Browne was addressing the opening ceremony on Monday, (13th August) of a one-day workshop on the Revised Treaty of Basseterre, organized by the OECS and The Regional Integration and Diaspora Unit, in the Office of the Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis.
She said every effort has been made to make information readily available to improve the knowledge of OECS citizens on the Revised Treaty of Basseterre.
“There will be challenges along the way, but let me remind you that you too have a role to play; and as one media consultant noted, if you fail to be a part of this move that is designed to improve the wellbeing of the region and its people, then you would fail to take advantage of the benefits and opportunities that regional integration brings,” Browne stated.
Browne also observed that as a reaction to the unparalleled difficulties, the Heads of Government have signalled their intention to continue as an organisation, due to the benefits that can be derived from being a member of the OECS.
“January 21, 2011, sparked renewed optimism for the Member States and people of the newly established Economic Union. With redefined borders, a mobile labour force (resulting from the unimpeded movement of people through the region), harmonized policies for closer collaboration in critical areas that will not only impact economic growth and development but which create the enabling environment for productivity and improved opportunities for our people, the small developing island states of the OECS have strengthened their ability to dialogue on pertinent issues that impact their survival in the challenging global environment,” she said.
The Treaty is now in force and member states are working towards the continued operationalization of the administrative and legislative arrangements in fulfilment of their respective mandates under the Treaty.
August 1st, 2012, marked one year since the Free Movement Regime came into effect.
“Just this past Friday, 10th August we also witnessed the inaugural session of the OECS Assembly. In addition to the OECS Authority, The OECS Commission is in place. You will learn about all of these and other organs of the Organisation and the Economic Union Protocol in the sessions that ensue today. Sessions like this one will allow you to be informed on the issues that will bring greater prospects for the citizens of the Union,” she said.
Commissioner Browne said the sensitization process will continue and other sessions are planned with focused groups and the nation as a whole as “we forge ahead with the implementation of the provisions of the Treaty of Basseterre, highlighting the accompanying benefits for us all.”
The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis is moving ahead with its national implementation strategy to ensure that stakeholders are knowledgeable with the Protocols of the OECS Economic Union.