One SXM pursues closer regional collaboration

One SXM pursues closer  regional collaboration

One SXM members with Dr. June Soomer following the meeting. From left: Aishira Cicilia, Bakari Arrindell, Gabriel LeBlanc, Theophilus Thompson, Soshina Stephen, Dr. Rhoda Arrindell, Dr. June Soomer, Cindy Peters and Anderson Percival at SoIL Café (Photo courtesy RA).

~ Arrindell elected VP of Caribbean Studies Association ~

PHILIPSBURG--The One St. Martin Association (One SXM) met recently at SoIL Café with Chair of The University of the West Indies’ (The UWI) Open Campus Council Dr. June Soomer.

One SXM received “practical tips for regional collaboration” from Soomer during the informal meeting, said One SXM president Dr. Rhoda Arrindell. The association has been stepping up its regional outreach over the last few months.

It was reported last May that One SXM was “admitted provisionally as a member” of the CARICOM Reparations Commission, according to Dr. Hilary Brown, Programme Manager, Culture and Community Development, CARICOM Secretariat.

The pursuit of “closer regional collaboration includes joining regional bodies and meeting with regional leaders like Soomer who is also St. Lucia’s former ambassador to CARICOM. This is a natural connection of the One SXM mission ‘to promote self-pride, self-reliance, dignity, patriotism, and self-determination’” in and for “St. Martin,” said Arrindell.

Soomer was on the island for her June 13 presentation to the Committee for Constitutional Affairs and Decolonisation of the Parliament of St. Maarten.

According to the territory’s parliament, the presentation focused “on the subject of Development Justice for the People of St. Martin, covering various topics, such as the right to decolonisation, the right to development, the sustainable development framework and reparatory justice.” Soomer is a St. Lucia Reparations Committee member.

“I am excited to discuss tips for Caribbean collaboration with Dr. Soomer on matters like reparatory justice and development as we move toward independence, which is at the foundation of the One SXM mission,” said One SXM member Anderson Percival.

In another example of Caribbean collaboration, Arrindell was elected as the vice president of the Caribbean Studies Association (CSA), at the annual General Membership Meeting of the 47th conference, held in St. Croix, June 5 to 9.

At the CSA conference, Dr. Arrindell served on two panels on decolonisation and presented a paper titled “Transforming Our Caribbean: The Impact of Intensified Activities by the Dutch State on the People of St. Martin.”

The One SXM team scheduled the topic “Caribbean collaboration” for its weekly My 88.3 FM radio programme on Saturday, June 17, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm, said Arrindell.

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