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MNI to observe signing of OECS Economic Union treaty

BRADES – Pending internal approval, Montserrat will only be observing next week’s historic signing of the OECS Economic Union Treaty.

Azaret Metrio Zintos

The signing on December 29th 2009 will take place in the St. Kitts capital, venue of the signing of the Treaty of Basseterre on June 18th 1981, which established the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.

“Although the Treaty has now been redrafted to allow Montserrat to retain its full membership and all the rights and duties appertaining before the coming into force of the new treaty, Montserrat is not yet in a position to sign on the 29 December 2009 because our internal approval process has not yet been completed,” explained Claude Hogan, Director of Regional Affairs & Trade.

“ It is envisaged that when Montserrat signs on to the New Treaty it will continue to need entrustments for accession within the union on a case by case basis,” Hogan added.

Article 5.1 of the New Treaty also provides (b) a Member State which is not an independent State undertakes to enact legislation to provide for the reception into its law of the legislation made under this Article.

The Hon Chief Minister Reuben T. Meade has approved a delegation to attend the historic signing of the New Treaty of Basseterre for the creation of the OECS Economic Union. They are: Hon Victor James Sr. – Leader of the Opposition; Hon David Osborne – MP/Backbencher; Hon John Skerritt – Financial Secretary; Sir Howard Fergus – Member Economic Union Task Force; and Claude E S Hogan – Director Regional Affairs & Trade.

“The new arrangements envisaged under the treaty represent a fundamental philosophical transformation and political commitment to deepening the level of integration among member states through the establishment of an Economic Union and the creation of a Single Financial and Economic Space,” said Prime Minister Douglas, the current Chairman of the Authority of the OECS Heads of Government.

The ceremony, which is expected to be attended by member states of the OECS, begins at 5 p.m  in the Sir Cecil Jacobs Auditorium at the Headquarters of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).