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The OECS and the Government of Spain Agree to establish a Framework for Dialogue

The OECS and the Government of Spain Agree to establish a Framework for Dialogue

OECS Media Release

May 16, 2020 - Member States of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) have agreed to establish a framework for dialogue with the Government of Spain.  During a special session of the OECS Authority, under the chairmanship of the Honourable Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, the OECS Authority engaged with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain, Ms. Arancha González Laya, on a host of issues of common concern.

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Ms. Arancha González Laya, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Spain

While the meeting focused on the various strategies being deployed to respond to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) health and economic crisis, both sides of the discussion agreed to strengthen dialogue and to explore further areas of cooperation.

One of the key outcomes of the meeting was an agreement to establish a framework for dialogue that would explore avenues to strengthen the bi-lateral relationship between the OECS and the Government of Spain.

The Authority expressed concern about the lack of access to concessional funding due to the fact that some OECS Member States are categorised as high-income countries.

The Authority also expressed concern that Member States continue to face the threat of blacklisting as it related to tax policy.  Finally, the Authority urged for greater sensitivity to the vulnerabilities that Small Island Developing States face, particularly as it relates to climate related threats.

Honourable Gaston Browne welcomed Spain’s willingness to work closely with the OECS on matters of common concern.  Prime Minister Browne said:

“The COVID-19 crisis has once again exposed the vulnerabilities of OECS Member States. Our ineligibility to access concessional funding serves only to complicate our capacity to respond to this existential threat.”
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Honourable Gaston Browne, Chair of the OECS Authority

Prime Minister Browne noted that that for the most part, “only medium-term financing instruments are available”, and he stressed the need for “long-term instruments at more attractive rates.”

The Authority expressed full solidarity with the Government and people of Spain as they confront the COVID-19 pandemic and agreed to take concrete steps to strengthen the bilateral ties between the OECS and Spain.

This meeting took place via secure video-link on Wednesday 6 May 2020 and was facilitated by the OECS Geneva Mission.   

OECS Communications Unit Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States


About The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Morne Fortune
Saint Lucia