Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit and Opposition Leader, Hector John, will be among the delegates representing Dominica at the first Sitting of the OECS Assembly set to begin on March 26 in Antigua.
Other members of the Assembly from Dominica’s parliament include Rayburn Blackmoore, Ambrose George and Dr. Collin Mc Intyre.
Dominica’s Commissioner and Ambassador to the OECS, Felix Gregoire, will also attend the Sitting.
At the Sitting, the Assembly will adopt Rules of Procedure and debate a motion on “The Challenges to Free Movement of Persons Within The OECS Economic Union” and an amendment to the Civil Aviation Regulations.
“Under the OECS Economic Union we have an arrangement for an original Assembly …in Dominica’s case there are five representatives, four on the government’s side and one on the opposition side who will attend the session,” PM Skerrit explained.
He noted that the Assembly gives the opportunity for members of the OECS to forge ahead and confront, in an apolitical manner, issues and matters affecting the union. “Not withstanding the political divide that which exists from time to time, we as politicians, we as members of parliament must look at the wider picture and the wider picture is creating a better way of life for our OECS citizens,” the prime minister said. “We must not always see things in a partisan way, we must see things in a global manner.”
He said he looks forward to the meeting since it is being held in a ‘difficult and challenging environment.’ “Every single country in the OECS has its own challenges, some may have it greater than others, but everybody has it… it is a situation in every region in the world,” Skerrit said.
In preparation for the Sitting of the Assembly, a seminar is planned in St. Johns, Antigua today (Monday, March 25).
Following remarks from OECS Director General, Dr. Len Ishmael, and host Prime Minister, Baldwin Spencer, the Members of Parliament and associates will review the Revised Treaty of Basseterre and the significance of the OECS Assembly as an organ of the organisation.
The group will also consider the legislative competence of the OECS Assembly, as enshrined in the treaty.
The OECS and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and how both constructs interface, is also on Monday’s agenda.
Other housekeeping matters, like the Assembly prayer, rules and procedures of the House and guidelines, will also be the subject of dialogue.
The Assembly and seminar are expected to take place at Parliament’s Building in St. John’s, Antigua.