St. Maarten Prime Minister outlines plans for pilot projects

POSTED: 09/4/13 1:13 PM

St. Maarten – Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams has outlined plans to launch two pilot projects that will address areas where St. Maarten is lacking based on the ‘Millennium Development Goal Report for St. Maarten’.

The prime minister explained that the report highlighted some areas the country needed to address in terms of its sustainable development going forward.

“As per the date of 10-10-10 when we look at international standards and norms, St. Maarten needed to be able to respond to questions and needed to be able to take part in the reporting that occurs on an international level as far as our people are concerned,” the prime minister said.

“The report for St. Maarten was finalized after 10-10-10 and subsequently presented. The report covered St. Maarten and Curacao according to international requirements that have been set in the area of sustainable development and there have been targets that have been set as an internationally recognized measuring mechanism with regards to that development. We now know where we stand as far as accomplishing the eight millennium development goals,” the prime minister explained.

The prime minister also explained that coming out of the report there were two areas that were highlighted which showed that the development lacked in two specific areas and that government will address these two areas specifically. “In the process we will also be tackling two of the millennium development goals to move this country forward in the areas of goal 1: poverty eradication and goal 2: environmental sustainability.

“How often have we not been asked the question; where would you like to see St. Maarten in the next five or ten years? It is therefore important to have a collective vision as to where we would like to see St. Maarten be in the future. Generations to come may have to change it and tweak it but this is the process we want to see on St. Maarten. We have to step up to the plate,” she added.

According to Wescot-Williams they have been spending some time on the organization of these two projects because of its importance. She added that the project itself must be sustainable so they have to set it up in such a way that the process is monitored by a steering group consisting of public and private individuals chaired by the prime minister.

“St. Maarten is doing well in the other goals but the two of poverty eradication and environmental sustainability were being identified as two where some additional focus should be put so that by 2015 we can look back and see how we are doing as a new country,” explained the prime minister.

She also explained that during her forming part of the Kingdom Delegation at the Rio +20 Summit, participants at the conference established the sustainable development goals and established ways on going forward in realizing them. “It is important that we take these goals into consideration with regards to our own development. We need to know what those particular goals mean for St. Maarten and how to move forward with it,” Wescot-Williams concluded.

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