Marten commends Dutch MP’s Wuite and Simons for presenting “historic” motions
In a press release issued on Sunday night, President of Parliament Grisha Heyliger-Marten stated that “the die has been cast when it comes to finalizing the decolonization of the six islands in the Dutch Kingdom”.
Heyliger-Marten made her comments in relation to the motion passed in the Dutch House of Representatives on July 7th, which called on the Government of the Netherlands to “enter into consultations with the Caribbean islands with a view to organizing a Kingdom conference in 2023 between the Governments of the Netherlands and the six Caribbean”.
This motion is comparable to one that was passed in the Dutch Senate in 2016, the so-called “de Graaf” motion of 2016. De “de Graaf” motion called for a complete overhaul of the Kingdom Charter (“Statuut”), and former State Secretary Knops has committed to its execution.
“The fact that the Dutch House of Representatives passed the motion presented by MP Wuite, after having recently commissioned an academic position paper on article 73 of the UN Charter (which was also an initiative by MP Wuite) is very encouraging”, Heyliger-Marten said.
“It’s a clear signal, and it shows that Holland acknowledges that fundamental changes need to be made to the constitutional relationships within the Kingdom. Of course, these changes need to be made in observance of international law. I hope that this also means that the Dutch Government realizes and acknowledges that it has not yet finalized the decolonization process of the six Caribbean islands.”
Heyliger-Marten regrets the fact the motion presented by Dutch MP Simons for the House of Representatives to establish a standing committee for Constitutional Affairs and Decolonization did not receive sufficient support.
“It was refreshing to see that there was an initiative in the Dutch House of Representatives to follow St. Maarten’s example, and I am grateful to colleague Simons for following up on the meeting we had two years ago in this manner. Perhaps her suggestion will receive sufficient support in the future”, she stated.
As far back as June of 2020, Heyliger-Marten had called for a Round Table Conference between the Governments of the Netherlands and those of the six Caribbean islands to be held in 2021. Since then, she has been informally sharing her thoughts on a possible trajectory towards such a conference with colleagues in the Hague.
Earlier this year, calls for a conference between all the Governments within the Kingdom were echoed by Prime Minister Pisas of Curacao and MP Mike Eman (AVP) of Aruba. According to Heyliger-Marten, finalizing the decolonization process is not as complicated as it might seem.
“We can use a shortened version of the process leading up to 10-10-10, a “10-10- 10 light” so to speak, and make corrections that were overlooked back then. All that needs to be done now is bring the Kingdom Charter in line with the requirements of the UN Charter by changing the articles which kept the UNGA from discharging Holland from its obligations under article 73 of the UN Charter in 1955.”
Heyliger-Marten further stated that the CCAD committee recently agreed that the Kingdom Charter needs to be changed and will come up a with a proposal for having this done.
“I am very pleased that things are lining up and falling in place on both sides of the Atlantic, she said. “Executing these motions in combination with a UN trajectory of capacity building and accessing resources from outside the Kingdom, will allow Sint Maarten to truly develop to its full potential. It will also lead to healthy relationships between all Kingdom partners based on equality and respect.”
Heyliger-Marten concluded by stating that she would follow-up with written questions and suggestions to the Prime Minister regarding all the developments and moving the different process forward expeditiously.
“It is important that we keep the momentum going, and I will use the recess to make sure that the Government can hit the ground running with these crucial matters after the summer vacation”, Heyliger-Marten concluded.