PM Silveria Jacobs.
PHILIPSBURG–St. Maarten has come a long way over the past eleven years, but the country still has a long way to go, Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs said in her Constitution Day message on Monday.
“We have come quite far, but we have very far to go. It is upon this foundation that we continue to build,” Jacobs said.
“The agreement of 10-10-10 is a historic achievement; the achievement of a status that reflects the legitimate will of the people of St. Maarten and with those dreams and hopes of a better tomorrow. We honour those who had the vision to get us to where we are today.”
Alluding to the 11th anniversary theme: “Building our Nation and Investing in Our Future,” Jacobs said, “we know that we are now at the crossroads to which building our nation is crucial for our long-term sustainability, and in doing so, each crucial step we take now is and should be, a great investment in our future.”
Nation Building, she said, is a key factor as the country gains more and more autonomy. “To build this Nation, it starts with how we identify with our country and how much we see ourselves as key factors for St. Maarten’s success. We must all buy into the idea and work hard to achieve this vision for a St. Maarten where all her people recognize their potential for greatness, are determined in their resolve and decisiveness and disciplined in the execution of the many tasks ahead.”
With all hands-on deck, working towards the same goal, St. Maarten can become a prosperous and financially independent nation. It will require an investment in all the people. It will require an investment in time, in knowledge about self, about country, and history, coupled with awareness of the potential of everyone to make a positive change in St. Maarten.
According to the PM, it would be naïve to not acknowledge that all the challenges that may make this vision seem far from attainable, such as the aging infrastructure, sole reliance on tourism, and St. Maarten’s susceptibility to external shocks, government’s liquidity position and insufficient human capital also play a role. “We cannot ignore these facts, but as we work together through these challenges, one thing that has been crucial to our steady growth, has been the understanding that building a nation is not a one-man job and it is not just the responsibility of a select few.”
“It will require all of us engaging the people we are sworn to serve, engaging the youth in schools and neighbourhood’s, and CSO/NGOs and so many others who are quietly making their contribution felt and quietly making it happen. As we continue to build our nation, we must remain open to learning, open to seeing other perspectives, open to innovation, open to change and therefore to growth.”
“Beyond this 11th year, we must remain on the trajectory to continue to improve our way of life. The future of St. Maarten involves everyone. The constitution is not just for the bureaucratic few, it is for all of us. This document provides the essential framework for our government of, by, and for the people. I encourage each citizen of St. Maarten to familiarize yourselves and become versed with our constitution. Let it remain a part of our dialogue on a daily basis as we continue to develop our island sustainably.”
She stressed that there is a lot of work to be done with regards to building St. Maarten and safeguarding its future. “We’ve faced challenges, like every other nation, however, we continue to endure, we continue to grow and we continue to strive. These challenges are not unlikely for any country in our developmental stage. However, the challenges of late have shown that our capacity for resilience, our determination to unite, and our immeasurable potential will get us there.”
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/jacobs-we-have-come-quite-far-but-we-have-very-far-to-go