Dominica’s Prime Minister Aims To “Keep It Simple And Focused” With OECS Chairmanship

pmskirritThe Prime Minister of Dominica, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, has again assumed the role of Chairman of the OECS Authority seven years after his first stint with a plan to “keep it simple and focused.”

Hon. Skerrit told GIS News in an exclusive interview on Friday 20th June, that these are interesting times for such a position.

“We’re still grappling with the economic crisis in the OECS,” the Prime Minister noted, “and all of us are seeking to implement policies and programmes which are geared towards igniting growth and creating sustainable jobs in the economy.”

Apart from dealing with the economic crisis, the Prime Minister said that OECS member states also have to address the Economic Union.

Hon. Skerrit explained, “A number of us have passed all the legislation required to give effect to the various provisions of the Economic Union. It is for us now to ensure that the citizens of the OECS continue to benefit from the OECS Economic Union.”

The Prime Minister admitted that there is still some more work to be done in that regard.

The Nation’s Leader says at the forefront at this time is the widespread acceptance of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) by all member states. He hopes that under his leadership, each country will accede to the CCJ. Hon. Skerrit affirmed that within the next few weeks, Dominica would have finalized its accession to the Court in its appellate jurisdiction.

In relation to the status of other OECS countries on the matter, the Prime Minister said, “The Government of St. Lucia, through its parliamentary statements has indicated its intention to follow Dominica’s lead in that regard, and the Government of Grenada has indicated its intention to hold a referendum as required by its constitution to recognise the Court. While it is a CARICOM institution, we as a sub-region play a very important role in that process.”

Chairman Hon. Skerrit also hopes that OECS member states will realise increased knowledge exchange during his tenure.

So far, he said, even with a comparatively small regional population, the OECS can count notable achievements.

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