Thursday, January 24, 2008

Premier Ralph O'Neal Comments on OECS Meeting

Premier Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal officially participated in the 46th Meeting of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) which was held on January 16-18 in the Commonwealth of Dominica. Premier evaluated the Meeting as very useful, and said he will inform Cabinet on the full results from this meeting.

Honourable Ralph O'Neal, accompanied to the meeting by a three-member delegation consisting of Permanent Secretary in the Premier's Office Mrs. Rosalie Adams, Director of Communications Ms. Sandra Ward, and Assistant Secretary for External Affairs Ms. Najan Christopher, returned to the British Virgin Islands on Saturday last week. During his interview given after the meeting to the Department of Information, the Premier especially pointed out that due to the OECS's initiatives BVI had been able to participate in several schemes and projects concerning the environment protection. By his words, the received benefits are especially important because of the fact that the Territory is not a full member of the OECS, and as such should not participate in many of the organisation's programmes. It is the merit of the OECS that, being just an associate member of it, BVI still benefits from a range of sub-regional projects.

The BVI received the status of an associate member of the OECS on November 22, 1984. The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States was established on 18 June 1981 by seven Eastern Caribbean countries that signed a treaty agreeing to co-operate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity. Other members of the Organisation are Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Anguilla.

In his comments, Ralph O'Neal also welcomed the fact that the Territory continues to benefit from being a full member of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, and expressed his intention to follow on an OECS initiative for the BVI to assume the leadership role for a Committee on Cruise Tourism.

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