In an interview with reporters following the Inauguration of the OECS Assembly, Prime Minister Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit stated that the Inauguration of the OECS Assembly speaks to the progress that the OECS has made as a region since the establishment of the Economic Union.
He says this has been many years in the making but we have taken this very bold step to actually convene the Assembly.
“It is a positive sign of the greater commitment on the part of the OECS citizens towards economic integration of the OECS. Clearly there are issues that we have been dealing with on our own as individual states that we should be dealing with together as an OECS. With the increasing challenges confronting each member state, the region and the world as a whole, it requires greater coordination, cooperation and collaboration amongst the coalition of countries. It’s the first step where we can bring parliamentarians across the political divide, recognizing that we are coming here as regional parliamentarians to discuss matters affecting of course our domestic situation but more critically our regional situation. What can we do together first of all to address issues confronting us, opportunities that are available and what can we do together from our different perspectives and consolidating those perspectives towards one common approach to take advantage of different opportunities but also to address the challenges confronting our member states. I am very happy to be a part of this.”
Prime Minister Hon Roosevelt Skerrit has called for a greater commitment of OECS nationals towards the development of the region.
He said now more than ever people of the region must stand together amidst economic challenges currently affecting countries across the world.
“At every stage of the process, people will make contributions and clearly Ambassador Charles Maynard who is now deceased made a stern contribution during his time spanning over fifty years and there’s no replacing of his contribution. What we can do is add value to his contributions. I am hoping that our young people who are at University or at school can have a better appreciation for the region, have a greater love for the region, have a greater vested interested in the region. Yes we can go out of the region to the United States, United Kingdom and elsewhere but we must decide for ourselves how are going to go about developing our region by ourselves and for ourselves. As the world is getting a little more challenging it will require us to do more ourselves and finance more of our developments rather than depending on our development partners. Therefore all of our human resources must be at the service of the OECS, at the service of Dominica. Too often we find ourselves spending millions of dollars in the OECS on educating our people and the first opportunity they get, they jump ship so to speak and so I think there has to be a greater national, regional spirit within our people. We recognise that there are challenges and issues to be confronted but let us not give up. We have to continue at it and if we remain committed and loyal to the cause, then the promises and the goals and aspirations of all us can be achieved.”