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OECS States Agree Upon Draft Outline For New Treaty

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The new Treaty of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) will be signed in the St. Kitts capital, Basseterre on December 29.

Grenada's Prime Minister, Tillman Thomas told reporters that the signing of the agreement will be preceded by a special meeting to “consider the treatment of recommendations and the draft Treaty arising from the public consultations”.

The new OECS Treaty will come into effect in June 2010, the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Basseterre.

According to Thomas, the draft treaty includes the process of removing barriers to trade between national markets in goods, services, movement of capital and labour forces, which will transform the islands into a single financial and economic space, in terms of the above.

Eleven sectors have been listed in the treaty for joint action. These include civil aviation, agriculture, tourism, education, environmental sustainability, marine, disaster response and telecommunications.

Thomas told reporters that the sub-regional leaders had given serious consideration to the emotive subject of freedom of movement. He said the leaders also reviewed the harmonization of immigration laws and the social security systems.