17 May 2017
THE HAGUE–The Inter-Parliamentary Consultation of the Kingdom IPKO will be held mid-June, two weeks later than the original date. Representatives of the Parliaments of the Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten arrived at this agreement on Tuesday.
The Chairpersons of the three Dutch Caribbean Parliaments, the Chairpersons of the Committees of Kingdom Relations of the four Parliaments, including the Dutch First and Second Chamber, complemented with the Secretaries of Parliament discussed the matter during a video conference on Tuesday.
The Presidium of the four countries arrived at the unanimous agreement that the IPKO will now take place in The Hague on Wednesday, June 14, and Thursday, June 15, followed by a joint press conference on Friday, June 16. Originally, the IPKO was scheduled to take place in The Hague from May 30 to June 2.
The decision to delay the IPKO by two weeks had a lot to do with the original IPKO having been scheduled shortly after the April 28 elections in Curaçao. “It was difficult to organise the IPKO so soon after the Curaçao elections. A request was made to slightly postpone the IPKO for practical reasons,” said Senator Ruard Ganzevoort of the green left party GroenLinks and Chairman of the First Chamber’s Permanent Committee of Kingdom Relations. “We took the decision in good harmony.”
It was agreed to keep the IPKO meetings to two days instead of the customary three days, but it will still be a full-fledged IPKO and not an informal consultation. There will be new participants in the Curaçao and the Dutch delegation.
Both Ganzevoort as well as the temporary Chairman of the Second Chamber’s Permanent Committee of Kingdom Relations Paul van Meenen of the Democratic Party D66 said they were happy that the IPKO would proceed. “We find it important to keep investing in the relations within the Kingdom. These relations have been good and we cherish that,” said Van Meenen.
Ganzevoort said that the Dutch delegation always attached value to the IPKO taking place, even though a few times the consultation could not go ahead in the past, sometimes for practical reasons, sometimes because of a more complicated situation. “Still, it remains important to get together and talk about our shared issues and concerns. The past years have proven this. I am glad that IPKO will go ahead,” he said.
The exact programme has to be worked out as yet. Discussed will be some of the recurring themes like good governance, the Dispute Regulation, sustainability and climate change, and economic development.
Source: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten