Special attention should be placed on the amount of raw sewage that are being pumped in the lagoon.
PHILIPSBURG:--- The third quad-partite meeting that involves the State of France, The Netherlands, the government of St. Maarten and the Collectivity of St. Maarten is scheduled to take place on St. Maarten on Wednesday next week at the A. C Wathey Legislative Hall starting at 8am announced Prime Minister of St. Maarten William Marlin.
The Prime Minister told members of the media that the agreement among the countries states that these annual meetings will be held in a different country each year.
On the agenda for discussions are the following points:-
• Military Cooperation
• Border Control
• Implementation of the Police Cooperation
• Treaties that relates to the preparation and cross border between the two sides of the island which will include, education, health care, social welfare, whereby parties will try to establish a cooperation structure between the two sides of the island.
• The European Union Affairs will also be discussed, while they will follow up on the current discussions that relatives to the EU funding and projects that are co-financed by the EU.
The Prime Minister also gave some updates on the trips he attended in Aruba regarding the Aruba Day celebration and the P-3A meetings where more than 38 nations attended the conference.
On the ongoing discussions regarding the sewage plant that is to be built in the Simpson Bay Lagoon Marlin welcomed the involvement of the Parliament of St. Maarten who would be organizing a tour of the Simpson Bay lagoon. The Prime Minister said when the tour takes place one of the things that the Members of Parliament will see is the amount of sewage drainage inside the Simpson Bay Lagoon. Marlin said there are about 28 drain pipes that are draining raw sewage inside the lagoon currently. He said if government does not address the current situation then very soon the Simpson Bay lagoon will become a polluted area with raw sewage. He asked if those persons that are contesting the location for the new project are not concerned about the amount of raw sewage that is currently draining inside the lagoon. He said instead those persons that are complaining about the actions government is taking to clean up the lagoon once and for all should start thinking what will happen to the lagoon in the near future if nothing is done to clean up the raw sewage that is pumped into the lagoon on a daily basis.
On the matter of Electoral Reform the Prime Minister confirmed that he already got the report from the committee who made some suggestions as to how they should approach the voting rights for persons and or students living abroad. Marlin said the committee wants to have persons who lived in St. Maarten for at least ten years to have the rights to vote, this he said opens up the possibility for persons now living abroad could vote. However, Marlin said that he did not get the opportunity to fully analyze that part of the advice to see if this is for persons that lives anywhere in the world or if it just meant for persons who lives within the Kingdom. He did say if it is global then it will create an organizational challenge since there are persons who moved to various Caribbean islands and other countries.
On the issue of ship jumping the committee in its advice states that Ministers would need the support of the majority on the political party on which he or see elected in order to appoint a Minister. He said if this is taken up in the reform then Independent Members of Parliament will not be able to solely appoint Ministers.