Author: Jeevan Robinson | Date: 27 June 2011
Caribbean nationals within the OECS will be able to move freely without restrictions as soon as August, 2011. According to information coming out of the last OECS meeting in St Vincent, all restrictions on the movement of people and labour will be lifted.
The OECS group of islands comprise Montserrat, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Anguilla, Grenada, Antigua/Barbuda, Dominica, St Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis and the British Virgin Islands.
Speaking about the decisions that came out of the last OECS meeting, Prime Minister of St Lucia and OECS Chairman, Stephenson King, said, "At that meeting, those OECS member states which had not yet enacted the required legislation to give effect to the Revised Treaty gave the undertaking to do so as a matter of priority."
King also stated, "I therefore avail myself of the opportunity provided by this grand occasion to assure you, the OECS citizenry, of the absolute commitment of OECS Heads of Government to removing all restrictions to the free movement of OECS nationals throughout the union by August of this year."
The free movement of people and labour are enshrined in the Treaty of Basseterre that was signed in 1981 amongst the leadership of the OECS territories.
Prime Minister King said, despite the challenges, "the time was ripe with tremendous opportunity if the region mobilises its collective energies and puts its shoulders to the wheel of progress."