Holiday wants St. Maarten to become center of excellence in 2012

POSTED: 01/8/12 5:00 PM

St. Maarten – Governor drs Eugene Holiday has called for the establishment of a law faculty at the University of St. Martin, the establishment of a St. Maarten Philharmonic Orchestra and a Center for the Performing Arts as part of “moving the country to a higher plain” and making it “a center of excellence in the region.” The latter two points were the overlying theme of Holiday’s address at his second Governor’s New Year’s reception.

“The realization of these programs calls for excellence in educational governance and in cultural governance. They are programs which have the potential to inspire our people. They offer new opportunities and as such motivate our people to strive to realize our full potential as a nation,”Holiday said.

Holidaysees these initiatives as part of a strategy that puts people first and allows the country to invest in its human capital.

“A motivated and inspired people is our best source of strength as we set our sails to navigate through the rough seas of the expected protracted unfavorable global financial and economic environment in 2012. That, however, will not be enough to weather the storms in 2012,” the governor said.

Next to giving attention to the people Holiday believes there must be attention for the economy in 2012.

“It will in addition be imperative that we apply “best practices” in the governance of our economy through an innovative national economic program. An economic program – grounded in prudent fiscal, sound monetary, responsible business, balanced social, and sustainable environmental policies – all aimed at protecting our economic base from potential erosion and directed at laying a solid foundation as the global economy undergoes transformation. For it is only by making such governance investments that we can secure moving to a higher national plane of excellence for current and future generations,”Holidaysaid.

Other aspects of Holiday’s desire for making St. Maarten a center of excellence are improved education, more and better employment, less crime and drug abuse, a cleaner environment, cultural development and uncompromising observance of the democratic principles of freedom, equality, solidarity, accountability, transparency and justice.

The governor also stressed that none of the goals he spoke of can be accomplished if all of the island’s residents don’t commit.

“Let us thank God for watching over our country. And at the same time let us individually and collectively commit to act to take St. Maarten to a higher national plane as a center of excellence. This is your duty, my duty, our obligation. In my role as Governor I hereby, with a vision for a stronger St. Maarten, reaffirm my pledge to continue to work with government and other stakeholders to serve the people of St. Maarten,”Holidaysaid.

Commemorative Book

The call for moving the country to a higher plain and for creating a center of excellence was the broader part of the speech. In a more specific statement Holiday conveyed, yet again, Her Majesty Queen Beatrix’s appreciation for the “wonderful and warm reception” she, her son Crown Prince Willem Alexander and her daughter in law Princess Maxima received during their visit to St. Maarten.

“Thanks to the dedication and work of all who were involved in organizing the visit we can look back at a successful and unforgettable Royal visit,” he said.

In order to “to store the memories of this special visit” the governor commissioned a pictorial documentary that was handed out to all the guests at Friday night’s reception. The book is meant to be a “special keepsake proudly displaying the potential of the people of St. Maarten as we hosted the Royal Family.”

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