Editorial: Cumbersome

POSTED: 04/8/14 12:44 AM

How useful is the Kingdom Conference? That is a legitimate question now that the highlight of the second edition seems to be the agreement to establish a task force that must guarantee the rights of the child in the Caribbean countries.

This follows from a report UNICEF published last year. This is interesting, because when the Central Committee discussed this report in September, Minister Lourens (Education, Culture, Youth and Sports) criticized the report, as did several Members of Parliament.
Lourens created the (incorrect) impression that the report was based on interviews with fifteen children and that this was not representative for the situation in St. Maarten. In fact the report was based on interviews with 48 key-informants – one of them being the minister herself.

If this task force brings anything meaningful to the lives of children – fine. The question is, did we really need a Kingdom Conference to come up with such a bright idea?

The conference did not take any decision about St. Maarten’s wish to obtain the right to cancel Kingdom laws unilaterally, or about the hottest topic of all – the free travel of people in the Kingdom. Those issues will have to wait until at least April of next year, when the countries convene for their next Kingdom Conference in Curacao. What a cumbersome process this is.

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