Fellow Citizens, Visitors and Friends of Sint Maarten/ Sint Martin,
Prior to the date of the transition from Island territory to the new Constitutional status of 'Country' Sint Maarten on 10-10-10, elected officials from North and South of the border decided to install a joint technical committee to deal with the increasing youth delinquency which started to plague our island.
November 11th 2012 we once again gather jointly to commemorate the signing of the treaty of Concordia. An agreement that basically paves the way for officials from Dutch and the French side to work together to ensure peace full living together or co-existence between the people of our island. The architects of the Treaty must be credited for their foresight three hundred and sixty four years ago.
Both local governments, with more autonomy (Collectivité, and 'Country' Sint Maarten) should have more freedom to tackle issues that are a threat to the peace full co-existence of the people of our island. This change should allow for a more efficient handling of issues that are a threat to our way of life as we knew it on our beautiful island.
I am convinced that the majority of our Youth are law abiding, family respecting, loving and supportive, caring, creative, athletic and school attending young men and women.
However, I share the concern of many that we must find a solution to prevent or bring on board those that fall between the cracks of society. U and I see them every day, everywhere on both sides of our island.
Hopefully, this November 11th 2012 will serve to revisit not only the actions the technical committee carried out since its installation. Hopefully, the Treaty of Concordia will serve to rekindle the spirit of both governments and the private sector to refocus its attention to making our island a kinder and gentler place to live and to raise our children. Leave no stones unturned to invest and support our Youth.
After All, our Youth is our Future.
Please enjoy a safe and happy St. Maarten's Day 2012.
Hon. Gracita Arrindell
Member of Parliament
United Peoples (UP) Party