The visit included engagements with Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Hon. Phillip J Pierre and his cabinet, Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Dr. Didacus Jules and the staff of the OECS Commission, Principal of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College Dr. Keith Nurse and his team, and staff of the French Embassy in Saint Lucia.
Dr. Jules described the visit as historic, as this was the first official visit by a sitting President of the Regional Council of Guadeloupe to the OECS Commission. According to Dr. Jules,
‘’This represents a high watermark for the collaboration between Guadeloupe and the OECS. Regional integration is only meaningful if it directly impacts the lives, livelihoods and opportunities of citizens across the member states. This was evident by the focus on discussions in areas and programs that directly and concretely benefit OECS citizens due to collaborations between Guadeloupe and other member states. This represents a unique opportunity for the OECS to operate as a seamless region, so we are extremely grateful for President Chalus’ visit and we look forward to what the future will bring.’’
Top of the agenda during the visit was increasing the cooperation between Guadeloupe and OECS Member States, and Guadeloupe’s commitment to deepening regional integration. Cooperation in areas such as Health Care, Youth Development, capacity building in French and English, Energy and Education were keenly discussed. The parties also discussed possibilities of collaboration in the area of regional transport, in an effort to facilitate greater ease of travel within the region.
Additionally, members of the leadership of the OECS Commission presented to the delegation on current programs that involve Guadeloupe, as well as future initiatives that can benefit from their involvement. Areas discussed included the OECS Strategic plan, Agriculture, Food Security, Business Development, Education, Environment and Sustainable Development and Social Development.
The Principal of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College and his team also welcomed President Chalus and his team, to discuss current areas of collaboration between partners in Guadeloupe and the College, as well as opportunities for further collaboration.
The Guadeloupe delegation ended their visit with meetings with the French Embassy and Alliance Française in Saint Lucia.
President Chalus labeled the visit a success, stating that his team was able to network and connect with all the key stakeholders at the OECS Commission, as they look to continue working on the important areas of cooperation. He continued,
‘’We should already be operating as neighboring islands, and that involves giving our populations the possibility to move seamlessly from one island to the other. At this point, it is extremely important that we get closer together, and learn how to work together in every sector.’’
The official visit of the President of the Regional Council of Guadeloupe took place from May 9-10, 2022.