January IPKO in limbo, Dutch seek consultation

THE HAGUE–The Inter-Parliamentary Consultation for the Kingdom IPKO planned for January 2017 in Curaçao has become uncertain after the Curaçao Parliament requested deferral. The Dutch delegation wants to discuss the matter with the other Parliaments.

The Permanent Committees for Kingdom Relations of the First and Second Chambers of the Dutch Parliament met on Tuesday to discuss the October 28, 2016, letter of the Curaçao Parliament in which it was proposed to postpone the January IPKO until after the March elections in the Netherlands.

The Dutch delegation, which had already started preparations for the January 10-13 IPKO, will request a video conference call with the Presidiums of the Parliaments of Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten to talk about how to give content to the continuity of the IPKO.

Dutch delegation leader Jeroen Recourt, who is also the Chairman of the Second Chamber’s Committee for Kingdom Relations, said that the issue of continuity was important to his delegation because the IPKO does serve a purpose within the Kingdom.

“We would find it a pity if the momentum of the IPKO would get lost due to a large gap in time. It remains important to see each other and to talk about issues of mutual importance,” Recourt told The Daily Herald.

The IPKO is traditionally held on one of the Dutch Caribbean islands early January and in The Hague in June. Postponing the IPKO until after March 2017 would mean that the bi-annual event would be held close to the customary June meetings. The last IPKO was held in June 2016.

The Permanent Committee for Inter-Parliamentary Relations, Kingdom Relations and Foreign Affairs of the Curaçao Parliament during a meeting on October 27 proposed to postpone the IPKO for a number of reasons.

According to Committee Member Zita Jesus-Leito of the PAR party, there were several complicating aspects. “We just had elections and the new Members of Parliament still have to get used to their new job. The same goes for St. Maarten which also had elections recently,” she said after the October 27 meeting.

Then there are also the elections for a new Dutch Parliament on March 15, 2017, which will affect the composition of the Dutch Parliament. “From our side we have said that it is not ideal to come together with the four Parliaments at this time. Our proposal is to postpone the IPKO. In that way we will have more clarity on which Members of Parliament will participate and we can discuss the preparations,” said Jesus-Leito.

The IPKO serves as an instrument for direct communication and personal meetings between the members of the Parliaments within the Kingdom. By exchanging information and standpoints, IPKO serves to create a better understanding between the Parliaments.

“For us as PAR, the relation with the Netherlands is very important. Our status within the Kingdom offers us good possibilities to work together in the interest of our people,” said Jesus-Leito.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/61471-january-ipko-in-limbo-dutch-seek-consultation