The Dutch Government will intensify the cooperation with the justice sectors in Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten. This is in the interest of the Dutch public entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, but also of the Kingdom as a whole.
Dutch Minister of Security and Justice Ard van der Steur and State Secretary of Security and Justice Klaas Dijkhoff stated this in a letter to the Dutch Parliament which was released on Thursday. The letter contained details for the further development of the security and justice sector in the Caribbean Netherlands. (See related article)
“It is important that the law enforcement and border protection system functions well in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. This is also important for the Dutch constitutional state and the international relations,” Van der Steur and Dijkhoff stated.
“Practical cooperation with Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten in various areas is essential for an adequate realisation of the input of Security and Justice in the Caribbean Netherlands. Steps have already been made, such as in the area of ICT, police training, cooperation between the Chiefs of Police and a policy assistant of the ministry who works on the cooperation between the regional police forces,” stated the Minister and State Secretary.
There is also cooperation of Dutch Caribbean countries and the Netherlands between the Prosecutor’s Offices, the penitentiary facilities, the Fire Departments, the immigration system, the combating of human trafficking and smuggling, and requests for legal aid.
“In many situations, a close cooperation with a nearby neighbour is more practical and natural than a cooperation between the three public entities or with the Netherlands,” stated Van der Steur and Dijkhoff, who did note that the commitment to intensify the regional cooperation was also agreed upon during the biannual meeting of the four Justice Ministers of the Kingdom.
The Minister and State Secretary mentioned the shortage in quality and quantity in different areas of the justice sector in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. “Joint solutions for social problems are beneficial for all involved. This requires a regional approach.”
Support from the Netherlands will remain needed and desirable in cases where the capacity or expertise is not available in the region or where it concerns certain tasks that requires the input of persons outside the region, for example in some criminal investigations.
According to Van der Steur and Dijkhoff, the international cooperation in the Caribbean region has been increasingly successful. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the four countries of the Kingdom and the United States regarding law enforcement was signed in Amsterdam on June 2 this year.
Talks with the Canadian Government to achieve a similar MoU will start soon, announced the Minister and State Secretary. Also, the actual execution of the October 1, 2015, agreement between the Kingdom and France regarding the island-wide cooperation of the police forces in St. Maarten/St. Martin is being discussed.
The Daily Herald.