Border control progress committee has first meeting | THE DAILY HERALD


Border control progress committee at its first meeting at the Philipsburg police station Monday.

PHILIPSBURG–The progress committee tasked with monitoring the implementation of the joint regulation on border control held its first meeting at the police headquarters in Philipsburg on Monday to discuss the actions that have taken place to strengthen St. Maarten’s borders.   The agreement with the Netherlands was signed in December of 2017.

  The committee is also tasked with advising the responsible ministers of St. Maarten and the Netherlands on the progress and implementation of the agreements made and on the basis of the joint regulation for which a joint plan of approach was written. This joint plan of approach outlines how the agreement will be executed and how the assistance provided by the Netherlands will be delivered. The end date of the agreement is January 1, 2020.


  The progress committee consisting of representatives of St. Maarten and the Netherlands in charge of border control in their respective countries discussed the positive steps that are being taken by St. Maarten’s border control and law enforcement agencies (Immigration, Customs, Coast Guard) with assistance from the Royal Dutch Marechaussee and Dutch Customs to bolster the country’s borders.

  Through the funding that has been made available to the border control and law enforcement agencies, the necessary resources are being obtained, and training and recruitment of new staff have contributed to the strengthening of these organisations in the execution of their tasks on the border. The agencies also informed the committee that increased cooperation and the sharing of information have led to more targeted actions via a multidisciplinary approach.

  Minister of Justice Cornelius de Weever said on Thursday, “There are a few progress committees monitoring the work that our departments do and I am encouraged to continue making the necessary changes and reforming the Ministry of Justice based on the positive results and recommendations. We have to hold ourselves accountable for every needed change and continue to improve life for the residents and visitors of St. Maarten.”

  The meeting ended with working visits to Port of St. Maarten, Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) and Coast Guard headquarters. During the visits committee members witnessed first-hand the improvements that have been made on border control and heard from the staff of different agencies about how they are experiencing the improvements.

  The next progress committee meeting will be held in the first quarter of 2019.

Source: The Daily Herald