>NEW YORK – During her visit to the UN Security Council Hearing on Haiti, Prime Minister Leona Romeo Marlin met with the Ambassadors of CARICOM-member states accredited to the United Nations. On the agenda was the status of Sint Maarten’s application for associate membership to CARICOM and its relationship with other countries in the region. Addressing the first point was the Permanent Representative of CARICOM to the United Nations who indicated that consideration is still being given to the applications of Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten. The process for membership is being looked at in the context of CARICOM’s expansion plan.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Romeo Marlin highlighted Sint Maarten’s progress in recovery including the most recent joining of the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) which is a regional catastrophic fund for Caribbean governments to limit the financial impact devastating hurricanes and earthquakes by quickly providing financial liquidity. I also indicated interest in the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), an inter-regional network of emergency units in the Caribbean. The Ambassadors underscored Sint Maarten’s continued hospitality as home to many of the Caribbean diaspora and the economic importance of the island in the region. They indicated a desire to see greater inclusion of the island in regional organizations.
Prime Minister Leona Romeo Marlin wrapped up the visit with a meet and greet with the staff of the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations. The meeting included a discussion with the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), which assists persons looking to conduct business in the Netherlands.
The agency expressed its willingness to assist Sint Maarten in identifying investors whose priorities align with those of the country. During the meeting the Prime Minister indicated the importance of targeted and well focused investment now during the reconstruction phase and welcomed the assistance from the investment agency. Offers were also made, among others, by the Cultural Diplomacy arm of the Mission to highlight the arts and artists from Sint Maarten at the Mission.
This initiative was well received underscoring the important role that the arts continues to play in Sint Maarten and the wealth of artists on island and those representing the island abroad.