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The Importance of International and Caribbean Cooperation in Addressing Global Threats

Remarks at the Dutch Caribbean Lunch Event

By H.E. Eugene B. Holiday, Governor of Sint Maarten
UN Delegates Dining Room
April 19, 2016

Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good afternoon and a very warm Caribbean welcome to you to this Dutch Caribbean Lunch event. It is truly good to see all of you here. I am Eugene Holiday, the Governor of Sint Maarten a Small Island Developing State known as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean. I am as such well positioned to address you for this event. I shall therefore whet your appetite with some brief remarks on the Importance of International and Caribbean Cooperation in Addressing Global Threats as food for thought and discussion.
But first, in case you are questioning your political-geography, in terms of trying to wrap you head around and match, Kingdom of the Netherlands and Caribbean, let me answer your questions by highlighting some Kingdom defining aspects. The Kingdom of the Netherlands is One Kingdom, comprised of Four countries, located in Europe and in the Caribbean built on Autonomy and Democracy. As you know freedom is not free, it requires constant care and protection. Securing these democratic ideals for our people – also in cooperation with other countries - is therefore essential to our Kingdom.
As an integral part of the region through our autonomous Caribbean countries: Sint Maarten, Aruba and Curacao, The Kingdom of the Netherlands is committed to the peace and stability of the Caribbean basin, as well as to the development and deepening of the approaches to citizen security. It is no secret that the stability of our Global Community, faces a variety of global threats from climate change and the illegal trafficking of goods, persons and money to name a few. These are real safety and security threats for the Caribbean that warrant continued attention and collaborative action from within and outside the region.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands and Sint Maarten recognize these security risks.
? The Kingdom therefore plays an active role in tackling climate issues. This through participation in regional meetings such as in Martinique in May 2015 and in international negotiations and agreements, such as the recently concluded COP21 in Paris in December 2015.
? Moreover, the Kingdom of the Netherlands was one of the principal initiators of The San Jose Agreement, which is concerned with regional multilateral cooperation in suppressing illicit maritime and air trafficking in narcotics and psychotropic substances in the Caribbean. This agreement “by the region, for the region” enhances the possibilities to suppress illicit trafficking and thus enhances the level of security in the Caribbean area in ways, impossible to achieve by a single state approach or bilateral agreements.

Excellences, ladies and gentlemen,

To conclude, both Sint Maarten and the Kingdom of the Netherlands stand for the securing of peace and stability in the Caribbean and our Global Community. It is therefore imperative that we, in the spirit of the ongoing special session of the UN general assembly on the world drug problem, continue to strengthen regional and international cooperation to combat drug trafficking and tackle climate change as well as other activities that pose a threat to our way of life. And what better way to build on our required collaboration than to break bread with each other through a meal. As such I invite you to partake in our lunch and to enjoy yourselves.                        

Thank you.