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St. Maarten commemorates 1st decade of Country Status with Virtual Events

On behalf of the Council of Ministers, Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs hereby invites the people of St. Maarten to join and take part in the Virtual Commemoration of Constitution Day under the theme “Decadal Growth and Progress”, on October 12th, 2020 at 10:00 am via Government of Sint Maarten Facebook page.

Today, Saturday, October 10, 2020, the commemoration commenced with a live National Address delivered by his Excellency, Governor of St. Maarten drs. Eugene B. Holiday in front of the Courthouse where the inaugural ceremony was held on 10-10-10. The Governor of St. Maarten also virtually unveiled a plaque placed in commemoration of the occasion and dedicated to the people of St. Maarten.

As many are aware October 10th, 2020, marks the 10th Anniversary of St. Maarten becoming a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands and thereby gaining autonomous status and becoming an equal partner with Aruba, Curaçao, and the Netherlands including public entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The Virtual Commemoration of Constitution Day will feature National Addresses by His Excellency, Governor of St. Maarten drs. Eugene B. Holiday, Honorable Chairman of Parliament Rolando Brison, and Honorable Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs, as well as a vote of thanks by Honorable Minister of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sport drs. Rodolphe Samuel.

In addition to the reflections of key players in the quest for separate status as per the people’s choice in 2000, well-known artists from St. Maarten’s creative community will offer their artistic expression in the areas of poetry, music, dance, choir performances, spoken word, and song reflecting on the 10-10-10 past, present, and future.

On Monday, October 12, 2020, the Parliament of St. Maarten will also hold a live solemn public meeting at 1:00 PM, in commemoration of St. Maarten’s 10th Constitution Day. During this event, the Chairman of Parliament along with all faction leaders will be delivering addresses to the general public.

Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs stated, “St. Maarten has experienced highs, lows, growth, and disappointments, but through it all, we continue to strive for progress- not just in terms of numbers but in growing a more diverse economy, finalizing the amendments of necessary legislation and policy which will secure the viability and sustainable development of our people and our country.”

“Even as we reflect on what has caused some of our failures, we pledge to promote stability, integrity, and transparency in government as well as collaboration and cooperation as has been started with our National Development Vision,” Prime Minister Jacobs continued.

The government’s current priority is the education of St. Maarten’s population on the following:

- The struggles and processes of the 90s and 2000s to achieve self-governance for St. Maarten.

- The areas highlighted as needing improvement due to lack of attention during the first decade.

- The steps that must be taken to achieve our goals and the Sustainable Development Goals as recognized internationally for sustainable development and growth.

The goals of government for the next decade include ensuring proper education, social safety nets for the vulnerable, accessibility to proper housing, improved public healthcare, and upgrading of afterschool programs. These goals also include providing opportunities to improve upward mobility for people in business and quality of life while diversifying our economy, ensuring proper financial management, physical and technological infrastructure, public protection, and national security.

“On this day, as we commemorate and celebrate ten years as a nation, I urge the people of St. Maarten to focus on the future and join in the process of building a strong and resilient nation for present and future generations,” concluded Prime Minister Jacobs.

The Council of Ministers takes the time to wish each and every person a blessed 10th Anniversary of St. Maarten Constitution Day 2020.