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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, August 11, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesNew Agreement to Increase V.I. Input on Regional Issues

New Agreement to Increase V.I. Input on Regional Issues

Gov. John deJongh Jr. (left), pictured during Tuesday's signing ceremony.A new agreement between the V.I. government and Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) puts the territory at the heart of ongoing regional discussions—on issues ranging from tourism to law enforcement.
Gov. John deJongh Jr. flew to St. Lucia Tuesday to sign the four-page memorandum of understanding (MOU), which pledges that the territory and OECS work together on "common challenges" in areas such as sports, education, emergency management, environmental issues, trade and agriculture, among other things.
In a statement Tuesday, deJongh said the two regions are tied together in so many ways that finding "shared solutions" to various problems could only help make things better.
"Acknowledging this interdependence moves us closer to working collectively for the common good of the region and developing shared solutions to the challenges we face, while building on so many of the attributes that make our region attractive to visitors and investors," the governor said. "The Virgin Islands needs to be more engaged … at any table where important decisions about the region are made."
The MOU also sets a place for the territory at OECS meetings and activities, and vice versa. The stage has also been set for a more formal agreement between the two regions, according to the statement.
"I want to see the Virgin Islands take a more active role in Caribbean affairs as we are not only tied to the region by our geographical location but also because so many of our residents are nationals of almost every dependent territory and independent island nation in the Caribbean,” deJongh added. “These are factors that we can build on and expand business opportunities for our small business owners and at the same time, play a more active role in regional security concerns.”
The signing of the MOU is the culmination of three years’ worth of discussions with the OECS and a trip to the capital earlier this year, where the governor met with State Department heads to talk about the territory’s continued involvement with Caribbean-based organizations such as the Caribbean Tourism Association, Caribbean Hotel Association and the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police, among others.

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Gov. John deJongh Jr. (left), pictured during Tuesday's signing ceremony.A new agreement between the V.I. government and Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) puts the territory at the heart of ongoing regional discussions—on issues ranging from tourism to law enforcement.
Gov. John deJongh Jr. flew to St. Lucia Tuesday to sign the four-page memorandum of understanding (MOU), which pledges that the territory and OECS work together on "common challenges" in areas such as sports, education, emergency management, environmental issues, trade and agriculture, among other things.
In a statement Tuesday, deJongh said the two regions are tied together in so many ways that finding "shared solutions" to various problems could only help make things better.
"Acknowledging this interdependence moves us closer to working collectively for the common good of the region and developing shared solutions to the challenges we face, while building on so many of the attributes that make our region attractive to visitors and investors," the governor said. "The Virgin Islands needs to be more engaged … at any table where important decisions about the region are made."
The MOU also sets a place for the territory at OECS meetings and activities, and vice versa. The stage has also been set for a more formal agreement between the two regions, according to the statement.
"I want to see the Virgin Islands take a more active role in Caribbean affairs as we are not only tied to the region by our geographical location but also because so many of our residents are nationals of almost every dependent territory and independent island nation in the Caribbean,” deJongh added. “These are factors that we can build on and expand business opportunities for our small business owners and at the same time, play a more active role in regional security concerns.”
The signing of the MOU is the culmination of three years' worth of discussions with the OECS and a trip to the capital earlier this year, where the governor met with State Department heads to talk about the territory's continued involvement with Caribbean-based organizations such as the Caribbean Tourism Association, Caribbean Hotel Association and the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police, among others.