ARUBA/SINT MAARTEN - Chairlady of the Sint Maarten Permanent Committee of Parliament for Kingdom Affairs and Inter-parliamentary Relations Member of Parliament Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams gave an update on Wednesday at the end of the third day of the Inter-parliamentary Kingdom Consultation (IPKO) which is being hosted by Aruba. The first day, Monday, January 5th was dedicated to the three parliaments (Tripartite meet) of the Caribbean countries, Curacao, Aruba and Sint Maarten.
“In addition to reverting back to the previous Tripartite of April 2014, the three delegations approved and signed a resolution to promote sports in general amongst the three countries, but also sports for the disabled. Sports Organizations will be stimulated and encouraged to do the same. This will be done in collaboration with the respective governments of the countries.
“Furthermore, the agenda points for this IPKO were reviewed, as was the need for structural and more frequent tripartite meetings between the three parliaments. The three delegations in a presidium setting further elaborated on their position with regard to the matter of a dispute regulation. (Geschillenregeling).
“Generally with respect to providing feedback based on agreed upon points from the previous Tripartite and IPKO, Sint Maarten explained that we are not only with a new parliament and many new members since October 2014, but also a new government of very recent.
“This was important to state, because several Sint Maarten members in IPKO committees did not return to Parliament, but also because government has not had the time to react to several "pushes" by Parliament in the past to work on resolutions of the previous IPKO.
“Tuesday was spent reviewing the work of committees, such as the ones for Youth, Education and Integrity. A change was made to the agenda, putting the Regulation of the Governor and screening of ministers, which was schedule forThursday, on Wednesday.
“This evoked a lively discussion today (ed Wednesday), prompting the meeting to agree that the request of the Second Chamber to the Council of State regarding the instruction to the Governor of Aruba, be expanded to include the use of the Governor's regulation by the Kingdom Government in general.
“Integrity: it was accepted that this topic is discussable, yes, but with respect for the autonomy and development of the individual countries. I thought the discussion on the contentious article 43 of the Charter was a good one. And a way forward will be addressed in the final conclusions of this IPKO.
“Not unrelated to this is the topic of a dispute mechanism for the countries in the Kingdom, which will come uptomorrow (ed Thursday). It is surely not a new topic for the IPKO, and there seems to be no difference of opinion that there should be such a mechanism. I think the discussion will be on the scope of such a regulation. But it should be independent and binding.
“According to me, here is where the individual parliaments and their governments should close ranks to make headway, because on a kingdom parliamentary level, more than once, the governments have been urged to come with such. There are even motions to this effect.
“I am confident that Sint Maarten's government and parliament will be able to carry their weight where this matter is concerned. We have first-hand experience what the lack of such an authority can cause. Even the status of political parties in general; legislation and their internal organizations got some attention at this IPKO, but again from a positive perspective.
“Up to this point, the discussions have been fierce sometimes, yes, but open and candid. Let us see what we will be able to agree to in the end. I believe that the collaboration we have seen between the parliament and the government of Sint Maarten on the matter of the Instruction topic, with the Prime Minister coming to Parliament and providing support to the delegation should continue for the other topics of IPKO, such as the dispute or arbitration authority. We need to collectively decide on the priorities for our country and work together at achieving and where there are bottlenecks, solving them,” MP and Chairlady of Sint Maarten’s Permanent Committee of Parliament for Kingdom Affairs and Inter-parliamentary Relations Sarah Wescot-Williams said on Wednesday from Oranjestad, Aruba.
A delegation of six Members of the Parliament of Sint Maarten are at the Inter-parliamentary Kingdom Consultation in Oranjestad, Aruba from January 6 to 9.
The parliamentary delegations from the Kingdom partners will also visit the Waste to Energy Facility as well as the new building for the Court of First Instance of Aruba.
The delegation is headed by President of Parliament Hon. Dr. Lloyd Richardson, President of Sint Maarten’s Permanent Kingdom Affairs and Inter-parliamentary Relations Committee Hon. Member of Parliament (MP) Sarah Wescot-Williams, MP Hon. Leona Marlin-Romeo, MP Jon. Johan Leonard, MP Hon. William Marlin, MP Hon. Frans Richardson, Secretary General Nancy Joubert, Advisor Ralph Richardson, and Julien Larmonie, who all were scheduled to travel over the weekend to Aruba.
Also part of the Inter-parliamentary Kingdom Consultation is Dutch MPs from the First and Second Chamber of Parliament. The Dutch delegation will be led by Chairman of the Second Chamber’s Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations Hon. Jeroen Recourt. Vice Chairperson and First Chamber MP Hon. Marijke Linthorst is also part of the Dutch delegation.