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Deputy Minister Plenipotentiary new year message: Grass roots growth through solutions in Cooperation.

hellisinthenetherlands03012018I, Hasani Ellis Deputy Minister Plenipotentiary, on Friday, December 22nd, had the privilege to attend the launch of The Netherland’s membership on the UN Security Council at the Peace Palace in The Hague. It was truly a humbling moment for me to return to the library where I sought insight on international dispute regulations as a student.
This year, 2017 has truly been a year that has tested the fortitude of St. Maarten and the Kingdom. By saying so, I would like to open 2018 by calling on local and European counterparts to cooperate and find solutions. For the lack of cooperation, will only lead to long-term risks for the people of St. Maarten.
For Example, there is a lot of Industrial waste accumulating on the dump, what happens when the resorts finalize demolition works and also need to dump waste? A simple solution can derive in the form of a barge that comes to St. Maarten and collects the waste that has been accumulated. Here I would look at the industrial nations to assist in sourcing such a barge. The same solution through cooperation lies at our medical center. People can sing high or low about a new hospital, but unless I see referral quotas from our kingdom, regional, and U.S partners I cannot assess whether or not we will be rebuilding a medical center or building a new hospital.
Many studies have been done, and many experts both local and regional have advised and continue to advise us. It is time for solutions and I can only hope that we as one people will choose to stop fighting each other and be transparent as many opportunities have been lost in this process. To be totally honest our airport which makes us a transportation sub hub needs to be rebuilt, and not tomorrow but yesterday.
Serving as Deputy Minister Plenipotentiary has been the highlight of my career in the good times and the bad. Sitting in this seat I have facilitated and witnessed a magnitude of aid and assistance come to the people of St. Maarten, and cannot close 2017 without thanking all organizations and volunteers who dedicated time and efforts to assist St. Maarten.
My tenure comes at a time where there have been many changes in global politics. Recently, the American president has changed followed by the Dutch Cabinet and the French government in France and St. Martin. All three countries most definitely affect St. Maarten’s economy and political climate.
The passing of Irma only further solidified our vulnerable position as a small island developing state in a hurricane belt. Yet as a young man growing up in St. Maarten I was told that it is adversity that makes me strong. While adversity may deprive us, it is in times of adversity that we test our fortitude. In closing, I would like to thank the people of St. Maarten for their support and insight while doing my job as deputy Minister Plenipotentiary. I wish you strength, and a bright and prosperous 2018. May God bless the people of St. Maarten and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

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