Wescot-Williams aims for real progress in The Hague

THE HAGUE–Chairwoman Sarah Wescot-Williams of the St. Maarten Parliament today expressed her hope of real progress during the Inter-Parliamentary Consultation for the Kingdom (IPKO). She said she was disappointed that after seven years of ongoing discussions there is still no dispute regulation law (geschillenregeling) or a right to initiate Kingdom laws.

Wescot-Williams made her comments in her opening speech in the First Chamber, where the IPKO is taking place. She said it is always purposeful and good to meet Members of Parliament of Curaçao, Aruba and the Netherlands face-to face, exchange views and share information. Following the elections in Curaçao and the Netherlands, many participants were new, which means the IPKO again is characterized by getting to know each other, she said.

She continued, however, by pointing out some disappointment. “I had hoped during the IPKO meetings we had since 2010 to be part of history, resulting in an unequivocal and collective mandate to the Kingdom government to draft a dispute regulation law that would meet the criteria approved by the four Parliaments of the Kingdom. This did not materialize,” she said.

The Dutch Government instead came up with its own draft that is not in line with the criteria of the IPKO. “I hope that through dialogue we can ask the Dutch delegation to instruct the Kingdom Government to reconsider the content of this draft and bring it more in line with the wishes of the IPKO,’” she said. Wescot-Williams also pointed out that the Parliaments of St. Maarten, Curaçao and Aruba still have no right to initiate Kingdom laws.

Wescot-Williams said both topics make it very difficult to imagine a perfect Kingdom in the year 2040, which is another point on the agenda for the IPKO. “Naturally items like rule of law, equality of the Kingdom partners, cooperation and human rights are the main ingredients for this Kingdom. But not unimportant is also the fostering, strengthening and maintaining of the relationships between the Kingdom partners. This is only possible if there is openness, dialogue and trust.”

The other delegations also mentioned topics like the dispute regulation in their opening speeches. William Millerson, chairman of the Curaçao Parliament, said there is a clear difference between the dispute regulation draft by the IPKO and the one by the Dutch government. “During this IPKO we have to talk about the procedure we can follow,’” he said. Ankie Broekers-Knol, chairwoman of the First Chamber, said she hoped that the dispute regulation ultimately will be a law that is supported by all four countries in the Kingdom.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/66877-wescot-williams-aims-for-real-progress-in-the-hague