Princess Beatrix opens Youth Parliament meeting in May

POSTED: 04/23/14 10:34 PM

GREAT BAY – St. Maarten is in for another royal visit next month when Princess Beatrix opens the Kingdom Youth Parliament on Tuesday May 20 at the University of St. Martin. The Dutch Government Information Service (RVD) announced this in a press release yesterday.

At the initiative of the National Committee 200 Years Kingdom and the Committee Kingdom Relations the Youth Parliament gathers at the university from May 20 until May 22. In the Parliament, debates will take place between teams from the Netherlands, St. Maarten, Aruba, Curacao and the BES-islands. The fifty participating youngsters will speak about themes like education, culture, sustainable development and children’s rights. In doing so, they are giving their vision on the Kingdom’s future.

According to the RVD-press release, Princess Beatrix will give a brief speech on the opening day. The princess will also attend a number of meetings and receptions during the days the Youth Parliament is in session. On these occasions, the princess will speak with members of the participating teams.

Princess Beatrix will also be present when Ank Bijleveld, the chairlady of the National Committee 200 years Kingdom, presents a history book to havo and vwo-students at the St. Maarten Academy. The book is entitled “Unity and diversity – 200 years Kingdom, the Netherlands and the six Caribbean islands in historical dates.” The committee produced the booklet on the occasion of the celebration of 200 years Kingdom.

The Kingdom Youth Parliament is the third event the committee organizes. The celebrations began on November 30 of last year; in the meantime there has also been a Constitution Festival.

The celebration focuses on the shared past, present and future and on what all Kingdom residents unites: a democracy with equal rights and duties for everyone.

Princess Beatrix will visit St. Maarten from May 19 until May 22 and she will use the opportunity to visit two organizations of which she is the patroness – UNICEF and the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance.

UNICEF has proposed a project for the support, care and supervision of children in St. Maarten. The princess will tour the Belvedere Community Center and engage in talks about children’s rights.

As the patroness of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance, Princess Beatrix will visit the Nature Foundation. During a boat trip through the Simpson Bay Lagoon, she will get a briefing about the replanting of mangroves and other aspects of the management of this area.


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