GrEAT BAY, St. Maarten – St. Maarten is joining other countries comprising the Dutch Kingdom, attending the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) being held in New York. This United Nations event serves as a central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), agreed upon in 2015. Some forty-four UN member States are represented at this event and will be presenting their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) of the 2030 Agenda.
The theme for the conference is “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world".
The set of goals being reviewed in depth will be to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalizing a Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.
During the forum, countries present their VNRs, wherein their state and means of implementation of the SDGs agenda are documented. They are debating and addressing poverty related issues, as the main theme of this forum. The HLPF is convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and kicked off on the 10th of July. It lasts until Thursday, 20th of July.
St. Maarten is part of the kingdom delegation, headed by the Dutch minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen. St. Maarten’s Prime Minister, the honorable William Marlin, meets his counterparts from Aruba, Curaçao and the Netherlands for a three-day ministerial meeting of the forum from Monday, 17th of July, to Wednesday, 19th of July. Venue for the meeting is the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
It was earlier decided that the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Aruba, Curaçao, the Netherlands and St. Maarten) will jointly draft a VNR report, wherein the state of implementation of the SDGs for the four countries are highlighted. This VNR kingdom report is presented to the UN secretary-general.
Each of the four kingdom countries get an opportunity to briefly elaborate on what programs and projects or activities they have in place, or are executing, to combat hunger and poverty while they make sure no one in their societies, is left behind.
St. Maarten position
St. Maarten is in the process of defining which SDGs are relevant to the country and will be prioritized from now to 2030. According to St. Maarten’s governing program, for the upcoming years, the country will be focusing on human development, good governance, protecting the environment and preserving our cultural heritage.
Prime Minister Marlin states that “while St. Maarten still has some way to go, the aim of SDGs should always be to produce tangible results that improve people’s lives.”
He says that “as a young autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, St. Maarten finds itself in the process of building on its experiences with the Millennium Development Goals to assess challenges for SDG implementation”.
The St. Maarten Prime Minister notes that “the overarching goal is that of achieving a sustainable economy and a good quality of life, for all.”
Next to political leaders, representatives of several entities such as poverty related NGO’s, youth organizations, intergovernmental bodies, UN entities, the private sector and academia/science institutes, (sub) regional organizations have also been attending various side events held as part of the forum.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - On July 14, 2017, the United States and Sint Maarten signed a modernized bilateral Open Skies Agreement that will continue to foster opportunities for air travel and commerce between both countries. This modernizes the U.S.-Sint Maarten relationship by reducing administrative burden on carriers and governments, clarifying route rights, and reaffirming mutual adherence to international safety and security standards.
GREAT BAY, St. Maarten - Movement for the Elderly, will take place on Saturday, July 15.
Senior citizens are invited to the St. Martin’s Home which is located at St. John’s Estate road #6 for More Movement for the Elderly Fitness.
To stay healthy or to improve health, older adults need to do two types of physical activity each week: aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity.
Older adults aged 60 or older, who are generally fit and have no health conditions that limit their mobility, should try to be active daily.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - On Friday, July 7th, the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (ECYS), Ms. Silveria Jacobs met with Mr. Ki-Mani Olivacce, founder of the Back 2 School Drive, to discuss the vision and projection of the project. The Back to School Drive is a project, 16-year-old Ki-Mani Olivacce began in 2016. The drive is geared towards students who are in foster care, as well as for students whose parents are unable to provide the school materials and supplies every year for their child or children. “Not having the basic essentials like a paper and pencil to write with should not deter a student from being eager to learn and go to school,” Olivacce quoted.
Mr. Olivacce is inspired by his parents and family members, who have always taught him the importance of sharing and helping those in need.
POND ISLAND, St. Maarten - TelEm Group workers, both old and new put on an amazing show of affection for retiring colleague, Stanley David, during a heartwarming surprise celebration Friday last.
Billed as a small farewell event from his co-workers in the company’s Customer Care Department, the event turned into a “Hollywood-type” production with photo slide shows, video tributes, recorded messages from overseas, songs and kind words from family, friends and TelEm Group’s top executives, including CEO Kendall Dupersoy.
The highlight of the gathering however, was the attendance of many of Mr. David’s former colleagues from his days working at Landsradio, now UTS, and also former TelEm colleagues. Also present were members of Stanley’s family: Wife Catherine, daughter, Tamika Yhan, Brother Oscar and Sister-In-Law Felicia Arrindell-Illis.
Many spoke with fondness about Mr. David’s worth ethics and particularly about his ability to be calm under any circumstances – a part of his personality that was repeated time and again during the two-hour celebration, following by dancing and socializing.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - On behalf of the Ministry of Tourism, Economy, Traffic and Telecommunication (TEATT), my Cabinet and the Government of St. Maarten, I express heartfelt condolences to the family of our visitor from New Zealand who lost her life on Wednesday.
We have designated Head of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau Mr. Rolando Brison as the point person for information and he has already met with the family directly to express our condolences as well and remain available for their needs.
POND ISLAND, St. Maarten – Engineers in TelEm Group’s Network Operations Center (NOC) quickly resolved an equipment malfunction at the company’s Earth station on Pond Island limiting outage time to several important areas around the island Wednesday afternoon.
The alarm was raise shortly after 1:00 pm Wednesday and after some troubleshooting protocols engineers traced the problem to E1 circuits connecting TelEm Group’s 2G and pre-paid platforms and also neighbouring carriers Dauphin Telecom and Orange.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The Justice Ministry in St. Maarten will be observing Justice Day this year under the theme “ Justice Prevails” with a number of activities involving the departments linked to the Justice Ministry.
The celebrations commence on Friday, July 14th with a meet and greet starting at 5.30 in the evening in the Festival Village.
The meet and greet creates the opportunity for the workers of the various departments to meet their colleagues outside the working environment.
Some of the departments linked to the justice ministry are: the Police Department, the Court of Guardianship, Immigration, the Detectives department, Customs, the Prison, the Coast Guards,
The Prosecutor’s office and the Miss Lalie Center.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The St. Maarten Tourist Bureau (STB) on Wednesday hosted an award ceremony for the winners of the Junior Minister of Tourism Interscholastic Panel Discussion.
The four winners, Chanel Almonte, Oveidy Soriano-Salas, Pamela Potmis and Kiara Meyers, won casj prizes of Naf 300, 500, 700 and 1,000 respectively as well as several material prizes.
Minister of Tourism Mellissa Arrindell Doncher was also present to address and congratulate the students.
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