The Daily Herald announces that Princess Beatrix will open the Kingdom Youth Parliament on St. Maarten on Tuesday, May 20. During her four-day stay on the island, Her Royal Highness will also visit the Belvedere Community Centre, the Nature Foundation and the Simpson Bay Lagoon. Princess Beatrix will give a short address at the opening ceremony of the Kingdom Youth Parliament (KYP). She will attend some parts of the KYP which takes place from May 20 to 22. She will speak with some members of the five participating teams from Aruba, Curaçao, St. Maarten, the Netherlands and the Caribbean Netherlands.
The former Queen will also attend the handing over ceremony of the history booklet “Unity in Diversity – 200 Years Kingdom, the Netherlands and the six Caribbean islands in years”. Chairlady of the National Committee 200 Years Kingdom Ank Bijleveld-Schouten will hand over the first copies to a group of students of the St. Maarten Academy on Wednesday, May 21. The booklet will be distributed among all students of the lower classes of the HAVO and VWO and the upper classes of MAVO/ VSBO on Aruba, Curaçao, St. Maarten, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. The booklet contains a timeline with years referring to the major historic events on all islands. Aside from the historic overview, the booklet also has points of reference that teachers can use to focus on the history of their island.
The KYP is a joint initiative of the National Committee 200 Years Kingdom and the Committee Kingdom Relations. Five teams with a total of 50 youngsters will gather at the University of St. Martin (USM) for three days of debating on themes such as education, culture, sustainable development and children rights, giving their vision on the current status and the future of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The KYP programme starts on Monday, May 19, with a meet-and-greet of the youngsters and the members of the National Committee 200 Years Kingdom and the Committee Kingdom Relations. The formal opening and the start of the debates take place on May 20. The debates continue on May 21, when there will also be workshops and a formal dinner. The next day, Thursday, May 22, will be used to draft a final declaration. The day will be closed off with a final party. On Friday, May 23, will be the farewell and departure of the visiting teams. The KYP is the third event of the National Committee 200 Years Kingdom after the start of the celebration on November 30, 2013. The celebration serves to reflect the common past, today and the future, and to rejoice what connects all residents of the Kingdom: a democracy with equal rights and obligations for everyone.
After the KYP on St. Maarten, there will be three more events in Maastricht on August 30, 2014, in Zwolle on April 18, 2015 and the final event in Amsterdam on September 26, 2015. As of today, the web magazine on www.200jaarkoninkrijk.nl dedicates full attention to the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom. Featured are, among other areas, interview with some members of the KYP teams.
During her stay on St. Maarten, Princes Beatrix will make use of the opportunity to visit two organisations of which she is the patroness, the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) and the United Nations Children Fund UNICEF. UNICEF has proposed a project to support the care and guidance of children on St. Maarten. As such, the Princess will visit the Belvedere Community Centre where she will receive a tour and talk about children rights with various people.
As patroness of the DCNA, Princess Beatrix will visit the Nature Foundation St. Maarten. She will receive an explanation of the foundation’s project to replant mangroves in the Simpson Bay Lagoon and other aspects of nature management during a boat tour of the lagoon.