August 10, 2012 is the new date set for the inauguration of the O.E.C.S Assembly.
This was disclosed at the 55th Meeting of the O.E.C.S Heads of Authority Meeting which concluded in St. Vincent and the Grenadines last week.
The inaugural session of the Regional Assembly which was originally scheduled for June 15, 2012 will take place in St John’s Antigua and Barbuda.
Prime Minister Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit who represented Dominica at that meeting says a combined membership of Government and Opposition Parliamentarians has already been submitted to the OECS Secretariat in St. Lucia.
“In Dominica’s case the leader of the opposition and four from the Government side will represent Dominica at this O.E.C.S Assembly”.
Prime Minister Skerrit has confirmed that Dominica fully supports the formalization of this assembly.
“We look forward to this assembly. Our hope is that very important regional matters which affect the people of the O.E.C.S will be discussed”.
The revised Treaty of Basseterre of 2010, which governs the OECS move towards an Economic Union, outlines provisions for the establishment of the OECS Assembly as one of the five principles of the sub-regional grouping.
Meanwhile Prime Minister Skerrit reports that the economic situation confronting O.E.C.S Member states were also discussed by O.E.C.S heads at the June 10-13 meeting in St.Vincent.
“As you know there is a real global crisis affecting every single country of the O.E.C.S. There is a dramatic drop in revenue and there is also an increase in expenditure and the question is how do you balance those things”?
The Dominica leader said further that “In the face of this economic situation O.E.C.S Governments have had to continue providing the goods and services to its people and in some cases they had to increase the amount spent on social safety net programmes to respond to the challenges which citizens are confronted with”.
The prime minister added that the O.E.C.S heads will continue to discuss this issue when they meet later this month.
“We intend to meet again to continue to discuss this particularly at the Monetary Council Meeting which will be held later this month in St.Kitts and Nevis and to device strategies as to how we can overcome some of those challenges”.
Other matters discussed during the three-day session included the application by Guadeloupe and Martinique for associate membership in the OECS; the appointment of a new chief justice for the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, a report from the meeting with opposition leaders and issues related to the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority.