Group photo of the Parliamentary delegations of Aruba, Curaçao and the Netherlands after the opening ceremony of the Inter-Parliamentary Consultation of the Kingdom IPKO at the Senate in The Hague on Tuesday. Photo by Hans Kouwenhoven/First Chamber.
An overview of the opening ceremony of the Inter-Parliamentary Consultation of the Kingdom IPKO at the Senate on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of First Chamber.
THE HAGUE–Delegations of Aruba, Curaçao and the Netherlands showed comprehension for the absence of St. Maarten during the opening of the Inter-Parliamentary Consultation of the Kingdom IPKO in The Hague on Tuesday.
“We are missing the St. Maarten delegation which has given preference to the handling of their budget. We will miss the delegation, but they will be kept informed about this IPKO,” said Acting Chairperson of the First Chamber of the Dutch Parliament Joris Backer. The Senate traditionally hosts the opening of the IPKO when it is held in The Hague.
Chairperson of the Aruba Parliament, and leader of the Aruba delegation Ady Thijssen called the remarks by some media that the IPKO would be devaluated by St. Maarten’s absence untrue. He said in his opening remarks that with the input of St. Maarten, the IPKO once again came together to strengthen the ties within the Kingdom through the forum of the IPKO.
“For the first time since the boost of the inter-parliamentary contacts after the new constitutional relations went into effect on October 10, 2010, not all four parliaments will get together in the IPKO. Still, the importance of the IPKO is underscored by all countries. In times of difficulties, it is especially important for the countries to stay in touch,” said Chairperson of the Curaçao Parliament and leader of the Curaçao delegation William Millerson.
During the opening, several delegations took the opportunity to promote the balance between own, internal responsibilities of the individual countries and those of the Kingdom. Mentioned as examples were the crisis in Venezuela and the effects thereof on Aruba and Curaçao, financial management and supervision, and the Dispute Regulation. Millerson and Thijssen emphasised the importance of equality and respect.
Millerson said that an estimated 10,000 undocumented Venezuelans have come to Curaçao. The problems arising from their stay on the island are bigger than just the autonomous tasks of admittance and expulsion. “It affects human rights and how the Kingdom deals with that. It affects the future of us all. We need to find solutions in unity, as a Kingdom,” he said.
Thijssen said that the available manpower and financial means are not sufficient to cope with the increased influx of mostly undocumented Venezuelans. He said he hoped that within the setting of the IPKO, the countries of the Kingdom could discuss the situation and to arrive at a joint solution.
Thijssen also brought up the issue of financial supervision. The Aruba Parliament recently amended the financial supervision law in such a way that the Aruba Committee for Financial Supervision CAFT no longer reports to the Kingdom Council of Ministers, but to the Aruba Parliament.
According to Thijssen, the Aruba Parliament wants a bigger role in financial supervision. He explained that Aruba wants to assume its responsibility and that Aruba wants to discuss this with the Kingdom partners based on equality. “Not based on superiority or inferiority, but equality,” he said.
Millerson and Thijssen further addressed the law proposal to establish a Dispute Regulation (“Geschillenregeling”) for the Kingdom which will be handled in the Second Chamber next week Tuesday. The voting on this controversial law proposal takes place the same week.
Millerson urged the members of the Second Chamber who attend IPKO as part of the Dutch delegation to consider that the Parliaments of the four countries had arrived at a set of joint points of departure on the format and range of the Dispute Regulation, and that moving away from this agreement at IPKO level would display a lack of respect.
Thijssen announced that the special delegates of the Aruba Parliament would submit a proposal to amend the draft Kingdom Law Dispute Regulation during next week’s handling. This amendment, which has the support of the St. Maarten Parliament, would create a “workable document” which would have the approval of all four parliaments. Thijssen said he hoped that the Second Chamber would not lose sight of the general interest of the Kingdom when they voted on the law proposal next week.
Deliberations of the IPKO will last until Friday and will be closed off with the signing of a joint declaration list and a press conference.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/88619-understanding-at-ipko-for-absence-st-maarten