Kingdom’s conference cancelled

POSTED: 05/28/13 1:10 PM

AMSTERDAM — The Kingdom’s conference, in which the governments of the Netherlands, St. Maarten, Curacao and Aruba to discuss mutual interests, will not go through this year either. Considering the lack of progress of the various study groups it was decided to hold an informal Kingdom’s deliberation, Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, Ronald Plasterk, said yesterday.
“We were to hold a Kingdom’s conference within short but the study groups hadn’t made much progress. I discussed this recently with the premiers of the three other countries and suggested putting our heads together in an informal setting and discuss what we’re aiming for within the Kingdom. Everyone was immediately enthusiastic. We call it a Kingdom’s deliberation in which we will not mince matters”, said Plasterk. The conference was actually to take place in the second week of June on Aruba.

The minister stated this during his presentation for the members of the Association Antillean Network, where he also elaborated on recent developments on the islands, such as the murder of Helmin Wiels and the political crisis on St. Maarten.
The study groups were appointed after the Kingdom’s conference in December 2011 when Gerrit Schotte was still premier. Delegates of the four governments were to discuss a conciliation agreement, passenger and freight traffic and the unilateral right of canceling consensus Statute Laws. However, these subjects were hardly discussed because on St. Maarten and Curacao were too busy with nation building. During the Interparliamentary Consultation Kingdom Relations (Ipko) in March this year parliamentary delegations of the four countries requested their governments to pay extra attention to the study groups, whereby Aruba in particular advocated a conciliation arrangement and the Netherlands considered agreements on passenger and freight traffic important. The Ipko was considered a success owing to the connection made with the Kingdom’s conference, which has now been postponed.
The VVD, setting great store by an agreement for passenger traffic, has already announced to ask questions on the postponement.

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