Philipsburg St. Maarten, September 5, 2020 – Another advice from our Council of Advice is in. This time it is the advice regarding the United Nations–Decolonization–St. Maarten, as presented to the Council by the Parliament of St. Maarten. MP Wescot-Williams recently shared some insight on the matter: “This dossier has been circulating in Parliament since 2018, consisting of numerous documents and in the view of some, it is making a case for St. Maarten to ‘have its decolonization process completed ”.
“Looking back at the Parliament meeting of June 18th, in which the decision was taken to send this request to the Council of Advice, and the disrespect and acrimonies during that meeting, I am happy the Council did not take long to render its advice. I did not expect and I am relieved to learn that our Council of Advice did not sway under political pressure. Whatever one might think of the process of decolonization, fact is that we are where we are today, 66 years of the Charter of the Dutch Kingdom, its flaws, its strengths etc.” said the MP.
In summary, the Council’s response to Parliament states:
- It’s an outdated request
- The questions regard St. Eustatius and the court case of that island
- No evidence of country St. Maarten’s interest or of the Kingdom
- The role of the Council is not one of providing material for a debate, but rather legally analyzing the choices made and giving advice on the basis of the law, and at its discretion.
- The Council has no role in political discussions and debates.
“It is obvious that the Prime Minister of St. Maarten is between a rock and a hard place.
Given where we stand today as a country, in front of seemingly insurmountable challenges of many kinds, I implore the Prime Minister of St. Maarten not to succumb to the political pressure from within her coalition to use our limited resources to engage in this entanglement at this time and waste time and money, which we do not have”, is the former Prime Minister’s advice to the current officeholder, PM Jacobs.
Talking about limited resources, MP Wescot-Williams reminds the Prime Minister that her response on August 7, 2020 regarding Government’s alternative (Plan B) states:
In the event that the Netherlands are unwilling to agree to soften their proposal or even engaging in a dialog with Sint Maarten pertaining to our counterproposal then the Government of Sint Maarten is looking into raising funds through shares acquisition by third parties as well as seeking a loan by the Central bank of Curacao and Sint Maarten. These options are not mutually exclusive and can be done together in the form of a package. The evaluation process that is necessary to assess the feasibility of these options have already started and the Council of Minister have commissioned the SOAB to evaluate the worth of all government-owned companies.
More than a month later, how much closer are we to these “alternatives”? In my view, no closer than a month ago.
In July, I stated that the Government needs to make a course correction.
“Prime Minister, this has to happen now. You can no longer hold out on the people of Sint Maarten.
And for whatever it is worth, I offer you my hand. But we need to face up to the reality of the day. Think for a moment where we would have been today had we allowed the Irma relief funds (TF) to be caught up in the acrimonious debate about the “Netherlands owing us….”.
Today some of the few bright spots we have, come from that very fund. Again, with all its flaws and strengths.
- PJIA reconstruction
- St. Maarten Hospital
- The enterprise support project
- Emergency income support and training
- Roof Repair Project
- Debris Management
“So Prime Minister, we need a course correction and I am counting on you. The people are counting on you”, MP Wescot concluded in her appeal to Prime Minister Jacobs.