Working visit by State Secretary Van Huffelen to Caribbean part of Kingdom

State Secretary Alexandra Van Huffelen waves as she boards a WINAIR flight


THE HAGUE – PHILIPSBURG State Secretary Alexandra van Huffelen of Kingdom Relations and Digitalisation will visit Aruba, Bonaire, Saba, St. Eustatius and Sint Maarten from the 26th to the 31st of May. This is expected to be her last working visit to the islands. The visit is marked by the Governors’ Consultation in Aruba, the conclusion of a governance agreement in Bonaire and the official opening of a social housing project in Saba. 

Governors’ meeting Aruba

In Aruba, the State Secretary will participate in consultations with the three governors of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. This is a regular, recurring consultation formally included in the Governors’ Regulation. In Aruba, the State Secretary will visit the University of Aruba where, among other things, she will tour the recently renovated Maria Convent building on the university campus with European funds. With a contribution of over €7 million from the EU, this building has been transformed into a modern teaching facility. During her stay in Aruba, the State Secretary will meet with the island’s LGBTQI+ community and will be introduced to Aruba’s new Attorney-General. 

Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius

On the 28th of May, the State Secretary will sign the new governance agreement with Bonaire. Some eye-catching components are the programme ‘Working on Welfare and Prosperity’, the extra impetus to the protection and development of Papiamentu, the focus on manageable growth and economic development and the ambition to arrive at a ‘Region deal’ for Bonaire. On Bonaire, the State Secretary will engage with residents about living with a disability on the island.

On St. Eustatius and Saba, the State Secretary will hold talks with the Executive Councils of the islands on the progress and implementation of the 2023 administrative agreements. On St. Eustatius, the State Secretary will visit various locations that are part of the region deal. The visit will also be used as an opportunity to discuss with stakeholders the progress of solving the goat problem on the island.

The visit to the islands will also focus on the progress of realising affordable housing and spatial planning on the islands. The State Secretary will open the ‘Under the Hill 2’ housing project on Saba on Thursday the 30th of May. The State Secretary will also visit a future construction site for affordable housing. 

Sint Maarten

The visit ends on the 31st of May in Sint Maarten where a meeting will be held with the members of the now outgoing cabinet of Sint Maarten.

Source: RCN Press Release