De Gouverneur Toespraken

Terug naar Toesprakenfeb 22, 2019

Acknowledging The Valuable Work Of Consuls In Sint Maarten by His Excellency drs. Eugene B. Holiday Governor of Sint Maarten

Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten

Chairlady of Parliament,
Members of Parliament, Ministers
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good evening and welcome,
And special greetings and welcome
to Mr. Pierre DeCelles, Honorary Consul of Canada,
to Mr. Zhang Weixin, Consul General of China,
to Mr. Cleveland Beresford, Honorary Consul of Guyana, and
to Mr. Damodar Rawatani, Honorary Consul of India

It is with great pleasure that Marie-Louise and I welcome you to this reception organized in honor of the Consular corps of Sint Maarten here in Simpson Bay.

Esteemed Consuls,
It is my intention through this annual reception to help maintain and build closer partnerships through friendship and dialogue between our people and governments.

Last year, we did not organize this reception because of the impact of hurricane Irma on our island. I would, in part against that backdrop, like to take this opportunity to speak of the role and value of the consular corps.

As the home of about 50 thousand residents with over 100 nationalities, Sint Maarten has a highly diverse, dynamic and multicultural population. It is also the preferred vacation destination for some 2 million stayover and cruise visitors a year, from all parts of the world. In that regard Sint Maarten despite its small size has the makings of a cosmopolitan island. 

As a result, the 20 resident and non-resident consuls with responsibility for Sint Maarten have an important role to play on our island. Consular work often occurs behind the scenes and the wider community is not familiar with it. In my role as Governor I am privy to the work that you do as consuls-general and honorary consuls for the countries’ you represent. Work ranging from providing consular services, to assisting nationals from your countries appearing before our courts and to promoting relationships and business opportunities. 

The importance of the work that you undertake as consuls-general and honorary consuls for the countries you represent in the relations with Sint Maarten was very clear in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. That was particularly the case, where it concerned helping with the coordination for the evacuation of visitors and in some cases our nationals. Activities which were very helpful in helping alleviate the difficult situation Sint Maarten was in. Thus, as we gather here this evening at this year’s Consular Corps reception, I would like those of you present and your colleagues consuls who could not be present to know that the Government of Sint Maarten appreciates and acknowledges the valuable work you do in representing your countries’ interests in relations with Sint Maarten.  And we therefore look forward to maintaining and building closer relations through mutually beneficial cooperation and friendship.

I am as such pleased with your presence here this evening as members of the Sint Maarten Consular Corps. In that regard I trust that your interactions this evening with leaders and officials from our government, business and social sectors will help to further deepen the roots of the cooperation through education, health care, tourism, disaster management and other business relations between our countries. 

In closing, I therefore wish you much success in your efforts and look forward to maintaining and building effective and lasting partnerships between the countries you represent and Sint Maarten.

Thank you, God bless you,
And May God bless Sint Maarten and protect its coast.