By Today Newspaper
GREAT BAY – There were only happy faces at the conclusion of the Inter-Parliamentary Kingdom Consultation yesterday. Desiree de Sousa-Croes left the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino on her way back to Aruba with a smile on her face and elsewhere, still in the building, Dutch delegation leader Jeroen Recourt was all satisfaction too.
“It is about working together and achieving results,” Zita Jesus-Leito from Curacao said. The time that delegations walked out of the Ipko-meetings in a huff is seemingly a thing of the past. The kingdom may come down hard on the islands at times, but the parliamentary delegations are on one line – and happy to be there,
“This is the end of a long week,” said Mike Franco, chair of the parliament in Curacao. “This was not the easiest Ipko we have had, because we have been discussing difficult issues and the dispute regulation took up a long time. Now we have an agreement that has brought us much closer together.” Franco said that Ipko is a platform where the parliaments can discuss their problems and find solutions. “It has become much more mature. There is no walking away anymore, and that is very helpful.”
George Pantophlet (National Alliance), leader of the St. Maarten delegation echoed Franco’s sentiments. “The most important issue is the dispute regulation. We have again made small steps forward.”
“The cooperation between the four countries is moving in the right direction,” Jeroen Recourt (PvdA) said. “Not only where it concerns the dispute regulation, but also in other fields like education and discrimination.”
Recourt said that he is impressed with the steps the public prosecutor’s office has in mind to tackle human trafficking.
The main issue of this Ipko however, was the dispute-regulation, Recourt said. “It reminds me a bit of my hobby – running. On the flat you take big steps but if you have to go up a hill you take smaller steps. We made big steps during the previous Ipko. That dispute-regulation will come, though it won’t be today or tomorrow.”
Ruard Ganzevoort (GreenLeft, First Chamber) noted that the countries have common interests. “We can strengthen each other and learn from each other, and we have a responsibility towards our population in fields like safety, social security and discrimination.”
Marisol Lopez-Tromp (Aruba) expressed her disappointment about the lack of progress on the government-level with the dispute regulation. “At the parliamentary level we have to continue making steps forward. The Ipko is characterized by cooperation.”
Fellow-Aruban René Herdé was upbeat: “We have made progress on every topic. There is no topic that we cannot discuss and that we cannot reach an agreement about.” Herdé mentioned Small Island Developing States, climate change and the amendment Aruba has proposed to change the double language-test in the nationality law.
Herdé acknowledged that “it is a long road” towards the dispute regulation. “But we are getting closer,” he said, “The end is in sight.”
Chairlady Sarah Wescot-Williams, who received accolades from all delegations for the organization of the Ipko, noted that she had cautioned against criticism targeting the added value and usefulness of the meetings. “Now there is a feeling of contentedness about the dispute-regulation, one of the hot topics of this Ipko. We also pursue the possibility of traveling between the islands on ID-cards and we have discussed energy, healthcare and climate change. In the margin there have been questions about transportation to Saba and Statia.”
Source: 721 news Delegations content with Ipko-results