Working group national development plan to be established

POSTED: 06/25/13 12:20 PM

St. Maarten – In order to establish wide-scale community involvement in the development of the National Development Plan (NDP), a working group is currently being established to ensure that the process of developing the NDP has as much input from the community as possible. On Wednesday, there will be a ‘meet and greet’ of the different individuals and organizations from the civil society and public and private sector that have shown their interest in participating in the national development program.

The working group, which will involve representatives form a wide sector of the population of the island, will have as its central mandate the inclusion of as many community stakeholders in the development of the NDP as possible. Since September 2012, the implementation of the St. Maarten National Development Plan and Institutional Strengthening started, with a team from the Department of Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations (BAK) having been mandated to set a strong foundation, empower stakeholders and strengthen internal capacities to ensure that the NDP is completed with wide-scale social inclusion.

“A work plan was developed in January 2013 and under this work-plan some activities have already taken place. In ensuring that the process of nation building and national development belongs to the people of St Maarten, the project is now at a critical stage to establish some guiding structures. One of such structures is the establishment of a National Development Plan Working Group (NDP-WG). The main purpose of the latter is to guide and coordinate the process of consultations leading to a collective vision and eventually leading to a National Development Plan for Country St. Maarten,” read a BAK statement.

The NDP working group will be established to ensure that issues coming from the private sector, civil society groups, government, and the wider community will form a national vision which will lead to a draft national development plan.  Once the working group has been established, it will jointly map out with the project team a clear structure for the community dialogues. These dialogues will be categorized into the four thematic pillars of environment, social/human development, economy and culture. Within those sectors, attention will be focused on ensuring that the views of women, youth, elderly, community leaders, students and all other essential stakeholders from within the community are taken into account.  Representatives from the public, private and civil sectors will make up the membership of the working group.

In moving forward with the inclusion of the community in the development of the NDP, the results of the recent community consultations are already being compiled and included in the processes moving forward. Some of the more pertinent items from the community that emerged as a result of the consultations were centered on the inclusion of as wide a section of the St. Maarten community as possible. Private individuals and representatives from organizations such as the Soualiga Social Movement, SunFed, the SMMTA and the SHTA have called for an inclusive approach in involving the community in the development of the NDP and to establish a bottoms-up approach in listening to the voice of the public. The NDP working group will address specifically this issue as it works to incorporate the views from within the community.

In her statements on the NDP Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams has stated that in order to launch and implement the NDP there will need to be the involvement of each and every St. Maartener: “It does not matter whether you were born here or whether you belong here; in order to craft a vision for St. Maarten we need the input from all in making this island one of the leaders of sound democratic and people oriented governance in the region. We need the input from all sectors of society to plot the course for our economic, social, cultural and environmental development. The development for a country which we call home, one which we all should love and cherish. I, as Prime Minister of that country, look forward to working with all of the people of St. Maarten in making that a reality,” commented the Prime Minister.

If there are individuals or organizations that are interested who have not been in contact with the team NDP are invited to send an email to nationaldevelopment@sintmaartengov.org.

 

 

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