The Ministry of Education recently hosted a Regional Integration Workshop for Social Sciences teachers across Secondary Schools in Antigua and Barbuda. Among the panelists at the Regional Integration Workshop for Teachers was Ambassador Colin Murdoch, Commissioner to the OECS for Antigua and Barbuda.
In his presentation, Ambassador Murdoch focused on Regional Integration in the context of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) for which he defined and provided historical background. He emphasized that in the OECS, there has always been a longstanding tradition of Regional Integration that dates back to the creation of the Leeward Island and Windward Island Federations. However, the dissolution of both federations came about as a result of external forces.
In giving an example of the long-existing operations of integration, Ambassador Murdoch shared a personal anecdote. “… My mother was a civil servant in St. Kitts and Nevis and was transferred to the federative civil service of Antigua and Barbuda…” This example showed that historically, the islands all operated as one colony.Ambassador Murdoch further stated that “…the OECS integration is strong as the OECS has achieved freedom of movement of its people between the Member States, and have attained a Single Currency Union with one Central Bank headquartered in St. Kitts and Nevis. The Eastern Caribbean Dollar is one of four strong common currencies in the world…” The OECS continues to be one of the most stable integration movement with significant achievements.