SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – On Monday, January 23, 2023, the Honorable Minister of Justice Anna E. Richardson, Prison Director Mr. Steven Carty, and support staff welcomed the second mission of the United Nations Office for Project Service (UNOPS) back to Sint Maarten. This second visit by UNOPS is dedicated to engaging with key stakeholders for the planning and design phase of the new prison project (Sint Maarten Rule of Law Facilities).
In welcoming UNOPS back to Sint Maarten, Minister Richardson said that the government’s priority is to build a new prison infrastructure benefiting both the prison population and the employees of the prison. The Minister noted that “the construction of a new prison will help in creating the capacity that meets the country’s demand”. Prison director Carty echoed Minister Richardson’s sentiments and looked forward to the discussions held during the visit.
The current mission follows the signing of the project proposal agreement between the Government of Sint Maarten represented by Minister Richardson, UNOPS represented by Director of the UNOPS Multi-Country Office for Panama, Costa Rica and the English & Dutch Speaking Caribbean, Mr. Alejandro Rossi, and the Netherlands represented by State Secretary for the Interior and Kingdom Relations and Digitisation Mrs. Alexandra van Huffelen, and the signing of the letter of agreement between Sint Maarten and UNOPS which took place on December 7, 2022.
The mission is headed by Mr. William Squier Gonzalez, Head of Programmes, and his team consisting of a project support officer, a lead engineer, and a procurement specialist. The discussions held during this week’s visit along with the working group sessions will help to mobilize the project expeditiously by identifying the key components that need to be addressed in order to ensure timely implementation of phase I of the project. Also, included in the mission amongst other things are visits to His Excellency Governor Baly, a meeting and presentation to the Council of Ministers and upon the request of Minister Richardson, a visit and presentation to the Justice Committee of Parliament. The mission ends on January 27, 2023, after laying the groundwork for the establishment of a UNOPS office on Sint Maarten, which is scheduled to be operational in the month of February 2023.