Dutch Kingdom looks for support from international agencies

POSTED: 07/12/15 10:16 PM

Plasterk reacts to Caribbean Ipko-concerns

St. Maarten / THE HAGUE – Because the Caribbean countries are part of the Kingdom, they do not qualify for most of the development funds, Kingdom Relations Minister Ronald Plasterk writes to the Second Chamber in a reaction to the decision list of the Inter-Parliamentary Kingdom Consultation (Ipko) that was held in May in  The Hague.

For this reason, Plasterk writes, we investigate whether the countries (St. Maarten, Curacao and Aruba – ed.) could qualify for other institutions to which the Kingdom contributes. The minister mentions in particular the Worldbankgroup, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank as important partners for Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Plasterk wrote to parliament that the Netherlands “actively supports” the Caribbean countries in their contacts with the Inter-American Development Bank.

The Kingdom is a member of the World Trade Organization WTO; the treaty has been ratified for the three autonomous countries in the kingdom. Legally, it is possible for St. Maarten, Curacao and Aruba to become independent WTO members, Plasterk writes. Accession to the WTO usually takes a couple of years and requires negotiations with other members. Among the liabilities connected are the obligation to pay a membership fee and for instance giving notice of import tariffs. Plasterk notes that the Caribbean countries have not done this for the past twenty years.

Plasterk furthermore writes that the Kingdom is “a vocal proponent” for Small Island Developing States on its own accord and at the request of the Caribbean countries.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs supports the ambition of the countries to get a status at international organizations like the Alliance of Small Island States. In meetings of the International Renewable Energy Agency the Kingdom presents itself explicitly as a kingdom with a European and a Caribbean part and it asks attention for the specific problems of the /Caribbean islands, Plasterk writes.

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