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Greetings to the people of Sint Maarten at home and abroad

As 2022 has come to an end, and we embrace 2023, on behalf of the Ministry of VROMI, I wish you all a Happy New Year.

As Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment, and Infrastructure, it is with gratitude that I look back at the past year and celebrate the strides that this ministry has made.

We made significant progress in areas such as implementing cost-cutting measures, the establishment of the Spatial Development Strategy 2030, the Nature Policy Plan 2021-2025, the protection of sea turtles, and the increase in processed permits bringing in over 1 million guilders while showing an estimated construction value of 250 million guilders. The civil servants of VROMI have worked tirelessly to serve our community and to improve the quality of service being provided to our people.

Personally, the year 2022 was a bumpy ride. As with my role of minister with responsibility for infrastructure, I viewed every bump in the road as an obstacle to be overcome. I thank the Almighty God above for helping me to triumph. Furthermore, I used these bumpy encounters as opportunities to pave the way for a better tomorrow for my generation and the next.

For our country, I note the placing of some building blocks towards a just society where each of us is seen as equal in our humanity and giving honour to those deserving of that dignity. Soualuiga has faced many challenges with immeasurable resilience and determination. Steadily, our island is recovering and returning to her full beauty.

It is my firm belief that the words of Isaiah remain true today for everyone who stands for the right. To those who live with integrity, I declare that for 2023, “No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that rises against you in judgment shall be condemned.” There may be some naysayers against our magnificent homeland, but we are overcomers. Sint Maarten, we are more than conquerors!

As we step into 2023, may every stumbling block become a steppingstone.

May we build each other up, treating our neighbour as we want to be treated.

May each of us embody the words of our motto, “Siempre Pro Gradiens” – always progressing!

Hon. Egbert Jurendy Doran

Minister of VROMI, Deputy Prime Minister
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