PM Harris To Initiate Revival Of a “Full Functioning” OECS Assembly

Dr Timothy Harris at Most Recent Monthly Press Conference
Dr Timothy Harris at Most Recent Monthly Press Conference

Dr Timothy Harris at Most Recent Monthly Press Conference

Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr Timothy Harris has revealed plans to write to the chairman of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) regarding the seemingly non-functional OECS Assembly.
In an interview with OBSERVER media in Antigua , Harris said his government would like to see a “proper functioning of the OECS Assembly” as it believes the body has a directive to fulfill and a necessary function within the region.
“We think it provides a framework in which matters of regional significance can be discussed in a forum which brings public attention to these particular matters,” he said.
“Matters that involve processes of integration should be debated and should be debated in the mechanism provided to do that, and so we certainly in the past would have displayed our displeasure in the delay of the meeting of the OECS Assembly.”
He said the St Kitts and Nevis government will write to the OECS Chairman and Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, asking that he use the power of his office to ensure a meeting.
The OECS Assembly held its inaugural meeting in Antigua in 2012 but, save one meeting in March 2013, has failed to convene since.
The assembly includes five members of the parliament of each independent member state and three members from the legislature of each non-independent member state, with representation from both the ruling administration and the political opposition.
The body was forecast to meet twice a year but has, to date, been unable to do so. In theory the OECS Assembly is regarded as one of the principal organs of the OECS Economic Union, and Harris said it would have proved vital during the passage of the controversial Banking Act.
“That is a matter that is critical for the currency union as a whole and I do think that subject matter that could have benefited from such a discussion at the sub regional level and helped to bring a consensus view in what has been a very challenging exercise, and still is,” he said.

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