THE HAGUE--A delegation of 11 members of the First and Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament will be taking part in the Inter-Parliamentary Consultation for the Kingdom IPKO in St. Maarten from Wednesday, May 4 to Friday, May 6.
The Dutch delegation will arrive in St. Maarten this Sunday. The delegation visits Saba on Monday, May 2 and St. Eustatius on May 3. The official opening of the IPKO will take place on Wednesday morning, and the closing on Friday afternoon, followed by a press conference.
During the IPKO, delegations of the Parliaments of Aruba, Curaçao, St. Maarten and the Netherlands will discuss themes that concern the countries of the Dutch Kingdom. The IPKO is a consultation structure of the four parliaments in the Kingdom which takes place twice a year. The upcoming IPKO in St. Maarten was originally planned for January this year, but had to be delayed until May 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the agenda of the IPKO are talks about the Consensus Kingdom Law to establish the Caribbean Body for Reform and Development COHO, the status of affairs with regard to the execution of the country packages, and building on better and more sustainable relations within the Kingdom.
As part of the kingdom relations agenda point, the delegations will discuss mutual collaboration and assistance, human rights, good governance, consensus kingdom laws, giving more priority to kingdom relations and establishing a Dispute Regulation for the Kingdom.
The Curaçao Parliament unanimously adopted a motion earlier this week in which the Curaçao government was requested to “continue the path of re-negotiations with the other governments of the Kingdom” with regard to the COHO law proposal. The Curaçao Members of Parliament will approach their colleagues of Aruba and St. Maarten to together formulate and submit amendments to the law proposal.
According to the Curaçao Parliament, the Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations has too much power in the COHO. Also, the Parliament found that the pledged financial investments by the Netherlands to assist with the islands’ economic and social development have not been made sufficiently concrete in the law proposal. Intense discussions are expected on the COHO during the IPKO.
During the IPKO, there will be a number of working visits, organised by the St. Maarten Parliament. These visits will focus on a number of reconstruction projects initiated after the 2017 hurricanes with Dutch funding.
The delegations will also visit the Pointe Blanche prison. St. Maarten Minister of Justice Anna Richardson will give a presentation about the prison system and the plans to (re)construct and improve the prison.
Prior the IPKO, the Dutch Parliament delegation will visit Saba and St. Eustatius on May 2 and 3. Key topics will be youngsters and young professionals, economic development, infrastructure and sustainable development. A meet-and-greet will be organised.
The Dutch delegation will consist of Senators Paul Rosenmöller (GroenLinks), Joop Atsma (CDA), Toine Beukering (Group Nanninga), Boris Dittrich (D66) and Peter Ester (ChristianUnion), and of Members of the Second Chamber Mariëlle Paul (VVD), Roelien Kamminga (VVD), Jorien Wuite (D66), Joba van den Berg (CDA), Don Ceder (ChristianUnion) and Liane den Haan (Group Den Haan). Mariëlle Paul is the delegation leader and Paul Rosenmöller the deputy delegation leader.