Catshuis session held in the Caribbean

October 8, 2023   -On October 6, 2023A Catshuis session took place on Sint Maarten on the 1st and 2nd of  October.  The reason for this session is the discussions around the theme of Slavery Past and to follow up on this. The Catshuis session was opened by State Secretary Alexandra van Huffelen of Kingdom Relations and Director General for Culture and Media, Barbera Wolfensberger. It was attended by, among others, guests from Curaçao, Aruba, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Saba, and St. Eustatius, who concern themselves with the subject of Slavery Past.

On Sunday, the 1st of October, the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science held a presentation, followed by a panel discussion. Invited guests also had the opportunity to share progress on the subject on their own island in order to stimulate the exchange of knowledge and closer cooperation.

On Monday, the 2nd of October, further explanation was given on the yet-to-be-set-up Commemoration Committee and the Regulations for policy intensification and social initiatives. The scheme includes the 200 million euros announced in December last year for the entire Dutch Kingdom and Suriname. The amount will be further divided into three equal parts for the Netherlands, Suriname and the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom, which translates into a maximum of 33 million euros per area for social initiatives and 33 million euros for policy intensifications. This was followed by a number of break-out sessions in the afternoon where guests could delve deeper into topics such as archives, oral history, Education and culture, and the Remembrance Committee.

The Catshuis session concluded with a conversation between the guests, the State Secretary for Kingdom Relations and the Director General for Culture and media.

The sessions showed that the islands have a great need for good cooperation with each other and the sharing of knowledge and best practices.

The two-day Catshuis session on Sint Maarten was organized by the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and Rijksdienst Caribisch Nederland and followed the symposium of the Inter-insular working group.

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