OECS Media Release
Wednesday, June 17, 2020 — Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco — The Embassies of Eastern Caribbean States to the Kingdom of Morocco would like to take this moment to commemorate the 39th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Basseterre and the founding of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.
On June 18th 1981, the leaders of Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines gathered to solidify their commitments towards unity and solidarity in the Eastern Caribbean. These commitments were enshrined in what became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, named in honor of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed.
In 2010, the Revised Treaty of Basseterre was signed in Saint Lucia during the 51st Meeting of the OECS Authority. This revised treaty established a single financial and economic space where goods, people and capital are able to move freely among Member States. It also enabled the harmonisation of monetary and governmental policies relating to taxes and revenue. The countries of this economic union continue to adopt a common approach to trade, health, education and the environment, as well as the development of critical sectors such as agriculture, tourism and energy.
Today, the OECS is an eleven-member organisation including the full Member States of Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Associated Member States of Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Guadeloupe, and Martinique.
Commenting on the anniversary of the signing of this seminal treaty, His Excellency Mr. Ian M. Queeley, Ambassador of the Embassies of Eastern Caribbean States to the Kingdom of Morocco remarked:
“I feel particularly honoured and immensely proud on this auspicious occasion, not only as the Ambassador of the ECS Embassies to the Kingdom of Morocco, but more importantly as a citizen of the OECS. Since this historic day in 1981, when birth was given to this dynamic movement, the OECS has grown in leaps and bounds pursuing and fulfilling the development agenda of the Member States, thereby firmly cementing its place and prominence throughout the regional and international arena.
The Commission’s advancement, under the leadership of our distinguished Director-General Dr. Didacus Jules, to expand our global footprint has seen the successful establishment of an Embassy in Morocco which will not only enhance diplomatic relations, but will bring about much needed economic and social benefits to the peoples of Morocco and the OECS.
COVID-19 has brought about its numerous challenges but, as always, the citizens of our Region have shown their resilience in times of adversity. Given this reality, we must continue to treasure institutions such as the OECS which only serve to improve the relations between our Member States and the livelihoods of its citizens in our quest for sustainable development. Long live the OECS and the continued prosperity of the Region.”