The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) came into being in June 1981 when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other and promote unity and solidarity among the Members. Member states include Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines. Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands are associate members of the OECS.
On June 18th 2010 in Saint Lucia, the Member States of the OECS reinforced their commitment to deepen the integration process through the signing of the Revised Treaty of Basseterre establishing the OECS Economic Union.
The Mission of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States is to be a Center of Excellence contributing to the sustainable development of OECS Member States by supporting their strategic insertion into the global economy while maximizing the benefits accruing from their collective space
The Organisation's Objectives as set out in the Treaty of Basseterre:
- To promote co-operation among the Member States and the regional and international level;
- To promote unity and solidarity among the Member States and to defend their sovereignty, territorial integrity an independence;
- To assist the Member States in the realization of their obligations and responsibilities to the international community with due regard to the role of international law as a standard of conduct in their relationships;
- To seek to achieve the fullest possible level of harmonization of foreign policy among the Member States; to seek to adopt, as far as possible, common positions on international issues and to establish and to maintain wherever possible, arrangements for joint overseas representation and/or common services;
- To promote economic integration among the Member States
- To pursue these purposes through its respective institutions by discussion of questions of common concern and by agreement and common action.
Following the signing of the revised Treaty of Basseterre establishing the OECS Economic Union the need to foster a culture of evidence-based decision making and the conduct of relevant research becomes even a greater priority for the OECS. In consideration of this, it is clear that there is a dire need for a strategy to strengthen statistical capacity across the OECS region to facilitate the production and compilation of requisite statistics and indicators for regional policy formulation, decision making, monitoring and evaluating of programmes designed to benefit the citizens of the OECS region.
With the formation of an OECS Economic Union the region has to, for the purpose of socio-economic coordination/cooperation, formulate specific data requirements, which will help assess aspects such as the degree of integration of the Economic Union internal market or share of trade with countries outside the Economic Union, and the extent of policy convergence within the single economic space.
The OECS Secretariat collaborates with Member States to produce and disseminate a range of data on Trade, Tourism, Agriculture, the Labour Market, Environment, Health and Social to facilitate processes that will improve policy formulation and decision making within the Secretariat and Member States. Moreover, the Secretariat is committed to the implementation of projects, programmes or initiatives that will equip Member States with enhanced statistical infrastructure, systems and data management capacities that can support the OECS Economic Union and national economic, political and social development efforts, in a sustainable manner.
The OECS Secretariat has and continues to collabate with sub-regional, regional and international regional organizations and development partners active in the area of statistical development in the OECS.
received July 2010