>PHILIPSBURG – On Friday December 14th, a high level delegation representing CARICOM paid a working visit to Sint Maarten to engage in discussions to further formalize the application of Associate Membership to CARICOM by the Government of Sint Maarten. The Honorable Secretary General Ambassador of CARICOM Irwin LaRocque led the CARICOM delegation.
Prime Minister Leona Romeo Marlin and Minister of TEATT Stuart Johnson represented the Council of Ministers during the meeting and discussed areas of mutual benefit and potential cooperation while seeking Associate Membership within CARICOM.
CARICOM Heads of Government earlier this year mandated Secretary-General Ambassador Larocque to begin the process of negotiations with the Dutch Territories in order to better determine their expectations of Associate Membership, and what benefits the relationship could yield for the Community. Prior coming to Sint Maarten the CARICOM delegation visited Aruba and Curacao.
The Secretary General Ambassador of CARICOM shared with the Government of Sint Maarten that Associate Membership allowed Sint Maarten access to the majority of meetings and opened the door to regional organizations such as CDEMA, Climate Change Center and CADI. It is worthwhile to note that Sint Maarten already benefits from its association in organizations such as the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC).
The Secretary General Ambassador of CARICOM Irwin LaRocque also paid a courtesy visit to His Excellency Governor Eugene Holiday before concluding his working visit to Sint Maarten.