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Eastern Caribbean states to deepen collaboration with Barbados

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

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CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC) — Efforts to revive cooperation initiatives between the nine national Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and Barbados will get underway here today.

Barbados' Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley is already on the island to participate in the 65th Meeting of the OECS Authority to be held under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Allen Chastanet.

At a press briefing Monday, OECS Director General Dr Didacus Jules, announced that the newly elected prime minister of Barbados will be a special guest at the meeting.

“There will be 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,” explained Jules.

He said that given the challenges Barbados faces, the leaders can discuss a range of issues “around which we may find common purpose.”

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 Jules.

Building resilience in the Caribbean is also high on the agenda in terms of, not just infrastructure but 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.

Prime Minister Chastanet will hand over to incoming chairman, Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

The OECS is made up of seven full member states. – Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines; and three associate member states – the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and Martinique, all of which are expected to be represented at the summit.

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