Categorized | Editorial, News

Discussions, education and information will mark OECS success

Editorial – August 17, 2012

The OECS Inauguration Assembly was hailed by its leaders in particular, as a milestone marking the achievement of yet another benchmark, as the OECS continues on its march to realise its objective of creating an effective economic union, which promises growth and economic development for its members and associate members. Its two new institutional arrangements are said to be designed to improve the governance arrangements in the OECS.

Those who are familiar with the workings and designs and involved with the processes would most likely have no difficulty understanding even if they do not agree totally. If there is any chance that that could be true, it tells that there are problems as the OECS integration moves forward.

The media on all sides are expected to at least understand and to seek to ensure that the people they represent understand. But the initial responsibility is certainly not theirs. If members of the public show up after the inauguration ceremony and ask near the steps of the Antigua and Barbuda parliament building, “what is it they had here today?”, there is little doubt that nine territories, certainly seven of them are missing the mark in a bad way.

Surely, if this inauguration took place in St. John’s, Antigua, and passers-by react that way, one wonders how many people in the other states would not even have heard or known that the event has occurred, or then even care.

But the OECS Secretariat says that the management there is aware of the potential shortcomings in that area, while at the same time tells journalists and reporters that they are depending also on the various Commissions in the member States to take the lead. They should be as knowledgeable about the conduct and joys that abound at the Secretariat about the successes of the Integration Movement.

The Secretary General and other heads would like the people to know that the treaty protocol details a strategic plan to abolish barriers in areas such as trade, agriculture, civil aviation and tourism via policies that aim to harmonise the OECS labour market. Details and understandings about what DG Ishmael calls ‘huge’, that on August 1 OECS celebrated a historical marker with the facilitation of free movement of OECS people across that single space.

Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer referred to some earlier integration movements, could not be missing out on matters within CARICOM, associating it with failure, touting OECS success. Is it too early? Should not be as the OECS states are participants and can surely learn lessons from the failures. Smallness may be an asset but comes with their share of difficulties and problems. OECS heads of government and leaders of the opposition have already made statements in principle that the OECS regional agenda will meet in a politically neutral area.

The Assembly is not legislative and therefore cannot, must not and should not function like national parliaments/assemblies. AS the DG puts it to the media clinic participants, “it requires that type of political maturity for those delegations, opposition and government alike to come together at the OECS assembly and be able to speak to the important issues that face us as a region, without divisiveness that perhaps we see occasionally at the national level…” She said occasionally but we say too often.

CSME experts must have heard the warning, that the leaders can agree and understand everything about the issues, but if the people who live it do not at least know about it, failure is natural. Same way if the OECS people do not know and understand what makes Union and Integration; those too will fail, the previous and ongoing successes notwithstanding.

Related articles:
http://www.themontserratreporter.com/inaugural-oecs-assembly-seals-regional-integration/
http://www.themontserratreporter.com/inaugural-oecs-assembly-in-antigua-barbuda-marches-the-oecs-on/

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Editorial – August 17, 2012

The OECS Inauguration Assembly was hailed by its leaders in particular, as a milestone marking the achievement of yet another benchmark, as the OECS continues on its march to realise its objective of creating an effective economic union, which promises growth and economic development for its members and associate members. Its two new institutional arrangements are said to be designed to improve the governance arrangements in the OECS.

Those who are familiar with the workings and designs and involved with the processes would most likely have no difficulty understanding even if they do not agree totally. If there is any chance that that could be true, it tells that there are problems as the OECS integration moves forward.

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The media on all sides are expected to at least understand and to seek to ensure that the people they represent understand. But the initial responsibility is certainly not theirs. If members of the public show up after the inauguration ceremony and ask near the steps of the Antigua and Barbuda parliament building, “what is it they had here today?”, there is little doubt that nine territories, certainly seven of them are missing the mark in a bad way.

Surely, if this inauguration took place in St. John’s, Antigua, and passers-by react that way, one wonders how many people in the other states would not even have heard or known that the event has occurred, or then even care.

But the OECS Secretariat says that the management there is aware of the potential shortcomings in that area, while at the same time tells journalists and reporters that they are depending also on the various Commissions in the member States to take the lead. They should be as knowledgeable about the conduct and joys that abound at the Secretariat about the successes of the Integration Movement.

The Secretary General and other heads would like the people to know that the treaty protocol details a strategic plan to abolish barriers in areas such as trade, agriculture, civil aviation and tourism via policies that aim to harmonise the OECS labour market. Details and understandings about what DG Ishmael calls ‘huge’, that on August 1 OECS celebrated a historical marker with the facilitation of free movement of OECS people across that single space.

Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer referred to some earlier integration movements, could not be missing out on matters within CARICOM, associating it with failure, touting OECS success. Is it too early? Should not be as the OECS states are participants and can surely learn lessons from the failures. Smallness may be an asset but comes with their share of difficulties and problems. OECS heads of government and leaders of the opposition have already made statements in principle that the OECS regional agenda will meet in a politically neutral area.

The Assembly is not legislative and therefore cannot, must not and should not function like national parliaments/assemblies. AS the DG puts it to the media clinic participants, “it requires that type of political maturity for those delegations, opposition and government alike to come together at the OECS assembly and be able to speak to the important issues that face us as a region, without divisiveness that perhaps we see occasionally at the national level…” She said occasionally but we say too often.

CSME experts must have heard the warning, that the leaders can agree and understand everything about the issues, but if the people who live it do not at least know about it, failure is natural. Same way if the OECS people do not know and understand what makes Union and Integration; those too will fail, the previous and ongoing successes notwithstanding.

Related articles:
http://www.themontserratreporter.com/inaugural-oecs-assembly-seals-regional-integration/
http://www.themontserratreporter.com/inaugural-oecs-assembly-in-antigua-barbuda-marches-the-oecs-on/