Minister Doran-York attends 39th session of UNESCO’s General Conference in Paris.

PARIS, France:— The honourable Minister Plenipotentiary, Mrs. Henrietta Doran-York presented Sint Maarten’s national statement to the 39th session of the UNESCO General Conference on November 4th, 2017 in Paris.
The well-received address, which was presented on behalf of the Government of Sint Maarten, and in particular the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, Ms. Silver is Jacobs, shared Sint Maarten’s accomplishments as it relates to promoting UNESCO’s ideals and mandate over the past two years and visions for the country on behalf of the Government of Sint Maarten.
A notable accomplishment in the area of cultural heritage was the hosting of Intangible Cultural Heritage Workshops in collaboration with UNESCO and the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Minister Doran-York highlighted the need of rebuilding and sustaining the cultural and national heritage on an even larger scale due to the damages sustained on Sint Maarten by the passing of hurricane Irma.
Further achievements emphasized during the Minister’s address in this area were the finalizing of Sint Maarten’s first intangible Cultural heritage inventory list in June 2016 and commencing a program to digitalize our cultural artifacts and archives in order to further protect and preserve our heritage. In addition, Sint Maarten’s intention to co-ratify the 2001 Convention on the protection of the underwater cultural heritage was mentioned. This Convention along with the enforcement of Sint Maarten’s National Maritime ordinance will assist with the prevention of pillage, destruction and commercial exploitation of our Underwater cultural heritage.
Regarding education, Minister Doran-York shared that two Caribbean Technology & Education conferences were held on Sint Maarten in 2015 and 2016. The goal of these conferences was to bring together hundreds of persons in the region from the education sector to focus on the use of ICT, technology and 21st century learning.
In addition, it was noted that the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sports had embarked on the “Inspiring our Students with Technology and Education Project” also referred to as the iSTEP project. The Minister stated that this multi-annual project aims at facilitating the transitioning from the traditional classroom setting to a modern learning environment.
Moreover, Minister Doran-York shared with the General Conference the acceptance of Sint Maarten this year to the UNESCO Global Network of Learning cities, in an effort to continue facilitating the improvement of quality of life and equal opportunity for continued learning.
Furthermore, in her address the Minister proudly shared that Sint Maarten submitted a joint nomination with Suriname and Curacao to the regional registry of the UNESCO Memory of the World Regional Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean entitled “The Documentary heritage of the enslaved people of the Dutch Caribbean”, which was approved on October 26th,2017.
In closing, Minister Doran-York expressed that although Sint Maarten was severely impacted by Hurricane Irma, the people of Sint Maarten are strong, resilient, and hardworking. The Minister further underlined that Sint Maarten is in the process of building back better and focusing on working together to achieve 21st century learning skills for all its people in order to thrive locally, regionally and globally.
The Minister’s statement was well received and various delegations approached and congratulated Minister Doran-York expressing solidarity with Sint Maarten during these difficult times, after the passing of Hurricane Irma, and wished the country well in its future endeavours.
During the conference, Minister Doran-York also had the opportunity, together with the Secretary-General to UNESCO of Sint Maarten, Ms. Marcellia Henry, and advisor to the Minister Plenipotentiary, Ms. Carol Voges, to thank the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to UNESCO, Mr. Lionel Veer and his staff for coordinating the Kingdom activities in preparation for the 39th session of the UNESCO General Conference and their pleasant working relationship with UNESCO Sint Maarten since the last conference 2 years ago. The Ambassador was presented with a token of appreciation on behalf of Sint Maarten’s government and its people.

Source: St. Martin News Network