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OECS celebrates 35th anniversary

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JUNE 12th, 2016 (PRESS SEC) – Thirty-five years ago this week, the Treaty of Basseterre was signed on June 18th, 1981, in the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis, establishing the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

The original signatories were Antigua and Barbuda (signed by Deputy Premier Lester Bird); Dominica (Prime Minister Mary Eugenia Charles); Grenada (Prime Minister Maurice Bishop); Montserrat (Minister of Education Franklyn Margetson); St. Kitts and Nevis (Premier Kennedy Simmonds); Saint Lucia (Prime Minister Winston Cenac), and St. Vincent and the Grenadines (Deputy Prime Minister Hudson Tannis).  By signing the Treaty, they agreed to cooperate with each other and promote unity and solidarity among the OECS membership.  The British Virgin Islands joined the OECS in November 1984 and Anguilla in May 1995; both are associate members.

Today, the 35th Anniversary Celebrations will be launched at a press conference that is scheduled for simulcast in all OECS Member States.  Dr. Didacus Jules, the Director General of the OECS Commission, will deliver welcome remarks. 

The outgoing OECS Chairman, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Keith Mitchell of Grenada, will deliver a feature address at the press conference.  Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris will also deliver a feature address as the incoming OECS Chairman.  The OECS Authority meets twice a year and its chairmanship changes every June.

A Q&A session will follow a presentation by Mr. Anthony Severin, the OECS Commission’s Head of International Relations, on the role of the OECS institutions.  In addition to Director General of the OECS Commission, Dr. Jules, the heads of the other OECS institutions who will be at the press conference are Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC), the Honourable Dame Janice M. Pereira; Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Mr. Timothy Antoine; Director General of the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA), Mr. Donald McPhail, and Managing Director of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL), Mr. Embert Charles.

On Wednesday, June 15th, starting at 9:30am, a church service will be held at the Immaculate Conception Church in Castries, St. Lucia, where the OECS Secretariat is based.

The complete list of the OECS’s 35th Anniversary Week of Activities follows.


OECS 35th Anniversary Week of Activities

June 13-18, 2016

Date Activity Venue
Monday, 13th June

@ 9:00am

OECS Regional Press Conference: Launch of 35th Anniversary Celebrations Video-conference across all Member States
Wednesday, 15th June

@ 9:30am

OECS Church Service with sister Institutions ECCB, ECSC and ECTEL Immaculate Conception Church, Castries, St. Lucia
Thursday, 16th June

@ 10:00am

OECS Virtual Lecture Forum:

Youth Empowerment in the OECS

Video-conference across all Member States
Friday, 17th June OECS T-Shirt Day OECS Commission
Saturday, 18th June OECS DAY


Premiere of OECS Founding Forefathers Video Series

All Member States


Virtual Premiere

 (Press Release by Office of the Prime Minister, St. Kitts and Nevis)

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