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Department of The National Reporting Center and St. Maarten Chinese Community Foundation Unite Against Human Trafficking and Smuggling

reportingcenter05122023PHILIPSBURG:--- In a concerted effort to alter the global perception of St. Maarten's status in combating Human Trafficking and Human Smuggling, The National Reporting Center (NRC), falling under the Ministry of Justice, continues its series of introductory sessions with various entities and associations to launch informative campaigns to raise awareness against Human Trafficking and Smuggling.

The St. Maarten Chinese Community Foundation (SCCF) is considered a key stakeholder in the NRC combatting strategy, and this invitation to meet and discuss these issues in an open and overwhelmingly positive manner. They expressed sincere interest and gratitude for the NRC outreach and have eagerly embraced the opportunity for collaboration. The NRC shared the importance of raising Sint Maarten’s Trafficking in Persons Tier III ranking, and how this status affects our community.

The SCCF emphasized their commitment to demonstrate an unwavering stance against Human Smuggling and Trafficking. They pledged to make their commitment public, actively promoting the fight against these grave injustices within their community and the wider public.

During the discussions, the SCCF raised concerns regarding the challenges faced with regulating the status of their employees and shared the differences between their work culture from traditional Western culture. Notwithstanding the abovementioned, these concerns reflect an interest of the SCCF to enhance transparency and the ease of doing business on the island.

The NRC and the SCCF are now poised to work closely together in raising awareness, improving accessibility, upholding human rights, and jointly combatting the crimes of human trafficking and human smuggling. This partnership signifies a significant step forward in addressing these critical issues on St. Maarten. Together, they aim to make a lasting impact and create a safer, more inclusive environment for all.


Pursuit and Arrest at Causeway Bridge: Joint collaboration between Police of the Dutch And French side.

causewaybridge05122023PHILIPSBURG:--- In the early hours of Tuesday morning, December 5th, 2023, at approximately 00:30 AM, an incident unfolded in the vicinity of the Causeway Bridge. A patrol in Simpson Bay attempted to stop the driver of a gray Suzuki Swift as it crossed the Causeway towards the French Border. The driver, however, refused to comply, initiating a pursuit.

During the pursuit, the driver lost control of the Suzuki, catapulting over the center point of the roundabout and landing on the opposite side. The driver of the swift exited the car and fled, disappearing into the bushes near the roundabout.

Upon inspecting the abandoned vehicle, officers discovered a firearm, which was immediately confiscated. Recognizing the gravity of the situation, the French Police were also informed and joined efforts with their Dutch side counterparts. A thorough search was initiated for the suspect in question.

After an extensive joint operation, officers from both sides successfully located and apprehended the suspect, identified as F.R.G. He was taken into custody without further incident and transported to the Philipsburg station for questioning.

The Sint Maarten Police Force expresses gratitude to all officers involved from both sides of the island for their coordinated efforts and dedication, which led to the resolution of this incident. The collaboration between Dutch and French side authorities underscores the commitment to ensuring the safety and security of our communities. F.R.G. remains in custody as the investigation unfolds.


KPSM Press Release.


ARAJET Wins Best Start Up Airline at The World Aviation Summit.

arajet05122023Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates:---  Arajet, the low-price airline of the Caribbean, won the Best Startup Airline of the World at the CAPA Awards this Tuesday, at the World Aviation Summit during which nine other global aviation and airport awards were also given.

Arajet, a Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic-based airline, was selected among more than 20 airlines that have started operations in the last three years, based on having been “the most innovative among all the new airlines of the world and having the greatest impact on the aviation industry globally,” highlighted the CAPA Awards.

Arajet is notable among other new airline for having a fleet of six new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft operating, and will end the year with eight, and that it has an order with The Boeing Company that could see its fleet exceed 45 aircraft by 2027. These latest generation aircraft have significantly lower fuel burn and less noise than prior generations. In addition, the new airline transported more than half a million passengers in its first year.

Víctor Pacheco Méndez, CEO, and founder of Arajet, thanked the distinction saying “We are very proud of this award, which is the recognition of a dream come true. Arajet is the story of a startup that was born from the desire of the Dominican diaspora could travel to our country at low prices. Today that dream is much bigger because we have turned the Dominican Republic into the new Hub of the American Continent, connecting 22 destinations in 16 countries that allow more than 150 connection possibilities, in just one year.”

Meanwhile, Gardiner Porter, sales director for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, who was present at the award ceremony, congratulated Pacheco Méndez, and highlighted that Arajet has been an extraordinary partner for The Boeing Company, which fills them with pride, since it is the first operator of the 737-8 that obtains this recognition.

Arajet stood out at the CAPA Awards, which are the aviation industry's leading global awards, where Alaska Airline won Best Airline/Airline Group of the year, and London Gatwick Airport won best large airport of the world.

Pacheco Méndez dedicated the award to the Dominican people and to the more than 400 Arajet employees who have worked hard to make this dream a reality, while thanking the government of the Dominican Republic for hosting and supporting this venture for the benefit of connectivity of the country and for all Latin America.

The Chain is as Strong as its Weakest Link.

firedepartment04122023PHILIPSBURG:--- This was the theme of a joint training held recently with the Emergency Services of St. Maarten which consisted of the Ambulance Department, SMMC, Fire Department, Police Department, Dutch Marines, and the Regional Ambulance Services (RAV) Brabant, the Netherlands.
Following presentations that were given to each agency the day before, the Emergency Services started training together and there were two scenarios, one with drowning victims and the other with a car accident in which assistance was requested by the civilian partners from the Dutch Marines.
The Emergency Services learned a lot working together and the chain has been tightened again. Head of the Ambulance Department of Ministry Public Health, Social Development & Labor drs. Cylred Richardson says that these types of joint training are of utmost importance and will continue in the future.
Minister Ottley, applauds the efforts of cooperation demonstrated by the Emergency Services of St. Maarten.

HIV Remains a Pressing Public Health Issue. Let Communities Lead.

PHILIPSBURG(DCOMM):--- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), globally, 9.2 million people do not have access to the HIV treatment that they need.

Each day 1700 lives are lost from HIV-related causes, and 3500 people are infected, with many not knowing their status or having access to treatment.

Innovations in HIV tools, such as a powerful once-a-day pill for HIV treatment and accessible viral load testing, have enabled significant progress.

The fact that people living with HIV, who take their HIV treatment as prescribed and have no virus detectable in their blood, have zero risk of transmitting HIV to their sexual partners, is just one such example.

This was the result of years of advocacy and investment and is a reminder that the target of ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 is achievable, provided there is sufficient political will and sustained investments.

World AIDS Day was observed on December 1st. The theme was: “Let Communities Lead.” The theme marks the pivotal impact communities have had in shaping the HIV response, as well as global health at large.

Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department in the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor (Ministry VSA), commemorates World AIDS Day as part of its calendar of annual observances, along with a number of stakeholders including the St. Maarten AIDS Foundation which is one of the leading community organizations.

CPS encourages the community to educate and inform themselves about the latest developments related to AIDS and HIV.

World AIDS Day is an opportunity to reflect on the progress made to date, raise awareness about the challenges that remain to achieve the goals of ending AIDS by 2030 and mobilize all stakeholders to jointly redouble efforts to ensure the success of the HIV response.

Let Communities Lead.

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