POINTE-À-PITRE, Guadeloupe – In a significant progression for the region, the French-governed islands of Guadeloupe on Thursday will be joining the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) as an associate member. Although Basse-Terre is Guadeloupe’s administrative capital, the historic milestone is set to be made official in Pointe-à-Pitre.
The meeting for this accession agreement this Thursday comes about two years after a report commissioned by the government of Saint Lucia urging OECS integration for both Guadeloupe and Martinique. The move will foster better cooperation between Guadeloupe and other OECS members while promoting unity and solidarity among members of the Regional grouping.
“The insertion of our archipelago in our regional area is obvious: it is undoubtedly one of our assets, an asset on which we must build our place in the world. Guadeloupe, located in the middle of the island arch of the Lesser Antilles, shares a strong community of interest with the CARICOM member states and more particularly with the member states or OECS partners,” said Ary Chalus, president of Region Guadeloupe.
The historical and cultural relationships that exist in particular between Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique and Saint Lucia already justify the establishment of a partnership based on the exploitation of the capacity of each to contribute to development in economic, social, cultural, scientific and technological terms.
This renewed partnership, the region intends to support it on the areas of expertise of Guadeloupe:
– a powerful know-how in health
– recognized skills in the field of energy transition and in the reasoned valuation techniques of our rich natural heritage and biodiversity.
– in terms of research, Guadeloupe has the largest contingent of researchers and laboratories in the Lesser Antilles.
The signing of the accession agreement between the OECS and Guadeloupe is part of this multilateral rapprochement sought by the region and is justified by the need to strengthen our collective capabilities. “
Chalus is scheduled to give a speech at the opening ceremony for the special meeting as well as the director general of the OECS, Dr Didacus Jules; the newly elected premier of the British Virgin Islands, Andrew Fahie; and the chairman of the OECS, Dr Ralph Gonsalves.