/Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)

Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), which is regarded as the most successful Caribbean Integrated grouping, was established by the Treaty of Basseterre, on June 18th 1981.  Its headquarter is in St. Lucia and is headed by a Director General. The Treaty was so named in honour of the capital of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The objectives of the OECS are set out below:

1. Promoting cooperation among the members states and defending their sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence;
2. Assisting the member states in meeting their obligations and responsibilities to the international community with due regard to the role of international law as a standard of conduct in their relationships;
3. Establishing and maintaining, wherever possible, arrangements for joint overseas representation and common services; and
4. Promoting economic integration among the member states

The following countries are member states of the OECS:
Antigua and Barbuda
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

The two Associate members are:
British Virgin Islands

The OECS is governed by an authority, which consist of the Heads of Governments of all its member states. The work of this authority is supported by the following committees:
1. Foreign Affairs
2. Defence
3. Security
4. Economic Central Secretariat

The Central Secretariat is the main administrative organ of the OECS. It stands in place of the WISA Secretariat. The Economic Affairs Division of the OECS is responsible for the Eastern Caribbean Common Market and came into being as a result of the merging of the Economic Secretariat and the Central Secretariat. The OECS Secretariat has four main divisions which are responsible for:
1. External Relations
2. Functional Cooperation
3. Corporate Services
4. Economic Affairs

These four divisions superintend the work of various specialised institutions, work units or projects in such fields as joint representation in Brussels, Belgium and Ottawa: Environmental management; Education reform; export development and joint procurement of pharmaceuticals.

Website: www.oecs.org