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Wuite delivers National Statement to 40th Session of UNESCO General Conference.

joireenwuitehenry17112019PHILIPSBURG (DCOMM):--- On November 14, 2019, Minister Plenipotentiary Jorien Wuite delivered Sint Maarten’s National Statement at the 40th session of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) General Conference in Paris France.

The Sint Maarten delegation at the General Conference comprised of Marcellia Henry, Secretary-General for UNESCO, Sint Maarten and Carol Voges, Director of the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary, and Kamilah Gumbs, youth representative for the 11th UNESCO Youth Forum, who will be joining the delegation for the youth forum on November 18-19.

The delegation was part of a wider kingdom delegation including the Ministers of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands, Curacao and Aruba.

Minister Plenipotentiary Wuite, on behalf of the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, who was unable to attend the General Conference, shared the progress of Sint Maarten on behalf of the Government and the people of the country.

A major highlight of the speech related to the Department of Culture and the Sint Maarten National Commission for UNESCO officially launching Sint Maarten’s first Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) inventory under the awareness campaign, I.R.I.CH., which means ‘I Remember Intangible Cultural Heritage’.

Sint Maarten reaffirming its commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was another high point of the speech.

Minister Wuite also emphasized Sint Maarten’s strong support of the UNESCO Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Action Plan and UNESCO’s initiatives aimed at promoting the importance of mitigation and adaptation, as well as building the resilience of SIDS to impact climate change.

The Minister also accentuated that only by working together and granting SIDS an equal platform within global platforms, such as UNESCO, can we ensure the creation of a desirable future for all our children.

During the conference, Minister Marilyn M. Alcala-Wallé of Curacao, on behalf of the Dutch Kingdom signed the 2019 Regional Convention for the Recognition of Studies, Degrees, and Diplomas in Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean.

This instrument commits the signatory countries to adopt all necessary measures to recognize the studies, degrees, and diplomas of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean according to the terms contained in the new Convention.

The aim is to promote academic mobility in the region, intraregional cooperation, and regional integration.

Minister Plenipotentiary, Jorien Wuite and Marcellia Henry, Secretary General for UNESCO support the convention and the implications for Sint Maarten and look forward to our island ratifying the convention in the near future.

The Sint Maarten delegation also secured two high-level meetings with Directors of the Social and Human Sciences Sector at UNESCO where the Anti-Doping Convention and the Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme were discussed.

Outcomes of the meeting were the necessity for Sint Maarten to ratify the 2005 International Convention against Doping in Sport, and to be actively involved in the MOST programme.

Further collaboration for the MOST programme will also be explored between the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science in the Netherlands (OCW) and the Minister Plenipotentiary of Sint Maarten.

Another positive result was Sint Maarten obtaining the opportunity to participate in the upcoming Second UNESCO International Science School “Promoting youth leadership on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in the Caribbean” Regional event to be organized in Havana, Cuba, from 3 to 5 December 2019.


MP Brison, Mercelina, elected leader, deputy leader at UP party congress.

uppboardandleader17112019PHILIPSBURG:--- Member of Parliament Rolando Brison was officially elected leader of the United People (UP) party at a party congress held on Saturday at the Simpson Bay Resort. Member of Parliament Dr. Luc Mercelina was elected as Deputy Leader of the party and a new party board was voted in for the next two years.

Long-time party president Silvia Meyers was once again appointed as President of the Board. She will be joined on the board by Gina Illidge, Claudia Lista, Michael Granger, and Alfred Harley. The positions on the board will be determined at the very next board meeting.

In his address to the gathering, Brison said what St. Maarten needs is an evolution of politics. "It has to evolve where we are not afraid to work with each other in the benefit of the people and where the level of governing continues to elevate," he said. Referring to the new faces and members of UP, MP Brison said. "What I see before us is the new tide of politics, but on the foundation built by Theo Heyliger and the stalwarts of the UP party," he said.

He went on to speak about the bond he and Heyliger have cultivated over the years, from an intern in Heyliger's office as Commissioner of Tourism to working together as MP's. He said as a teenager, after spending time with Heyliger, he knew immediately that he wanted "to be like Theo." "I respect Theo Heyliger immensely and I am grateful and honored that he sees in me similar passion, vision, and ability to lead," Brison said.

MP Brison said the UP represents exactly what St. Maarten wants and the commitment of all candidates will be anchored in their love for their country. "We will have confidence in our nation's ability to govern itself autonomously, we will champion true justice for all citizens, we will unleash the true economic potential of our country and most importantly, we will show compassion and empathy for our fellow St. Maarteners."

mercelinabrison17112019Deputy Leader of the UP Dr. Luc Mercelina said the party's ideology is based on unity and inclusiveness, Integrity, Respect, Representation of our core Values, Norms, Morals and Ethics, Open communication and open approach. Playing on the party's "Stand UP" slogan, he asked all present to commit to the following 7 points:

1. Stand up for the reconstruction of the airport.
2. Stand up for the construction of the new hospital.
3. Stand up for the construction of social and affordable houses and facilitate roof repair.
4. Stand up for the construction of a new prison where the Human Rights are respected.
5. Stand up for the cleaning up of the island.
6. Stand up to combat poverty.
7. Stand up for more autonomy for our Country.

MP Brison specifically told the candidates present to view the snap elections of January 9 as a sprint. “We are doing this because we love our country and its people and we believe St. Maarten deserves better. We will run this campaign as a team and should the people of St. Maarten afford us the privilege of governing, we will forge a bright future for our home that includes everyone and leaves no one behind,” Brison said.

Conductor’s Workshop for NIA’S national youth orchestra.

juancristobalpalacios17112019PHILIPSBURG:--- The National Institute of Arts’ program “Music Brings People Together” will be hosting a 10-day workshop for the NIA’s NATIONAL YOUTH ORCHESTRA (YO) with Conductor Juan Cristobal Palacios who arrives on the island on Sunday, November 24, 2019.
Mr. Juan Cristóbal Palacios is a native of Caracas, Venezuela. He holds a BA in Music Theory and an MA in Composition both from Boston University; he also graduated from Yale University with an MA in Orchestra Conducting.

In Venezuela, he founded and was appointed as the first President and Music Director of the Fundación Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil de Chacao, which belongs to the “El Sistema” national music program. He also served as President of the Fundación Cultural Chacao, where he designed the entire cultural agenda for Chacao County. During his tenure at Chacao he produced a whole range of art manifestations from educational to recreational, from traditional art exhibits or ballet recitals to urban street art and contemporary dance.

Palacios passion for music education and more specific, community music programs, led him to develop an innovated program for the Fundación Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil de Chacao. All students registered in the program received instruction in the three fundamentals of instrument performance: solo repertoire, chamber music, and orchestral repertoire. The program started in 1993 with five musicians and five years later grew to more than 250 students playing in five different ensembles studying the fundamentals of music theory, music history, and instrumental performance. I am proud to say that of all the students that went through the program during my years in charge and decided to make music their life project, all became professional musicians and have been playing in professional orchestras as well as teaching music around the world.

Juan Cristóbal Palacios has been living in San Diego, California for the past decade where he became part of the Conductors’ Faculty at the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory. He is responsible for teaching three different ensembles at the Showcase Level. He has also been involved as a Teacher Artist and Supervisor with the Opus Community Program, which is the “El Sistema” Community program developed by the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory. This program is in charge of teaching the fundamentals of music to students that belong to the public education school system.

Palacios, as one of the thousands of soldiers from the “El Sistema”, strongly believes in the power that music education has on the youth; it provides them with an important tool for the future, a tool that can help to overcome and navigate the different paths of life. The discipline acquired through music learning can be translated into any activity or goal they would like to accomplish in life.

For his ability to impart knowledge, promotes enthusiasm, and intellectual curiosity among young people in 2000 Mr. Palacios received the “José María y Bote” Orden en su Primera Clase, the highest cultural award in Chacao County. Since 2006, he has been Principal of JCP Cultural Advisory; a group of professionals that help organizations create, improve, develop, and implement cultural programs.

