CASTRIES, St Lucia -- Philippe Seigneurin, deputy head of mission at the French embassy officially presented the formal instruments approving the admission of Martinique to associate membership of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to the director general of the OECS Dr Didacus Jules during a formal ceremony on April 7, 2016, at the OECS Commission Headquarters in Castries, Saint Lucia.
“It's a great day for Martinique, for the French government and for me, because I have the honour and the privilege and the pleasure to inform you that the procedures required by the constitution of the Republic for the entry into force of the said agreement have been completed,” Seigneurin said.
The French diplomat expressed great pleasure in presenting the approval instrument of the agreement.
Staff of the OECS Commission and OECS Commissioners were among the invitees to witness the handing over of the instruments of accession.
Jules expressed jubilation at Martinique's official confirmation of accession to the OECS.
"We would like to express our deepest appreciation to the French Republic through its Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Jean-Marc Ayrault for assiduously pushing this through the legislative processes required for its proclamation. We also would like to recognize the historical commitment of President of the Executive Council of the Territorial Authority Hon. Alfred Marie Jeanne who has consistently advocated the integration of Martinique into the family of the Caribbean. I would be grateful if Commissioner Lesales of the Territorial Authority transmit to President Marie Jeanne our great anticipation of our meeting to discuss the deepening of this process. Today we embrace once again but in an official manner our sister Martinique in the family of the OECS. Welcome again, sister, your time has come, let us continue walking together,” he said.
On hand as well was St Vincent and the Grenadines' ambassador to the OECS Ellsworth John who shared his elation with the ceremony.
“I couldn't miss the opportunity to welcome Martinique into our fold. Their contribution and participation is a very important milestone for the OECS. It shows an interest of other countries in being a part of our forward movement as an organisation. I am just happy that finally we could embrace Martinique as full member of the OECS,” he said.
On February 4, 2015, Martinique made the historic step towards membership of the OECS when the French overseas territory formally signed the documents to initiate accession to associate membership to the sub regional grouping. At that time, president of the Regional Council of Martinique Serge Letchimy signed on behalf of the French territory.
The signing ceremony was the highpoint of the 60th meeting of the OECS Authority held for the first time in a French territory. Prior to that, on October 14, 2014, the Regional Council of Martinique in a unanimous all-party historic vote agreed to join the Eastern Caribbean fraternity of nations.
Courtesy: Caribbean News Now