THE HAGUE–An integral approach is needed if positive results are to be booked in the complex issues regarding St. Maarten’s recovery, stated Dutch State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops last week Friday.
He sent a letter to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament on Friday to report on the working visit he paid to St. Maarten, St. Eustatius, Curaçao and Bonaire, from November 13 to 16.
Knops explained that he used his visit to St. Maarten on November 15 for consultations with the local government regarding a number of current issues. He had talks about St. Maarten’s recovery process with Governor Eugene Holiday, Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin and the Presidium of the Parliament.
“In those talks, I underscored the urgency of a number of important dossiers such as the tackling of the dump and the reconstruction of the airport. I have again concluded that it concerns complex dossiers for which an integral approach to content, process and integrity is necessary. Complete input of all involved parties is indispensable in this,” stated Knops.
He was positive about the briefing by the World Bank, the organisation that manages the St. Maarten Recovery Trust Fund financed by the Dutch government, about the project aimed at getting the dump under control, the Emergency Debris Project. “The involved experts of the World Bank painted a clear picture of the preparations, the manner of execution and the expected results,” he said.
Knops also met with St. Maarten Minister of Justice Cornelius de Weever. The focus of this meeting was the current situation in the area of law enforcement. “The agreements, including the financing, about the assistance the Netherlands provides and the situation at the Pointe Blanche prison were again discussed.”
Knops attended the official ceremony of the national day in St. Eustatius in the early morning hours of November 16, where he addressed the gathering and wished everyone a happy Statia Day. National Government Commissioner Mike Franco, United States Consul General Margareth Hawthorne and other representatives from the Caribbean joined Knops on that day.
In his letter to the Second Chamber, Knops dedicated attention to the historic meaning of Statia Day and the famous First Salute fired on November 16, 1776, the first official international recognition of the independence of the United States.
Knops said he had spoken with a large number of Statia residents in the Upper Town on the eve of November 16. “There was a lot of consent for the intervention and appreciation for the approach under the temporary law of task negligence,” he stated.
After the official Statia Day ceremony, Knops visited an exhibition of local artist Dawson Hughes at the library and opened an exhibition about the importance of recycling. “This also offered the opportunity to answer some questions regarding the recently-sent second progress report.”
At the end of his visit to St. Eustatius, Knops attended a ceremony where Golden Rock League of Merit Medals were conferred on three Statians who have greatly contributed to society. “At Ernest van Putten Youth Centre, I spoke with residents, visiting guests, (former) politicians, civil servants and representatives of the Social Advisory Council,” he said.
Bron: Daily Herald