Philipsburg St. Maarten, November 2nd , 2018 – President of Parliament, Sarah Wescot-Williams returned from New York last weekend where she participated in the Political-Civil Society Delegation to the 73rd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). It is the second consecutive year St. Maarten was invited to be part of the Kingdom Delegation, consisting of Members of the First and Second Chambers of the Netherlands and Civil Society representatives.
Gender, Peace and Security were but some of the topics that were presented in several Committee meetings as well as in presentations, tailored especially for the visiting Delegation.
So-called “hot regions” that have the special attention of the Security Council, but also other programs that look at the fall-out of conflicts all over the world were approached from the contexts of migration and human smuggling, sexual violence, human rights, extremism and prosecution. In this context, the International Court of Justice was also a topic of discussion.
In her report to Parliament, MP Wescot-Williams also outlined that St. Maarten and the other Dutch Caribbean constituent countries (Aruba and Curacao) were given the opportunity to talk with the Dutch Permanent Mission to the UN about the Dutch Caribbean countries’ drive for stronger representation in international affairs and the diversity of the Kingdom partners, which work against the Caribbean countries, when it comes to tapping into funding available for developing countries. Nevertheless, the three countries’ representatives were able to have separate talks with the UN Women agency as well as UN Water representatives.
In the meeting with UNDP representatives, this agency’s reform agenda was also expounded upon. The UNDP is no stranger to St. Maarten and is a partner in the hurricane recovery efforts on the island.
MP Wescot-Williams concluded her report to Parliament recommending that:
- The Parliament of St. Maarten keenly monitors the compliance of the Kingdom Government with the joint Parliamentary instruction regarding the Dispute Regulation.
- The agreed upon periodic consultation-outside of IPKO- with Aruba and Curacao takes place urgently.
- More effort is put into ensuring a more equitable representation in organizations that could benefit the country.
- The Kingdom Government be asked (via the St. Maarten Government) to find ways to put us on the side of the receiving countries, when it comes to benefitting from UN funding and programs, most if not all which are heavily funded by the very Dutch Kingdom itself.