Monday , February 26 2024

Kingdom Conference ends on positive note

Delegations ended Wednesday’s Kingdom Conference on Aruba on a positive note, with the four countries in the Kingdom agreeing that they have paved the way for stronger mutual relations. This writes The Daily Herald. “A historic day,” said Conference Chairman Aruba Prime Minister Mike Eman at the closing ceremony and subsequent press briefing.
St. Maarten delegation leader Prime Minister Sarah Wescot- Williams and Dutch delegation leader Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk spoke of a “very fruitful day,” while Curaçao delegation leader Prime Minister Ivar Asjes used the words “positive atmosphere and constructive talks” to describe the one-day conference at the Aruba Radisson Resort. “I have experienced the conference as very positive. I am sure that between now and the next Kingdom Conference new situations will develop, but that is the dynamic of the Kingdom. I am hopeful about the future of the Kingdom,” said Wescot- Williams. Aruba’s delegation leader Minister of Finance and Government Organisation Juan David Yrausquin confirmed these words. “I think everyone is positive about the future of the Kingdom. The Kingdom has a future. This is not a given and it hasn’t always been like this. We have to ensure that it lasts,” he said. Asjes said he was “very satisfied” with the results, especially in the area of children’s rights and economic cooperation. He confirmed that his government was in for a constructive relation with the other partners in the Kingdom. He said that Curaçao, as the secretariat for the next Kingdom Conference in April 2015, would oversee that the countries would stick to the agreements and the planning.
Plasterk said he was happy with the decision to install a taskforce that will promote the cooperation within the Kingdom in the area of children’s rights. “We shouldn’t accept that children don’t have a safe and happy youth in our Kingdom. We will be carrying this responsibility together,” he said. Wescot-Williams: “The youth is the future of the countries and the Kingdom.” Eman focused on the added value of the Kingdom. Cohesion has been set predominantly by the Kingdom Charter up to now, but social relations between organisations and citizens in the Kingdom are also important, he said. “There has never been special attention to confirm and stimulate this. From now on we will be giving special attention to this aspect,” he said.
Asked whether building more cohesion made sense when the countries had not been able to reach an agreement on giving content to a dispute arrangement (geschillenregeling) for the Kingdom, Eman said the lack of a body to handle disputes between the countries objectively did not stop the countries from continuing to work on more cohesion. “Cohesion is about building a second layer of support for the Kingdom. There is a clear difference between legal, political differences and the level of citizens, organisations.” Eman said he was hopeful that one day content would be given to the dispute arrangement. Eman was delighted that Aruba’s pioneering work to promote the islands’ hub and gateway function between Europe and Latin America now will be taken to a Kingdom level. “We will be highlighting this, giving it more content with specific attention for the public entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba so they can acquire their goods at a better price through an economic zone,” he said. Eman complimented St. Maarten for its efforts to build a new country. “St. Maarten is progressing and can always count on Aruba’s support,” he said. He said the Kingdom Conference “paved a clear path to a better future of the Kingdom.”


Concrete agreements at Kingdom Conference
WINAIR discontinues service to Anguilla