Sarah Wescott-Williams: IPKO discussions fierce but candid

POSTED: 01/12/15 10:15 PM

GREATBAY/Oranjestad— The discussions at the IPKO to date have been described as fierce at times, but open and candid, by leader of the DP Sarah Wescott-Williams. The three delegations at the IPKO consultations in Aruba approved and signed a resolution to promote sports in general amongst the three countries, as well as sports for the disabled. Sports Organizations will be stimulated and encouraged to do the same and this will be done in collaboration with the respective governments of the countries.

The first day of the consultation was dedicated to the 3 parliaments (Tripartite meet) of the Caribbean countries, Curacao, Aruba and St. Maarten. The agenda points for the IPKO were reviewed, as was the need for structural and more frequent tripartite meetings between the 3 Parliaments. The 3 delegations in a presidium setting further elaborated on their position with regard to the matter of a dispute regulation (Geschillenregeling). With respect to providing feedback based on agreed upon points from the previous Tripartite and IPKO, St. Maarten explained that not only does it have a new parliament and many new members since October 2014,  but also a new government of very recent.

The St. Maarten delegation believed it was important to state this since several St. Maarten members in IPKO committees did not return to Parliament, but also because government has not had the time to react to several “pushes” by Parliament in the past to work on resolutions of the previous IPKO. Tuesday was spent reviewing the work of committees, such as the ones for Youth, Education and Integrity.  A change was made to the agenda, to include the Regulation of the Governor and screening of ministers, on Wednesday. This reportedly evoked a lively discussion prompting the meeting to agree that the request of the Second Chamber to the Council of State regarding the instruction to the Governor of Aruba, be expanded to include the use of the Governor’s regulation by the Kingdom Government in general.

On the issue of integrity it was accepted that this topic is discussable but with respect for the autonomy and development of the individual countries.  “I thought the discussion on the contentious article 43 of the Charter was a good one. And a way forward will be addressed in the final conclusions of this IPKO.
Not unrelated to this is the topic of a dispute mechanism for the countries in the Kingdom,” leader of the DP faction Sarah Wescott-Williams stated.

“It is surely not a new topic for the IPKO, and there seems to be no difference of opinion that there should be such a mechanism. I think the discussion will be on the scope of such a regulation. But it should be independent and binding.  According to me, here is where the individual Parliaments and their governments should close ranks to make headway, because on a Kingdom parliamentary level, more than once, the governments have been urged to come with such. There are even motions to this effect.
I am confident that St. Maarten’s Government and Parliament will be able to carry their weight where this matter is concerned. We have first-hand experience what the lack of such an authority can cause.
Even the status of political parties in general;  legislation and their internal organizations got some attention at this IPKO. But again from a positive perspective.  Up to this point, the discussions have been fierce sometimes, yes, but open and candid,” Wescott-Williams said.

I believe that the collaboration we have seen between the Parliament and the Government of St. Maarten on the matter of the Instruction topic, with the Prime Minister coming to Parliament and providing support to the delegation should continue for the other topics of IPKO, such as the dispute or arbitration authority. We need to collectively decide on the priorities for our country and work together at achieving and where there are bottlenecks, solving them.

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