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GIS – Today ushers in the 34th anniversary of the creation of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.
Dubbed OECS Day, June 18 is celebrated throughout the OECS in recognition of the signing of the Treaty of Basseterre which officially established the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States in 1981.
The OECS, which in 2011 ratified the Revised Treaty of Basseterre establishing the OECS Economic Union, recently expanded its membership to ten member states with the February 2015 addition of Martinique as an associate member. The previous nine-member grouping comprised Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands are associate members of the OECS.
Under the Revised Treaty of Basseterre the OECS has achieved a number of goals.
Currently, all Protocol Member States have implemented free movement for OECS citizens which was agreed to by the OECS Authority in 2011. Aspects of the regime include indefinite stay, acceptance of photo ID other than passports, removal of the work permit requirement, removal of the means test, and the use of national drivers’ licenses to drive in host member states.
Work is also advancing on the single domestic space for travel via the proposed OECS border management and technical agencies integration project, while substantial progress has been made on designing the regime for the free circulation of goods.
As part of the activities to observe the 34th anniversary, the Director General of the OECS, Dr. Didacus Jules will deliver an OECS Day address that will present the Organization’s vision towards enhancing its service to the people of the region. The address is to be aired in all OECS member states.
The OECS Commission is also observing the 34th anniversary of the creation of the OECS with a series of activities under the theme “Commissioned for Service.”