St. Maarten, Curaçao, DR follow up on MOU

WILLEMSTAD–Government officials from Curaçao, St. Maarten, the Netherlands and the Dominican Republic (DR) met this week in Willemstad to follow up on the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by the Dutch Caribbean and the Spanish-speaking country a year ago.

The meeting, attended by Prime Minister William Marlin, covered several themes featured in the MOU including economic cooperation, sustainable development, security, disaster management and medical tourism.

Three key points of the meeting were the recognition of the Dutch Kingdom of the accession of the Dominican Republic to the Apostille Treaty, the convention on the transfer of persons and the bilateral air transport agreement between the Kingdom and the Dominican Republic.

The Apostille Treaty will make it easier for Dominican Republic nationals residing on St. Maarten to have their documents certified for legal purposes thereby reducing the time for these documents to be recognized. A number of other countries already have this privilege within the Kingdom.

The transfer of persons will allow for incarcerated nationals to serve their sentence in their respective country.

The air transport agreement regulates the legal aviation framework in the destinations covered in the MOU.

A Political Act that sets the immediate priorities for the workgroup and for the operationalization of the MOU was signed at the end of the meeting by Marlin, Curaçao Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath, Caribbean Regional Envoy for Kingdom of the Netherlands in Havana Liesbeth Mol on behalf of the Netherlands and Aruba and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic Miguel Vargas.

All parties agreed to appoint workgroup leaders who will coordinate the work related to the MOU. The first meeting of the workgroup will be in the Dominican Republic in the first week of November. High on the agenda is the anticipated visit of President Danilo Medina of the Dominican Republic to Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten in the first quarter of 2018.

The Dutch Caribbean delegation received copies of the book 500 years of History between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Dominican Republic by Carlos Manuel Abaunza by Vargas. The book chronicles the migratory, commercial and diplomatic relations between the Dutch Caribbean and the Dominican Republic from year 1516.

Commenting on the meeting, Marlin reiterated St. Maarten’s commitment to the MOU while noting the importance of the Dominican Republic in the foreign policy of St. Maarten.

He also indicated the importance of a strong foreign policy and regional, as well as international, partners in achieving St. Maarten’s strategic long term goals. The local Department of Foreign Relations, represented by Senior Policy Advisor Patrice Gumbs Jr., during the meeting, played a critical role in facilitating and maintaining these relationships.

Source: The Daily Herald