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19 Jun 2018

Heads of Government of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) began arriving in Saint Lucia this week for the 65th Meeting of the OECS Authority, which ends today June 19th, 2018 at the Harbor Club, Gros Islet.

At a press briefing Monday morning, OECS Director General Dr. Didacus Jules, announced that newly elected Prime Minister of Barbados, Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, would be making a special appearance at the meeting.

A caucus between Prime Minister Mottley and the heads of Governments of the OECS to commence dialogue on better ways of collaboration between Barbados and the OECS, took place on the first day of the two-day event. According to Dr Jules, Director General of the OECS Authority, the leaders discussed a range of issues 'around which we may find common purpose' given the challenges Barbados faces. 

The agenda for the 65th Meeting includes critical areas related to climate change among them the problem of sargassum where the OECS hopes to initiate a regional approach.

“We are going to be discussing ways in which the member states can work effectively together to do clean-ups of the beaches and areas affected by sargassum but more importantly how do we turn this problem into an opportunity,” said Dr. Jules.

Building resilience in the Caribbean is also high on the agenda in terms of infrastructural, economic, social and community resilience. A presentation is expected by the Caribbean Climate Smart Accelerator Group which has been assisting the Caribbean in becoming the first climate smart region. During the OECS meeting, the work programme of the OECS will also be under review.

The OECS Authority is currently chaired by Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister Honourable Allen M. Chastanet who will hand over to incoming chairman, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves.

The OECS is made up of seven full Member States: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; and three Associate Member States: the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and Martinique.