Island Council, Executive Council attend Workshop on Dualism

On Wednesday, February 3, at the Sonesta Great Bay Hotel, members of the Island Council and the Executive Council among Sector Directors and the staff of the Island Secretariat attended, Workshop Dualism in Country St. Maarten 10 10 10. 

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The workshop consisted of an explication of the concept of dualism by VNG experts and later interactive philosophical discussions on the topic.

The program was opened by Cassandra Janssen, Quartermaster for the set up of St. Maarten’s Parliament, who welcomed everyone and provided some historical points on the Parliamentary system of the Netherlands Antilles and explained the dual nature of the government, something that we have had for over 70 years. She pointed out that there were members of the Island Council who visit the Netherlands and who got hands on experience about the system.

Dennis Richardson, Project Director at the Department of Constitutional Affairs, was the next speaker who gave a short deliberation on the topics as well. He said that as we approach 10-10-10, every part of government is intensely working towards getting ready for the constitutional changes.

He explained that Dualism is a political and constitutional concept that has the division of powers embedded into the system the separation of powers, also known as trias politica, among the three branches of government, namely the Legislative, Judicial, and Executive.

This will lead to a more open and transparent government. Though in practice, there is the reality of the situation, which he said, is reflected in the electoral process—voters get to choose.

However, he said, there is never one factor, but others, such as the different circumstances, place in history, how the electorate reacts, among other factors.

The workshop was given by the VNG International which executes the program Municipal Cooperation with the Netherlands Antilles based on the resolution of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Kingdom Relations since 2006.

The program offers primarily civil servants of the islands of the Netherlands Antilles the opportunity to gain experience working within municipalities in the Netherlands as well the ability to use experts from Dutch municipalities to work in addressing specific questions and problems facing the islands.

The organization provides organizational support to the Island Territories in preparation for the new status within the Kingdom.

Other objectives are to strengthen the local administration by means of skill enhancement of the civil servants and administrators; cooperation in building relationship between the Dutch municipalities and the islands; sharing of knowledge and experiences among the islands and municipalities.

The VNG International has also visited the BES islands and has had similar workshops on Curacao.