“It is time for the establishment of the union of Eastern Caribbean states.”
That is the word from Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Sir Dwight Venner.
Delivering the feature address for the Eighth Patrick Emmanuel Memorial Lecture Series at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, last night, Venner cited a number of external and internal challenges the eight-nation grouping faces and currently endures.
“This crisis and these challenges give us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to restructure our economies and policies and put forward our best efforts and determination to affect our social economic transformation of our countries beyond doubt,” he said .
“In my view this is the moment for the countries of the OECS countries to consolidate their independence, sovereignty, and nationhood to establish a more perfect union among themselves – a state nation if you will.”
Venner, who has been the ECCB Governor for 24 years, reached back to the early 1960’s when the West Indies Federation was on its death bed, and cited the action of the now successful twin-island republic of Trinidad and Tobago in the face of the forthcoming crisis.
“During the last days of the federation a pamphlet was produced in Trinidad and Tobago, making a case for that country’s emergence as a separate nation state outside of the federation,” Venner said to a grouping of some 70 persons sprinkling the Walcott Warner Theatre.
Unlike what eventually emerged as a single state of Trinidad and Tobago, Venner proposes a union of independent states. “This can be defined as a grouping of separate sovereign states who pool their sovereignty and resources and coordinate their policies as an instrument of collective decision-making, and collective action to achieve the goals of social economic development.
“This would give them the political, technical an administrative capacity to collectively address the threats the their sovereignty and future prospects,” he suggested.