Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)

Organisation des Etats des Caraïbes orientales (OECO)
Organización de los Estados del Caribe Oriental (OECO)

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18 July 1981, Basseterre, on signature of the Treaty of Basseterre by 7 Eastern Caribbean countries which agreed to cooperate with each other and promote unity and solidarity among Members. Following the collapse of the West Indies Federation the governments of the Eastern Caribbean States created West Indies Associated States Council of Ministers (WISA), in Sep 1966 and East Caribbean Common Market (ECCM), in June 1968, prior to the signing of the Treaty of Basseterre. Establishment of the OECS is predicated on the recognition of the need of the Eastern Caribbean States for a more formal arrangement to assist with post-independence development efforts and is motivated by: a common determination to strengthen links among themselves; uniting their efforts and resources; establishing and strengthening common institutions which could serve to increase their bargaining power. A proposed sub-group, Eastern Caribbean Islands Confederation, has not yet come into existence. All OECS Member State are members of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and assume the same membership status in both organizations.


As a major institutional player at the regional level, assist in development of Member States by: assisting them to maximize the benefits from their collective space; facilitating their integration with the global economy; contributing to policy and programme formulation and execution in respect of national, regional and international issues and serving as a channel for bilateral and multilateral cooperation. Promote cooperation among Member States and at the regional and international levels; promote unity and solidarity among Member States and defend their sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence; seek to achieve the fullest possible harmonization of foreign policy among Member States; seek to adopt as far as possible common positions on international issues and establish and maintain wherever possible arrangements for joint overseas representation and/or common services.

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The agreement establishing OECS incorporates ECCM provisions, including common external tariff and free trade among member states. Particular attention is paid to intra-regional trade: all intra-OECS trade barriers were removed by 1 Jan 1988, creating a single market. Discussions continue with CARICOM on establishment of CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). Further, in 2001, activities of the organization have been geared towards creation of an OECS Economic Union among its Member States. Instrumental in setting up: Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC).

Secretariat carries out activities through 5 divisions:

 • 1. Office of the Director General - including economic union activities; legal affairs; functional cooperation and programme management; oversees diplomatic missions; internal audit.

 • 2. Economic Affairs and Regional Integration Division - trade matters; external economic negotiations; macro-economic policy; export development; statistics; tourism; agriculture and other sectoral areas.

 • 3. Human and Social Division - education; health; youth development; pharmaceutical services; social policy development.

 • 4. Environmental Sustainability Division - environmental management; climate change and disaster risk management; bio-diversity and eco-systems; oceans governance and fisheries; sustainable energy.

 • 5. Operations Division - human resources management; financial management; information technology; communications; facilities management; knowledge management; programme management.


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English, French.


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Relations with Inter-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 34 inter-governmental organizations.
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Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 14 non-governmental organizations.
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Members in 11 countries
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Type I Classification

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Type II Classification

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Subjects *

  • Government
    • Nation State
    • Intergovernmental Communities

UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions



Last News Received

6. Nov 2019
* Subject classification is derived from the organization names and aims.
** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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