It is with great pleasure and satisfaction that I salute our most illustrious Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), on the occasion of its 35th Birthday, being celebrated under the theme “Connecting People, Integrating Ideas, Moving Forward”. I do this with pride on behalf of the good Government and friendly people of Saint Kitts & Nevis; for it was right here in our capital, Basseterre, that the original Treaty of Basseterre which formalised the Organisation was signed on Thursday June 18th 1981.
We recall with a sense of great satisfaction that one of the key signatories then, was our own Hon. Dr. Kennedy Alphonse Simmonds, the first Prime Minister of Saint Kitts & Nevis. Also signing were the Deputy Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda, Hon. Lester Bird; the Prime Minister of Dominica, the late Dame Eugenia Charles; the Prime Minister of Grenada, the late Maurice Bishop; Franklyn Margetson, then Education Minister of Montserrat; Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, the late Winston Cenac; and Minister of Foreign Affairs of St Vincent & the Grenadines, the late Hudson Tannis. Nearly 30 years later, on Friday June 18th 2010, the Revised Treaty of Basseterre was signed, establishing the Eastern Caribbean States Economic Union. The Government and people of Saint Kitts & Nevis remain unswerving in their commitment to the vision, mission, goals and objectives of the OECS.
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