Martinique is first French  speaking country to join OECS
February 10, 2015
Martinique is first French speaking country to join OECS

Tue Feb 10, 2015

Amidst a lavish ceremony with inspirational messages of hope and where youth in dance portrayed the passion for deeper integration, the OECS demographic grew by almost 100 per cent, as Martinique joined the group of Eastern Caribbean {{more}}countries, with the formal signing of documents initiating the accession to Associate Membership. The historic moment occurred at about 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 4, 2015.

The official signing ceremony, which was streamed live globally via, grew in popularity, attracting numerous comments, tweets and pictures across the social media landscape. This live stream for the first time pictured a blend of languages, from English to French to French Creole. The response and exchange deepened the spirit of companionship among the people of the OECS, moving the discourse on OECS matters to a new, more engaging and higher level. Many commended the value of the OECS to developing the people of the region, while some asked: Quand l’OECO se joindra à Guadeloupe? (“When will Guadeloupe join the OECS?”).

The signing ceremony for Martinique’s accession to Associate Membership of the OECS was the high point of the opening ceremony for the 60th Meeting of the OECS Authority held for the first time in a French territory.

Director General of the OECS Dr Didacus Jules presented an outlook of the year 2015 as one which will engender “political climate change,” which, he said, will facilitate the rapid defrosting of frozen mindsets and the building of new architectures of adaptation. Dr Jules spoke to the mutual benefits anticipated through Martinique’s accession to the OECS as an Associate Member.

Youth empowerment was a key subject area in the speeches which followed. In his first address to the OECS Authority, President of the Regional Council of Martinique Serge Letchimy shared an idea of building OECS youth integration to engender a stronger bond in the OECS for generations to come. Among his ideas he suggested a youth exchange where children from Martinique will visit or attend the schools of other OECS Member States through a reciprocal exercise.

The suggestion by Martinique’s president Serge Letchimy was embraced by chair of the OECS Authority Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit. The agreement of the accession of Martinique to the OECS as an Associate Member is the result of technical negotiations between the OECS Commission and the Regional Council of Martinique, which had started in March 2013. The agreement defined the selected cooperation sectors including education, sport, health, sea and air transportation, leisure boating and tourism, arts and culture; cooperation in development and research of foreign funding solutions, and development of renewable energies.