Former Cabinet Secretary Felix Gregoire has been appointed as Dominica’s new Commissioner to the OECS.
He also succeeds the late Ambassador Charles Maynard as Ambassador to the OECS and Caricom.
Ambassador Gregoire who served as a public servant for 35 years has also been assigned Head of Regional Integration.
In an exclusive interview with GIS News Ambassador Gregoire spoke about the importance of these positions.
“For a while now, we have been looking at integration in the region at the Caricom level and at the OECS level but certainly the OECS is moving much faster than Caricom and that has shown itself in many aspects of the functioning and the programming of the OECS. So it is important for Dominica to have the Commissioner to the OECS. The Commission is a very important body of the OECS; you have the heads of each state which is called the OECS Authority and then you have the OECS Secretariat. The Commission lies between those two. The Commission would report to the Heads on various aspects of the work of the OECS. That would include the work programme and the budget of the OECS.”
Pushing the integration process forward has been identified as one of the top agenda items for Dominica’s newly appointed Commissioner to the OECS.
“Caribbean unity, OECS unity is something that I’m very excited about. Not only am I excited about it, it is something I would like to see implemented because we have been talking about unity for a number of years now and there are various reasons why we have not progressed as fast as we should. It is imperative that we conclude those discussions and finalize those arrangements so the unity can become effective. When you look at the global picture, you see other countries going in that direction in terms of union. When you look at how competitive it is globally, for us to survive we need to be able to work together so that we can make an impact and our countries can be viable in this day and age.
Ambassador Gregoire recently attended his first meeting out of state and disclosed some of the topics that were discussed.
“Last week I attended a meeting at which the commission was present. It was a meeting between the OECS Secretariat and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB). The meeting was looking at effective co-ordination between the OECS Secretariat and the ECCB. Apparently, they had been avoiding that area and it was felt that there must be greater collaboration and coordination between the two organs of the OECS.”
Ambassador Gregoire’s appointment took effect November 1, 2012.