The treaty was signed on 18th June, 2010 in St Lucia, during the 51st meeting of the Authority of Heads of Government of OECS member states. At that time heads of government set themselves the target of 21st January, 2010 as the indicative date for the treaty to commence operation.
In order for it to enter into force, four independent member states were required to ratify the treaty, indicating by this act, their intention to be bound by the provisions of the agreement.
The OECS Secretariat has confirmed the deposit of instruments of ratification by Antigua and Barbuda, which led the way on December 30, 2010; St Vincent and the Grenadines, which deposited its instrument on January 12, 2011; St Kitts and Nevis as well as Grenada on 20th January, 2011; and Dominica which followed suit on 21st January, 2011. It is anticipated that St Lucia’s instrument will be received during the week of 24th January, 2011.
The revised treaty establishes the OECS economic union, making possible the creation of a single financial and economic space within which goods, people and capital move freely, monetary and fiscal policies are harmonized and countries continue to adopt a common approach to trade, health, education and environment, as well as to the development of such critical sectors as agriculture, tourism and energy.
Significantly, the treaty paves the way for the introduction of legislative competence at the regional level, so that member states of the Organisation act in concert to develop and enact legislation in certain areas specified in the Treaty.
The next step for member states is to give the Revised Treaty of Basseterre establishing the OECS Economic Union the force of law in their national spheres by an Act of Parliament.
The historic ratification of the Revised Treaty of Basseterre establishing the OECS Economic Union is also a fitting prelude to the 52nd OECS Authority Meeting scheduled for St Georges’ Grenada from Monday 24th January to Tuesday 25th January, 2011.
(Article was lifted from caribbeannewsnow)