Martinique officially becomes OECS Associate member

Chairman of the OECS, PM Skerrit raises the hand of Martinique’s President Serge Letchimy after the signing
Chairman of the OECS, PM Skerrit raises the hand of Martinique’s President Serge Letchimy after the signing

Amidst a lavish ceremony with inspirational messages of hope and where youth in dance portrayed the passion for deeper integration, the OECS demographic grew by almost 100 percent as Martinique joined the group of Eastern Caribbean Countries, with the formal signing of documents initiating the accession to Associate Membership.

The historic moment occurred at about 5:30 pm on Wednesday February 4th 2015.

The official signing ceremony which was streamed live globally via grew in popularity attracting numerous comments, tweets and pictures across the social media landscape. This live stream for the first time pictured a blend of languages; from English to French to French Creole.

The response and exchange deepened the spirit of companionship among the people of the OECS, moving the discourse on OECS matters to a new, more engaging and higher level.

Many commended the value of the OECS to developing the people of the region while some asked: Quand l’OECO se joindra à Guadeloupe? (“When will Guadeloupe join the OECS?”).

The signing ceremony for Martinique’s accession to Associate Membership of the OECS was the highpoint of the opening ceremony for the 60th Meeting of the OECS Authority held for the first time in a French Territory.

Director General of the OECS Dr. Didacus Jules presented an outlook of the year 2015 as one which will engender “political climate change” which he said will facilitate the rapid defrosting of frozen mindsets and the building of new architectures of adaptation. Dr Jules spoke to the mutual benefits anticipated through Martinique’s accession to the OECS as an Associate Member

Youth empowerment was a key subject area in the speeches which followed. In his first address to the OECS Authority, President of the Regional Council of Martinique Serge Letchimy shared an idea of building OECS youth integration to engender a stronger bond in the OECS for generations to come. Among his ideas he suggested a youth exchange where children from Martinique will visit or attend the schools of other OECS Member States through a reciprocal exercise.

The suggestion by Martinique’s President Serge Letchimy was embraced by Chairman of the OECS Authority Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.

The agreement of the accession of Martinique to the OECS as an Associate Member is the result of technical negotiations between the OECS Commission and the Regional Council of Martinique which had started in March 2013.

The agreement defined the selected cooperation sectors including – Education, Sport, Health, Cooperation, Sea and air transportation, Leisure boating and tourism, Arts & Culture, Cooperation in development & research of foreign funding solutions, and Development of renewable energies.

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  1. coucoun
    February 10, 2015

    Congrats Martinique…

    February 9, 2015

    This sets a fantastic precedence! Its one small step for the Caribbean one giant leap for the Martinique.

  3. are they different
    February 9, 2015

    what is the difference dos not Guadeloupe and Martinique share the same political system? i always thought they were the same.

    February 9, 2015

    what is wrong with skerrit face, well maybe its the camera.

  5. budman
    February 9, 2015

    i gotta admit. given its history, i would have thought Guadeloupe would have joined before Martinique.

      February 9, 2015

      wrong…. the first long term European settlement in Dominica came from Martinique.

      • JoJo
        February 11, 2015

        What has that got to do with the price of fish? In any case, you are wrong the first settlement of Dominica (Waitikubuli) was by the Kalinago people coming from S. America. As usual, Roosevelt Skerrit is dividing people, that is the way he rules like Caesar before him.

  6. Observer
    February 9, 2015

    Here is another topic our calypso writers could have developed in calypso. But of course this level of progress always elude those of us who – prolific calypso writers. Those who year after year win crowns do not see that kind of development as important. How sad. On a similar note, Dominica will this month sever the umbilical cord with the Privy Council, ending a long held tradition of seeking final justice across the miles of ocean. We have long depended on a system that for some is a continuation of a colonial dependency and for others the only place where justice can be found as long as PM Skerrit is leader here. Whatever the arguments for and against the CCJ, this is an excellent topic not only for communal conversation, but indeed one that could be developed in calypso. Again, we missed the boat for raising the discussion above the local partisan fray. Our calypso king continue to be misled – perhaps living in his own fools paradise.

    • interested
      February 9, 2015

      Couldn’t agree with you more, well said!

    • Shaka zulu
      February 10, 2015

      Well, its an opportunity for you to write one. Just start putting pen to paper. Hopefully you can write a calypso good enough to win crown.

  7. Titiwi
    February 9, 2015

    Man, what does it mean to the average Dominican in the street? A lot of talk, a lot of meetings. We start with Carifta 50 years ago, Caricom, OECS and now in 2015 we still can not travel or move goods freely in the area. Nobody wants to give up there little empire. Well, keep on talking and congratulating yourselves while we keep on thinking how to make the next dollar for you all to spend.

      February 9, 2015

      You are the real definition of a pessimist. What are you doing that is so news worthy?

  8. CYRIL Volney
    February 9, 2015

    A proud moment for all of us OECS citizens. Hopefully, Guada and Barbados next. One day, a proud Caribbean Nation!

    • Outside Looking In
      February 9, 2015

      Maybe Guadeloupe. I don’t see Barbados joining up with the “small islands”

    • coyote
      February 9, 2015

      in your dreams mate.remember? one(1) from ten (10) leaves zero.i know you know what i am talking about.

  9. Jr
    February 9, 2015

    Great work ….

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