St. Maarten delegation attends OCT-EU forum | THE DAILY HERALD

European Union Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica and Deputy Minister Plenipotentiary Michael Somersall.

PHILIPSBURG–A delegation from St. Maarten led by Deputy Minister Plenipotentiary Michael Somersall represented St. Maarten at the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA) Ministerial Conference and OCT-European Union (EU) forum in French Polynesia from February 25 to March 1.

During this conference, St. Maarten participated with a full agenda due to its various responsibilities as it relates to the St. Maarten-EU relationship, it was stated in a press release over the weekend.

St. Maarten in collaboration with the EU, French expertise and the World Bank hosted the Regional Implementation Kick-off Meeting for the 40-million-euro 11th European Development Fund (EDF) Caribbean Regional Programme on Resilience, Sustainable Energy and Marine Biodiversity ReSEMBid. This meeting had the primary objective of defining the best method of effective engagement and governance during implementation of ReSEMBid.

St. Maarten also engaged in direct trilateral consultations with the European Union and the Netherlands as it relates to all ongoing EU-funded projects such as the 10th EDF in Dutch Quarter and the Cooperation Programme with St. Martin.

The St. Maarten delegation participated in the Overseas Countries and Territories Ministerial Conference where the political declarations and administrative resolutions of OCTA for 2019 were agreed. The delegation also participated in a thematic workshop and debate on regional cooperation. During this event, the EU discussed both best practices and challenges of regional cooperation for consideration at the OCT-EU Forum.

Somersall signed a statement with EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica on March 1 that recognises the adoption of a seven-million-euro project that will “support the national emergency response strategy of and further increase community disaster risk awareness for the people of St. Maarten.”

More specifically, funds under the 11th European Development Fund’s so-called B-envelope are allocated to build two multifunctional shelter facilities in combination with training and awareness programmes for St. Maarten communities. St. Maarten and the European Union are presently very near to signing the financing agreement that officially commits the funding for this project. The structures are intended to serve as multipurpose community facilities during times when they are not needed as shelters.

Source: The Daily Herald