OECS director-general meets with PM Spencer

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OECS director-general meets with PM Spencer

Unread post by bimjim » Sat Jan 30, 2010

http://www.caribdaily.com/article/25090 ... m-spencer/

OECS director-general meets with PM Spencer
Written by Reporter
Friday, 29 January 2010 03:00

OECS Director-General Dr. Len Ishmael spent Tuesday in Antigua and Barbuda on a mission that saw her meeting with the staff at the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA), and culminating in a meeting with Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer.

OECS Director-General Dr. Len Ishmael in discussion with Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer.Dr. Ishmael also held a meeting with Ambassador Colin Murdoch, permanent secretary in the Division of Trade Industry and Commerce.

Dr. Ishmael stated that her aim was to show solidarity with the staff at the ECCAA as they face the difficult times brought on by the fact that two senior staff members are still missing in Haiti two weeks after the earthquake.

Rosemund James, director-general of the ECCAA, along with Gregory McAlpin, had travelled to Haiti on 12 Jan., to represent the OECS at a meeting of the regional Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight System (CASSOS) and were in the Montana Hotel when the earthquake struck.

In her meeting with the prime minister, where the matter of the missing ECCAA staff members was also discussed, Dr. Ishmael indicated that there had been very recent reports of rescue teams still at work at the Montana Hotel in Port-au-Prince with trained dogs, and that all hope had not yet evaporated.

Meanwhile, the OECS director-general briefed the prime minister on the steps being taken at the Secretariat to operationalise the OECS Economic Union Treaty that was signed by heads of government on 29 Dec., 2009.

She indicated her willingness to work along with the national authorities in all the member states to bring about the required ratifications to the Treaty by the stipulated deadline of 18 June 2010.

PM Spencer pointed out that his Cabinet had recently taken the decision to re-constitute the Cabinet sub-committee on OECS Economic Union with expanded membership. He said that the new sub-committee had a mandate to move ahead with a consultative and public education process leading to ratification by Antigua and Barbuda.

The prime minister noted that the work programme for member states leading to the treaty being operationalised was an ambitious one, involving consideration of the final product by Cabinet, followed by parliamentary debate on the Treaty of Basseterre.

He reminded the meeting that an Act of Parliament was required to bring the Treaty into domestic law; and that Antigua and Barbuda would have to make nominations to the OECS Regional Assembly and appoint its commissioner to sit on the OECS Commission. The Regional Assembly and the OECS Commission are two new organs of the OECS established under the new Treaty.

Dr. Ishmael outlined the body of technical work being undertaken by the Secretariat in relation to bringing the treaty into force, including an analysis of the major elements of economic union, such as free movement of goods and the right of establishment. She indicated that the Secretariat was in a position to assist with the drafting of the legislation required to give effect to the treaty at the national level.

Prime Minister Spencer and the director-general agreed on the specific steps necessary to advance the process and undertook to consult on timelines for accomplishing the agreed targets.

PM Spencer stated, “My government is committed to the OECS Economic Union, and we will forge ahead with the work required to make it happen.”

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