The Kingdom Youth Parliament (KYP) closing ceremony in St. Maarten, which was also Princess Beatrix’ last public event, was streamed on live television. It concluded with the first copy of the results handed to Princess Beatrix. A second round of copies was handed to various delegation leaders by the youngest members of each KYP team. The 50 KYP members ranged in ages from 14-24 and had been chosen from a group of over 150. Click here to meet the Team of the BES Islands .
Two Saban girls were part of the team of the BES islands: Elsa Peterson and Nataly Linzey.
After the closing session there was an evaluation of the debates that took place. Prices were awarded for the best debaters. Categories included:
– the best debaters junior and senior;
– the funniest debater;
– the best one-liner and;
– a combination of the funniest debater and best one liner (so two in one).
The price for the Best Debater-senior was awarded to Machiel van Straten from The Netherlands. According to Nataly Linzey “I believe it was rightfully so because of Machiel’s approach to the whole debate. He always remained calm and polite. Never got exited, even when the discussions got heated. He kept cool. It is not just his debating style, it is who he is. One thing I think we can all agree on, is that he didn’t listen to respond, he listened to understand. He’s not only a great debater, but an even greater teammate.”
Saba can be proud as the Runner-up Best Debater -Senior is our own Nataly Linzey. In her own words: “I don’t have such a calm approach like Machiel, as I tend to have a more direct and bold approach when it comes to making a point. According to the jury, I got the award because I was the one asking ‘the critical questions which gave direction to where the debates were headed”.
The one liner award went out to our youngest parliamentarian, Shanna from team St. Maarten whereas the best debater in the juniors went out to Warren from curacao. The funniest debater award went out to Reiner from Statia and Mohamed Xanen got the combination award for funniest one-liner because of the speech he gave during the closing declaration. He was bold enough to trip on the nightlife in the Netherlands, which saw to it that the whole room laughed out loud.
Asked about her assessment of the Kingdom Youth Parliament, Nataly explained: “Let me just say that we didnt battle against each other, we battled together. I have never felt more unified than now. I’m not just an island girl. I’m a kingdom girl.
The past 3 days were really the start of what may be a challenging and crucial era in which I will not only evolve as an individual, but where we will move forward as a body of young parliamentarians.
In short: in our final declaration we vowed to raise awareness of the Kingdom in each of our respective home fronts. We decided that, as a generation that communicates a lot through social media, we will tackle this matter by means of a Kingdom Youth Channel. On this platform different issues affecting our kingdom will be singled out. Not just considering individual parts of the kingdom, but the kingdom as a single entity.
Aside from that, we also brought forth Higher education as a key point which we would like to tackle. Two main issues in this area are:
– helping to reduce the issue of the so-called brain drain. This arose from the problem the islands are facing as their students are leaving for the Netherlands to study but not returning because of various reasons such as better work opportunities and the student loans they have to pay back. We decided to do this by working together with educational institutions and students directly. I can also state that we have some positive support from key players in this area.
– we will also tackle the issue of college drop outs by building a kingdom based platform where we not only exchange info essential for studying abroad, but also having a mentor/student buddy system in place to help guide our students.”
Nataly has already published a checklist for students planning to study in The Netherlands. You can read and download this here.