Mandate of the Department:
Based on the Kingdom Charter, Foreign Affairs is the responsibility of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. This implies that the foreign policy of the Kingdom is focused on the interests of all countries of the Kingdom and that the diplomatic and consular missions work for all four countries. Though a uniform foreign policy is important for all countries within the Kingdom, specific accents are needed to reflect the interests of Sint Maarten. During the 2011 Kingdom conference it was agreed that countries of the Kingdom can act independently in its relations with foreign countries with respect to its own autonomous affairs, provided that the unity of the foreign policy of the Kingdom is preserved. Therefore, Sint Maarten has the flexibility to manage its own foreign relations as it pertains to its autonomous areas and aligned with the foreign policy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
On country level, the Prime Minister of St. Maarten in accordance with his / her portfolio responsibilities is entrusted with the formulation, promotion and execution of St. Maarten’s foreign policy.
Core Tasks of the Department:
1. Coordinating and guiding the handling of consular and intervention cases of Sint Maarten citizens in foreign countries.
2. Coordinating and guiding the handling of diplomatic clearance of foreign military aircrafts and naval vessels on Sint Maarten;
3. Executing protocol business regarding the Ministers and Foreign Government Delegations;
4. In charge of the areas of cooperation between Sint Maarten and Saint-Martin;
5. Collecting, and in as far as such is possible, analyzing and commenting on external intelligence important for policy and policy intentions of the Government in different policy areas;
6. Advising Government, and government authorities of Sint Maarten regarding the foreign policy of the Government and that of the Kingdom of the Netherlands;
7. Initiating and coordinating the local policy formation with regard to international and regional treaties, and the management of the central treaties administration;
8. Heading of Sint Maarten delegations and functionaries abroad by Kingdom Representations;
9. Heading and /or supporting Government Delegations traveling abroad;
10. Maintaining relations with Kingdom representatives abroad and representatives of foreign countries on Sint Maarten;
11. Coordinating Ministries’ contributions to and drafting of national human rights reports;
12. Maintaining diplomatic relations in the context of the Kingdom, with other countries in the region and with international and regional organizations
Key Priority Areas of the Department:
Sint Maarten aims to realize the following national objectives embedded in the country’s foreign policy :
Support of the national Economic Policy.
This concerns in particular broadening the tourism market , diversification of the economic sector and expansion of the hub function. Our country will focus its attention in the coming years on the following ten countries: USA, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Surinam, Brazil, Cuba and China. That does not mean that interesting possibilities in other countries, if they occur, will not be addressed, but the focus will be on said countries. This requires cooperation with the embassies in those countries and with DBB as the national coordination point.
Present Sint Maarten, internationally, as a respectable partner.
Compliance with international obligations and development of public and cultural diplomacy.
Promote regional cooperation.
This will be realized through bilateral partnerships and participation in international organizations.
Develop closer ties with Saint-Martin.
In addition to building an efficient cooperation structure with Saint-Martin ,the Government wants to achieve rapid tangible results.