St. Lucia urged to enact legislation to allow for free travel within OECS
A senior Dominica diplomat has called on St. Lucia to enact legislation that will allow for the free movement of citizens of the sub-regional Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
Ambassador to the OECS Felix Gregoire said he was not making the call in order to criticise Castries, but it was necessary for the island to follow the example of some member states that have enacted legislation to allow OECS nationals to enter their countries with either an identification card or a driver’s license.
“The OECS Secretariat is based in St. Lucia and St. Lucia has not been passing the required legislation,” Gregoire said in an address to the 30th Annual General Meeting of the Dominica Association of Persons with Disabilities (DAPD) on Monday.
“They have been telling us that they will do it, it is there somewhere but it has not gone to parliament,’ Gregoire said, indicating that he hoped the matter would be resolved.
“And I am not saying that to criticise them but for you to know that if you go to St. Lucia, they will give you six months and the six months will come from the CARICOM (Caribbean Community) arrangement,” he said, adding that the free movement of people and goods is presently being pushed vigorously within the OECS.
“We have specific things we are pushing right now in terms of the Union … free movement of people and free movement of goods and services, that’s high upon the agenda…” Gregoire said, noting that Dominica has already passed laws for free movement of people and goods and just last month Antigua and Barbuda followed suit.
“Now in Dominica we have passed laws to make all those things happen. So any OECS citizen can come to Dominica and enjoy all those benefits and they have been enjoying it even before we passed those laws … the government had made the arrangements for that to happen.”
The OECS includes Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands.