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Integrity Symposium A Success.

integritysymposium31052023PHILIPSBURG:--- The Integrity Chamber hosted its first Integrity Symposium at the American University of the Caribbean, under the theme: “Building Integrity to Build a Nation”. The symposium highlighted the need for building integrity, the challenges that must be overcome, and the importance of doing so collectively.
The Integrity Symposium opened with an official opening address by the Prime Minister of Sint Maarten, the honorable Silveria Jacobs. The opening address highlighted the importance of integrity being a shared value among all aspects of St. Maarten’s society and the role that technology can play in building trust and improving the quality of public services. Jacobs emphasized that “a nation built on integrity is one where corruption finds no fertile ground”.
The opening address was followed by an address by the President of the Integrity Chamber, Mrs. H.W. (Rian) Vogels. Vogels stated that “integrity is the cornerstone of good governance and essential in building public trust, fostering economic growth, and promoting social justice.” Six threats to integrity were highlighted: corruption, nepotism, conflicts of interest, lack of transparency, political interference, and inadequate oversight. Key measures to address and prevent these threats were outlined during the presentation.
The keynote speakers, Mr. Dion Abdool of Transparency International, and Professor Trevor Munroe of National Integrity Action, gave informative and inspiring speeches and regional perspectives.
Mr. Abdool outlined critical components of the National Integrity System and provided recent data on the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) in the region as it compares globally. In building a nation, Mr. Abdool emphasized the importance of having trust between society and government and the need to work towards our own "Caribbean Currency" of trust.
Professor Munroe congratulated the Integrity Chamber for convening the symposium and for their multidimensional awareness campaign to promote integrity. “Improved governance requires empowerment of people; the next logical step is action in building integrity”, stated Munroe. Other takeaways from Professor Munroe’s address were that corruption is a global issue that needs to be fought and that there is a lack of awareness of actions that citizens can take to combat integrity issues.
Members of the Integrity Chamber, Mr. Rafael Boasman and Mr. Hans Lodder, joined the two keynote speakers for the panel discussion. Questions from the audience ranged from how artificial intelligence will impact integrity, to the role of financial institutions in promoting integrity for civil society, and best practices for public and private sector.
Closing remarks were given by the director of the Integrity Chamber, Ms. Charna Pompier, who thanked those involved in ensuring the first Integrity Symposium was a success.
The Integrity Symposium can be viewed online via or via the Facebook or YouTube page of the Integrity Chamber.

NOAA Forecast up to 17 Named Storms. Up to Nine could become Hurricanes.

PHILIPSBURG (DCOMM):---  The United States Climate Prediction Center which is part of the National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is forecasting 12-17 named storms for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season.

The hurricane season officially starts on June 1st and ends on November 30th.

Of the 12-17-named storms, five to nine could become hurricanes, and one to four of those could become major hurricanes (category 3-5).

The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) which falls under the Fire Department (Ministry of General Affairs) headed by Fire Chief/Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson, is appealing to all residents and businesses to plan ahead and let’s ‘Be Prepared’ for the hurricane season.

The community is urged to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to prepare for a storm/hurricane strike by visiting the Government website: where you will be able to download your “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide’ and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.”

Listen to the Government Radio station – SXMGOV 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during, and after a hurricane. You can also follow weather-related news and information as well as national addresses by the Prime Minister, and chairlady of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) by going to @SXMGOV's Facebook Page.

For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): or visit their social media page

Remember, it only takes one hurricane to make it a bad season. Be prepared!

Update on Resurfacing of Union Road. Work to resume shortly.

PHILIPSBURG (DCOMM):---  Based on the information provided by Windward Roads BV to the cabinet of the Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment, and Infrastructure (Ministry of VROMI), preparation works for the resurfacing of Union Road, Cole Bay, along with improving some of the roads by, amongst other things, repairing foundations and fixing potholes, is scheduled to begin on June 1st, 2023. After the preparation of the Union Road, it will be resurfaced with a new layer of asphalt.
On May 8th, 2023, Windward Roads, as part of a contract with the Government of Sint Maarten, began removing the asphalt of a section of the Union Road in Cole Bay with the expectation to have the road resurfacing project completed within a few weeks.
Due to unforeseen circumstances with receiving the raw material for asphalt production from abroad due to technical problems with production and shipment, the raw materials were not received on time.
Windward Roads BV also has urgent obligations to apply asphalt at the Princess Juliana International Airport that were scheduled before and are of a very high priority.
Raw materials are now on the island, and the schedule for resurfacing can now be restarted. Windward Roads BV will begin the process of cleaning up the road and preparing to add the new layer of asphalt once the weather permits.
Windward Roads BV looks forward to completing this project as quickly as possible so that residents can feel more at ease using this major public road.

CPS: May 31 is World No Tobacco Day. Grow Food, Not Tobacco.

PHILIPSBURG  (DCOMM):--- A record 349 million people across 79 countries are facing acute food insecurity, many are in low- and middle-income countries, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

“Over 30 are on the African continent. Many of these countries use large areas of fertile land to grow tobacco rather than healthy food.

“Tobacco-growing countries often face a negative economic impact due to the adverse health, environmental and social impacts of growing tobacco. In many cases, foreign exchange earned from tobacco exports is used to import food.

“Growing tobacco causes ill health among farmers and farm workers and irreversible environmental loss of precious resources such as water sources, forests, plants and animal species,” - PAHO.

The theme for World No Tobacco Day on May 31 is “Grow Food, Not Tobacco.”

Every year, on 31 May, the World Health Organization (WHO) and global partners celebrate World No Tobacco Day (WNTD).

PAHO says the tobacco industry interferes with attempts to substitute tobacco growing, contributing to the global food crisis.

The 2023 PAHO campaign encourages governments to end tobacco growing subsidies and use the savings to support farmers to switch to more sustainable crops that improve food security and nutrition.

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department in the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, annually profiles the global theme for World No Tobacco Day which is part of the department's calendar of health observances.

For more information call CPS at 542-3003; or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ADECK discusses ambitions and future plans for SME sector with SER Curaçao.

sercuracao30052023Willemstad:--- On Friday, May 26, the Social Economic Council (SER) of Curaçao, represented by the Director/Secretary General and the advisors of the SER, received the board and the working group of Adeck, the interest association for small and medium-sized enterprises of Curaçao. During this visit, the ambitions and future plans of the board were discussed, as well as the usefulness and necessity of an interest association for the small and medium-sized businesses of Curaçao.
The meeting between the SER advisors and Adeck took place in a constructive and open atmosphere, where both parties had the opportunity to share their visions and insights. Adeck's board presented its ambitions and future plans, aimed at strengthening Curaçao's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). They stressed the importance of a strong interest group to represent the voice of SMEs and represent their interests to the government and other relevant agencies.
The SER showed great interest in Adeck's plans and recognized the crucial role of SMEs in the island's economy. SMEs play a vital role in creating jobs, stimulating innovation, and promoting sustainable economic growth. It was agreed on the importance of close cooperation between the interest association and the government to address the challenges and opportunities for SMEs and create a favorable business environment.
Several topics were also discussed during the meeting, including promoting entrepreneurship, improving access to finance for SMEs, enhancing competitiveness and promoting sustainability in business operations. Valuable insights were exchanged and concrete action points were identified to further strengthen the position of SMEs. Both parties are determined to make a positive contribution to the economic development of Curaçao and the creation of a favorable business climate for SMEs.

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