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Parliamentary debate today


Parliament will be held today to debate, among other issues, The OECS Economic Union Treaty.{{more}}

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves told the nation on Tuesday he was not sure that this country will be able to meet the June 18, 2010, deadline set to sign and ratify the regional treaty.

“I have spoken to two prime ministers in the OECS and they have concerns as to whether we would meet the time table,” Gonsalves disclosed.

In December 2009, leaders from the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) joined the St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister in signing a treaty to establish an Economic Union.

At that meeting, Gonsalves said the treaty puts more authority “at the centre of the regional integration movement.

“This draft treaty has been under discussion for quite some time…and having initialed it we would then go to our respective cabinets and then at another meeting do the final signature and then make all the arrangements for ratification and parliamentary approval,” Gonsalves had explained back then.

The treaty, which deepens the regional integration process comes 29 years after the leaders had signed the original treaty establishing the OECS.

The OECS groups the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands.

These islands, except the BVI, already share a number of institutions including a central bank and a common judiciary. (HN)