“Students and teachers are looking forward to this special treat in preparation for the Holiday concerts in December. Parents will also enjoy a workshop by Mr. Palacios involving them in their child’s musical development” said Director Arlene Halley Newhouse. This program is partly funded by the Dutch Disaster Fund. Special thanks to the Belair Beach Hotel for providing a week’s lodging for Mr. Palacios. Stay tuned to the upcoming concert on December 7 which will be a festive affair in the heart of Philipsburg.

Governor Holiday receives final report from formateur S. Jacobs.

Harbour View:---  On Saturday evening, November 16, 2019, the Governor of Sint Maarten, His Excellency drs. E.B. Holiday, received the final report from formateur Ms. S. Jacobs.
The formateur has accepted the commission to form an interim government supported by a majority in Parliament comprised of the NA-fraction, the USP-fraction, and independent Members of Parliaments L. Mercelina, C. Brownbill, and R. Brison. The new government consists of Ministers who will, amongst others, give priority to conclude the legislation regarding the combating of money laundering and financing of terrorism, to execute the agreements made with The Netherlands regarding the financing of the national recovery of Sint Maarten, including the financing of the rehabilitation of the airport, to further prepare the execution of the elections, to take steps to realize electoral reform by bringing the Ordinance Registration and Finances of Political Parties and the Election Ordinance in accordance with the Constitution, and to concluding the budget for 2020.
Candidates for the various portfolios have been vetted based on the pertinent regulations regulating the pre-screening of candidates before nomination (National Decree Appointment procedure candidate Ministers and candidate Minister Plenipotentiary, May 22, 2013, No. LB-13/0442). The formateur has nominated the following persons for appointment:

1. Ms. Silveria Jacobs, Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs;
2. Mr. Christopher Wever, Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure, and Deputy Prime Minister;
3. Mr. Egbert Doran, Minister of Justice and Acting Minister of Public Health, Social Development, and Labor Affairs;
4. Mr. Ardwell Irion, Minister of Finance and Acting Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports;
5. Mr. Rene Violenus, Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport, and Telecommunication

The Governor has scheduled the appointment and swearing-in of the Ministers on Tuesday, November 19th, 10.00 hours, at the Governor’s Office. After the ceremony, the Governor and the newly appointed Ministers will have the constituting meeting at the Government Administration Building.

EXCULSIVE: Trouble in the UPP camp as Heyliger wants Johnson on slate.

theyligerrbrison17112019PHILIPSBURG:--- There is trouble in the UP camp as the founder of the United Peoples Party Theodore Heyliger is going back on his word where he agreed that incoming leader Rolando Brison will not have to put Stuart Johnson on the slate to contest the January 9th elections.
SMN News understands that during the negotiations Heyliger agreed with Brison and his team not to have the TEATT Minister on the slate because as MP Rolando Brison highlighted all the failures of the sitting Minister. The source said now that Heyliger won his first court battle he began bullying Brison to get the candidates he wants on the slate.
SMN News learned that Heyliger even stayed away from the party congress on Saturday evening that was held at La Patrona Restaurant. Heyliger was scheduled to attend the congress to hand over leadership of the party to Brison who left the United  St Maarten Peoples Party (USP) where he was given the number one spot. However, the board of UPP handed over leadership to Brison which was sanctioned by the Electoral Council.
SMN News learned that the congress gathered just about 60 persons and the UPP founder and new leader are busy renegotiating to have Johnson placed as the number 6th candidate. Sources within the party said that Grisha Martin and other candidates such as Luc Mercelina agreed with the UPP founder to have Johnson in the number 6th spot. Some candidates it is understood threatened to boycott the list if Johnson is placed on the UPP slate. UPP stands to lose at least 3 prominent candidates if the founder managed to get his way to put Johnson on the slate.
Based on the current line up the UPP will have the following candidates in their top spot.

• 1. Rolando Brison
• 2. Luc Mercelina
• 3.Omar Ottley’
• 4. Grisha Marten Heyliger.
• 5. Cookie Bijlani
• 6. Stuart Johson
• 7. Kevin Maingrette.


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