PHILIPSBURG:--- The Parliament of St. Maarten will be meeting on Thursday to discuss the amended petition that was sent on February 17th, 2022 by the Coharis Law Firm to the “Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance and The Working Group of Experts On People of African Descent.”
Based on the information provided to SMN News, members of parliament were not informed that a second petition was filed on their behalf. They were only made aware when the news broke in Curacao by the lawyers representing St. Maarten’s Parliament.
Prior to the submission of the petition to the United Nations, the Prime Minister of St. Maarten Silveria Jacobs was not informed.
On February 25th Jacobs responded to the petition that was published on this website via a press release in which she said that the submission of the petition was premature, and dialogue was needed at all levels prior to approaching the United Nations.
On Wednesday SMN News asked the Prime Minister if the petition has had any negative effects on Kingdom Relations with St. Maarten and how much it has affected the ongoing negotiations with the Kingdom partners on the removal of the conditions placed on St. Maarten in exchange for liquidity support and the removal of the 12.5% on salary cuts. Jacobs said that she believed that open dialogue and transparency should always be at the forefront regarding decisions that are taken. While not divulging too much on her disappointment since the government of St. Maarten is working on building a better relationship with the Kingdom through the newly appointed Dutch State SecretaryAlexandra van Huffelen.
Jacobs said everyone in government including the coalition partners knows that the government of St. Maarten is at a new threshold in building a relationship with the new state secretary. She said the relationship that is currently being built shows that much more understanding and that the Kingdom is willing to meet St. Maarten halfway thus she believes that the government of St. Maarten is making headway when it comes to the Kingdom Relations.
Jacobs said when it comes to anything that has to do with the rights of the people of St. Maarten she will support that however, she would be the one to have that dialogue as needed, she made clear that St. Maarten is in discussions on the liquidity support and the try and alleviate the measures that were imposed on St. Maarten and its people and for her government that is their priority at this moment and certainly St. Maarten have to be strategic in their discussions while being open and transparent. She said that the government of St. Maarten including the Parliament of St. Maarten should put the needs of its people first when making decisions.
The Prime Minister made clear that the petition was submitted on behalf of the parliament of St. Maarten and there is a committee that was set up by parliament to handle such matters.