POND ISLAND–It has been more than half a decade since St. Maarten as well as Curaçao and Aruba have been approved for associate membership to the English-speaking countries dominated Caribbean Community Caricom, and that pending application is “still under consideration.”
Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin told the press on Wednesday that ambassadors from Caricom connected countries attached to the United Nations (UN) were full of praise for St. Maarten’s continued “hospitality” to people of the Caribbean Diaspora and the country’s “economic importance in the region.” The ambassadors, according to Romeo-Marlin, expressed “a desire to see greater inclusion of St. Maarten into regional organisations.”
However, enquires into the status of joining the regional bloc retrieved the still under consideration answer. The admittance of the three non-independent Dutch Caribbean countries will be viewed “in the context of Caricom’s expansion” in the region, said Romeo-Marlin, who met the ambassadors in New York.
Romeo-Marlin updated the ambassadors at the “meet and greet” about the country’s recovery since Hurricane Irma a year ago, joining the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) and the desire to become part of Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).
Romeo-Marlin was in New York to represent the Dutch Kingdom at the United Nations Security Council meeting. That meeting’s topic was the peacekeeping mission in the Caribbean island of Haiti.
While at the UN, she met with the Dutch Kingdom’s Permanent UN Mission and the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency. The latter is willing to assist St. Maarten to find suitable investors help in the recovery and rebuilding of the economy.
The permanent mission’s cultural diplomacy arm has offered to highlight St. Maarten’s culture and arts. This expressed desire to promote the arts and culture “underscored the important role arts continues to play in St. Maarten” and is a credit to “its wealth of artists.”