the Governor's Speeches

Back to Speeches Indexjan 06, 2024

Governor's New Year's address 2024

Distinguished guests, good evening.

It is really great to see all of you here. On behalf of my wife Janique and I, welcome and thank you for joining us this evening. It is our pleasure to welcome everyone to our beautiful venue tonight here at the new location of my Cabinet at Falcon Drive #2.
A very Happy and Healthy New Year to one and all. May this be a year of dedication, devotion and discipline towards the prosperity of our beloved nation.

A new year brings with it a renewed and refreshed spirit of hope and reassurance of the will and ability to take on and seize the challenges and opportunities that lie on the horizon.
On the eve of our upcoming Parliamentary elections I take this opportunity to wish all candidates success and all voters much wisdom and discernment.

As your Governor I continue and hereby reassert my commitment to diligently working with government, the private sector and civil society in the interest and well-being of you the people of St. Maarten. Locally as well as within the region and our Kingdom. And to our sisters and brothers on the northern side of the island, needless to say that continued cooperation and collaboration is key in the further development of the entire island to the benefit of all its inhabitants.
Getting back to the challenges and opportunities on the horizon. Whatever these may be and from wherever they may present themselves. We will need MVP’s to take on and seize them.

We are now 13 years in our current status. Areas of Finance and Justice are still under supervision and need extra attention, as well as other areas such as but not limited to our healthcare system, our susceptibility to external shocks, the preservation of our environment which after all forms the basis of our tourism product, the high cost of living and its effects on not only the most vulnerable in society but also the average citizen and their well-being. As it pertains to these areas and others, we need to continue to work towards and prepare the country to, fully manage these affairs once it arrives at the age of adulthood. In our country’s journey so far to adulthood we have undoubtedly been applying and must continue to apply our acquired MVP’s. These MVP’s are embodied in and are at the core of our creatives, our men and women working 9 to 5, two and three jobs, our academics, emotionally intelligent, seniors, intellectuals, youth, diaspora, in short everyone. That is who and what our country needs to take on the challenges and seize the opportunities ahead.
Please allow me to digress here for a moment..

This is our community. Everyone has a role to play a unique contribution to make. Whether you are born here, born to be here, or temporarily here. While here, remember this is your community, our community and we have to make sure it is one we all can thrive in, be proud of and have others aspire to be a part of.

My influence can only go so far. We all have a role to play within our, your respective circles and communities. You have to reach those that I may not be able to reach and vice versa. Everyone has to know that as this community has given to you, you have an obligation to give back to the community as well. Continuing to build and maintaining our community. Inspiring our community and its leaders of tomorrow. We are not meant to be here forever, in our time here one of our tasks is shining our light on the way forward.
Now getting back to the MVP’s embodied and at the core of those mentioned previously. MVP’s contribute in all aspects, all areas, helping all to succeed and win, everyone benefits and even become better because of them. They are an integral, key component and core element of all striving for greatness. That is what we need more of in our Country.
Barring those that need some tweaking, our corporations, government and institutions locally, in our Kingdom and around the world are not broken or in need of reform, we simply need MVP's at the helm, at the core and embodied in these institutions. MVP’s are not meant here as most valuable players. The MVP’s meant here are Morals, Values and Principles.

Humility: acknowledging one’s limitations and being modest.
Justice: upholding what is fair and right, ensuring consequences are appropriate.
Generosity: sharing resources and helping those in need.
Integrity: upholding moral and ethical principles, even when faced with challenges.
Respect: treating others with consideration, courtesy and dignity.
Responsibility: taking ownership of one’s actions and being accountable.
Fairness: acting justly and impartially, treating everyone not just equally but equitably.
Courage: facing challenges and difficulties with strength and bravery.
Open-mindedness: being receptive to different ideas, perspectives and experiences.
Autonomy: respecting an individual’s and a country’s right to make their own choices and decisions.
Trust: upholding assurance and loyalty in relationships and commitments.
The Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
These are just a few, but once we keep these at the forefront of and in all we do, our country can take on and seize all challenges and opportunities that present themselves in this new year and beyond.
Just as important as having these qualities it is equally important to display them. You just may be the inspiration someone else needs to succeed. Inspire so others may aspire. Recognize the importance of the role each and every one of you play in our society and embody the role to be modeled after.

You in your actions contribute as and to St. Maarten's most valued treasure, our people and that is in essence what we need in order for our country to thrive.

So let us all in all that we do remember to stick to, apply and be guided by good Morals, Values and Principles.
In closing, of the multitude of Morals, Values and Principles, if I could grant us all 1 of these as a super-power this year it would be discipline. Discipline allows you to accomplish any goal you set out to achieve. From wherever your starting point is in comparison to your goal, discipline is the bridge in between. Skill and talent alone will not get you there, discipline is more often than not the deciding factor.
Will James Durant, an American historian and philosopher in his book: The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers summarizes some of the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle's thoughts as follows. "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." End quote.

So let’s all be MVP's this year and beyond and embody our morals values and principles...repeatedly.
So if you would please, join me at this time in raising a glass in a toast to peace, prosperity, propriety and those MVP's in 2024. Happy New year to one and all. God bless you, your families and God bless our beloved sweet Soualiga!