Five years ago on October 10, 2010, during my acceptance speech as Governor of Sint Maarten I said: “Today we stand at the portal of our new Country Sint Maarten. From personal experience I can inform you that the road to this moment was not smooth. But we made it. With the knowledge I acquired during that journey I can equally inform you that the challenges ahead are immense. ….. We will have to build critical institutions for the functioning of our parliamentary democracy, institutions like this Parliament,” the Council of Ministers, “the Council of Advice, the General Audit Chamber, the Ombudsman and others from the ground up. We will have to improve our financial management and strengthen our judicial organizations. These institutions and their proper functioning are intended to maintain and safeguard the basic rights of the people of Sint Maarten as embedded in our Constitution. Building these institutions will not be easy, …. In that regard, there rest on us a great responsibility; a responsibility to build and nurture a stronger Sint Maarten for future generations. With that great responsibility we also have a great opportunity. Effective today, we like no generation before us have the opportunity and constitutional authority, to shape the socio-economic, cultural and environmental construct of our beloved island. How we address this challenge and approach this opportunity, will determine our success in the discharge of our responsibilities?” As we commemorate our fifth anniversary I believe that it is important that we reflect on these words and take stock of how far we have come in the discharge of our responsibilities.
My fellow Sint Maarteners,
Today five years later we have the benefit of five years of governance experience. All of our public, corporate and civic governance experiences – good and bad – hold within them significant lessons. As a result I call on each of you to evaluate your experiences of the past five years and establish your lessons learned. In doing so, we will find lessons regarding the importance of fostering the common good that provide relevant pointers as to how to move forwardin the discharge of our responsibilities. Lessons that should prepare us for our journey in the further building of our nation during the next five years and beyond.
By identifying and building on the valuable lessons of the past five years, it is my conviction, now as it was five years ago, that a bright and positive future lies ahead through a united rally around our common cause: Sint Maarten. By doing so I am convinced that that we will secure a stronger, more safe, fair, healthy, friendly and happy Sint Maarten.
Thus as we observe and celebrate the fifth anniversary of the birth of Sint Maarten as a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, I hereby congratulate you and wish you a most pleasant and safe Constitution Day Celebration.
Thank you, God Bless You and may God Bless Sint Maarten and protect its coast.