A sample of the diplomatic ID card.
PHILIPSBURG–The roll-out of a 2017 parliament amendment to the national ordinance on Identity Cards has commenced with the introduction of an identity card for members of the diplomatic corps on St. Maarten.
The identity card for a diplomat or a “privileged” person as the ordinance states will allow the cardholder to quickly show the authorities that he/she is entitled to perform consular functions on St. Maarten, which in turn provides them with a certain level of immunity and a number of privileges.
A diplomat or a “privileged” person based on this ordinance, is a member of a consular post, his/her family and his/her staff. As an official representative of the government of one state in the territory of another, the consul is there to assist and protect the interests of the citizens of the consul’s respective state and to promote cooperation and friendship.
St. Maarten is home to one resident consul representing the Dominican Republic who maintains a Consulate in Philipsburg. All other Consuls are located mainly in Curaçao, but also in other countries within the region.
St. Maarten is home to a number of honorary consuls. These persons, though not in direct service of a foreign state, work on behalf of a given state to help facilitate mainly citizen-related services. There are four officially-recognized honorary consuls in St. Maarten representing France, India, Guyana, and Canada.
By virtue of their work, consuls and honorary consuls are entitled to a certain level of protection in the execution of their tasks. This right is guaranteed by The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and is globally applicable.
Three categories of diplomats are recognized in St. Maarten – members of consular posts in St. Maarten, honorary consuls, and consuls in other countries visiting St. Maarten.
The ID Card for the system will be classed in Status A, B, C, or D and each card has a different colour to further assist in identifying the specific person concerned. The Red Card will be given to career consuls on Sint Maarten (Status A), vice-consuls (Status B), Dutch nationals or permanent residents employed at the consulate (Status C) or their family members and household help (Status D).
The Blue Card is earmarked for honorary consuls with either a Dutch nationality or in possession of a valid residence permit (Status C).
The Yellow Card will be given to career consuls and consular workers outside of St. Maarten that are accredited to work in St. Maarten. These fall into two categories career consuls (Status A) and honorary consuls and consular workers (Status C).
The St. Maarten Department of Foreign Relations has issued electronic and paper brochures describing the details of the ID cards for, in particular law enforcement personnel. The Department has concluded information sessions for consular agents accredited and resident in Curaçao, as well as consular agents that are resident on St. Maarten. Within short, the Department will commence training sessions for, in the first instance, government officials including police, immigration, and customs.
As the newest country in the Kingdom, the idea of diplomatic and consular privileges and immunities is a new concept. If in doubt, contact the Department on +1 721 542 2999/542 2026, via e-mail [email protected], or visit the Facebook – the Department of Foreign Relations of Sint Maarten to message with a question.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/86113-diplomatic-id-cards-introduced-here