Kingdom conference to be delayed

POSTED: 06/8/12 12:51 PM

Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams (left) makes her closing remarks during the first Kingdom Conference while Curacao’s Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte and Dutch vice-Prime Minister and conference chairman Maxime Verhagen and looks on. (File photo)

GREAT BAY – The Government of St. Maarten is looking favorably at a request from the Government of Aruba to delay the Kingdom Conference to later in the year. There are some indications that earliest possible time for the meeting to be convened is November. This accommodates especially the Dutch government, considering that there will be an election in September.
“In first instance the preference was to have it continue as originally planned, however, given also the political developments in the Netherlands we are looking favorably at the postponement as requested for Aruba,” Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams said.
The Kingdom Conference, which was first held in The Hague on December 14, 2011, is considered a forum where the four countries in the Kingdom can discuss cooperation and common issues. Last year’s meeting established several working groups that must provide reports to the second meeting that should be hosted by Aruba. The specific committees are freedom of movement in the Kingdom, bottlenecks in cooperation between the kingdom partners, desired and allowed possibilities for cooperation and a committee to draft an arbitration regulation.
The Kingdom Conference will rotate between all countries in the Kingdom based on how they are listed in the Kingdom Charter. Aruba will host in 2012, followed by Curacao in 2013, St. Maarten in 2014 and the Netherlands in 2015. Aruba is hosting in a critical year as this year marks the 200th anniversary of the establishment of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

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