anniversary celebrations will culminate with a Thanksgiving Service at the Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Castries, Saint Lucia on June 25.