Friday, May 23, 2008

Hon. Ralph O'Neal Participating in the 47th OECS Meeting

Premier Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal is attending the 47th Meeting of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Authority, which is held on May 23-24 in St. Lucia. Premier officially participated in the previous 46th OECS Meeting which took place on January 16-18 in the Commonwealth of Dominica.

On May 21, 2008, in his speech in the Department of Information and Public Relations, Hon. Ralph O'Neal noted the British Virgin Islands Government is interested in several items of Meeting's agenda, including an update on the establishment of a new OECD Secretariat Headquarters, report on the relationship of the non-independent member states in the context of a draft treaty with the EU, and the impact of the Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) on the yachting sector in the sub-region. Some other issues to be presented on the OECS Authority Meeting concern the secretarial budget for the 2008-2009 financial year, the report from its budget committee, and the 2008-2009 work programme.

By words of Premier, the Government of the Territory is “keen to maintain positive and mutually beneficial relationship with its associates in the OECS region”, and will follow this strategy in all the discussions of the Meeting.

The 47th meeting of the organisation will be run by the new OECS Chairman, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell of Grenada. The member states of the organisation are the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat, Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. BVI obtained the status of an associate member of the OECS in 1984.

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