Castries, Saint Lucia, 11th April 2016 – Philippe SEIGNEURIN, Deputy Head of Mission from the Embassy of the Republique of France officially presented the instruments to the Director General of the OECS Dr. Didacus Jules during a formal ceremony on Thursday April 7th 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 and I quote: “With reference to article 1 of the agreement signed in Shoelcher on February 4th 2015 between the government of the French Republique and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, defining the modalities for admitting Martinique to Associate Membership of the OECS, I have the honour and the privilege and the pleasure to inform you that the procedures required by the constitution of the Republique for the entry into force of the said agreement have been completed.”
The French government official expressed great pleasure in presenting the formal 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. Director General of the OECS Dr. Didacus Jules expressed jubilation for 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.”
On hand as well was Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ Ambassador to the OECS His Excellency Elseworth 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.”
On February 4th 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 14th 2014 the Regional Council of Martinique in a unanimous all party historical vote agreed to join the Eastern Caribbean fraternity of Nations.