SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - A joint proposal by Members of Parliament (MP’s) Solange Ludmila Duncan (NA) and Grisha Heyliger Marten (UPP) to establish a Permanent Committee for Constitutional Affairs and Decolonization, was approved unanimously during a public meeting of Parliament on Thursday.
“Decades ago, the highest body in the world, the United Nations, made decolonization one of its core objectives. And up to this day, it continues to repeat the call to finalize the decolonization in all its forms. We as a young island nation are now finally giving decolonization its rightful place”, according to MP Heyliger-Marten.
A motion tabled by MP Heyliger-Marten supporting the establishment of the Permanent Committee was also voted on, and carried with eleven votes in favor and three against. The motion, among other things, invokes the right of St. Maarten to directly present its case for decolonization to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
This right is secured in UNGA Resolution 945 (X) by means of an amendment included by Uruguay back in 1955, when the Kingdom Charter was approved by the UNGA. The amendment sought to “offer the peoples of the Netherlands Antilles and Surinam a safeguard, an opportunity of coming at a later date to knock at the door of the United Nations, should the need arise”.
“Based on the actions by the Government of the Netherlands during the past few years, this need has now clearly arisen”, according to Heyliger-Marten. After the meeting, MP Heyliger-Marten thanked her fellow MP Duncan for taking the initiative for the proposal and doing most of the legwork. She also thanked all her colleagues from both sides of the aisle for supporting the establishment of the Permanent Committee, stating that decolonization should not be a bi-partisan, divisive matter.
“The constructive participation of all stakeholders here and abroad will be crucial for making the work of the Permanent Committee a success. It will ultimately benefit the people of St. Maarten. The first major milestone towards finalizing the decolonization would be a Round Table Conference in July of next year. I look forward to the cooperation of all partners within the Kingdom and the UN towards making that a reality, MP Heyliger-Marten concluded.