Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us

Countries/Territories

Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.

Contribute

Submit news and opinion for publication

Subscribe

Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.

Archives

Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin



News from the Caribbean:


Back To Today's News

St Lucia youth learn of the opportunities of OECS citizenship
Published on November 30, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

CASTRIES, St Lucia -- With the good news that citizens of Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) member states participating in the economic union can now stay indefinitely upon entry into most member states, Saint Lucian youth are beginning to appreciate the full import of the OECS single economic and financial space.

Two important groups that were privileged to speak one-on-one with a technical team from the OECS Secretariat were school-based youth and members of the National Youth Council, along with representatives of other youth oriented organisations. These ‘conversations’ formed part of the Saint Lucia public education country mission now being undertaken by the OECS Regional Integration Unit in collaboration with the OECS commissioners offices in member states.

The RIU through the Offices of the OECS Commissioner in each member state is working closely with state facilitation agencies, business and social groupings as well as various knowledge centres to interpret the significance of the existence of one single economic and financial space for the OECS region.

Dr June Soomer, Saint Lucia’s ambassador to the OECS and Caribbean Community (CARICOM), heads Saint Lucia’s Regional Integration and Diaspora Unit. Soomer, who played a central role in the design of the Saint Lucia country mission, set out to ensure that both teachers and students participate in the consultations as part of her overall objective to champion a review of how OECS integration is incorporated into and treated in the school curriculum.

To this end, over the course of two days, contingents of teachers representing schools island-wide engaged with the technical team, which brought to clarity perspectives on intra-regional and international trade, free circulation of goods, free movement of people, the social development agenda of the OECS and the harmonization of approach to addressing priority and emerging issues.

In light of information received in respect of the progress with the free movement agenda, teachers were particularly interested in harmonization of national insurance which would safeguard pension entitlements; as well as comparative salary scales between the member states.

When school-based youth met with the delegation on Thursday morning, the session started with the introduction of the OECS song. The services of former Calypso King Nintus and Steelpan virtuoso Imran Simmonds were solicited to teach the ‘anthem’ to the scores of students attending.

Soomer cited this as important, as it is found that while citizens are enjoying the benefits of integration every day, they have not linked these privileges to the workings of the integration process.

“The OECS song expresses one identity, one region strengthened by the combined strengths of all. It speaks to unity, collaboration, togetherness and how this matters in terms of our smallness. I believe that we have to inculcate these ideals in your children at an early age. We were touched by how well received this exercise was, with schools asking that we come to their schools that all their peers would have the same experience,” she said.

According to Safiya Horne-Bique, programme officer in the Regional Integration Unit working specifically with the free movement agenda, school children have been a very responsive group during the course of the six country missions.

“I must make mention of the children we met with in St Kitts; Over 300 on the mainland and about 60 in Nevis turned out and it was clear that perhaps youth are even more ready to exploit the opportunities of citizenship beyond within the Union. This was evident in the questions they ask,” Horne-Bique said.

The Saint Lucia Mission is the fourth to date, with those to Grenada and Montserrat scheduled to take place early in 2014.

Since the Economic Union came into force in January 2011, OECS member states have been working towards creating the legal framework to support a number of related initiatives; among them is the right of citizens within the seven-member state Economic Union, to move and conduct business without restrictions. In that regard, the priority of the OECS Regional Integration Unit (RIU) continues to be awareness building among citizens of member states of the implications, opportunities and benefits of the union.
 
Reads: 5178





Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



Back...

Comments:

No comments on this topic yet. Be the first one to submit a comment.

Back...

Send us your comments!  

Send us your comments on this article. All fields are required.

For your contribution to reach us, you must (a) provide a valid e-mail address and (b) click on the validation link that will be sent to the e-mail address you provide.  If the address is not valid or you don't click on the validation link, we will never see it!

Your Name:

Your Email:

(Validation required)

Comments:
Enter Code



Please note that, if you are using an AT&T domain email address, e.g. att.net, bellsouth.net, sbcglobal.net, the verification email will likely not be delivered. This is outside of our control and the only remedy seems to be for readers to complain to AT&T





Disclaimer
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.



Other Headlines:



Regional Sports: