St. Maarten to become country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.


History was made earlier today when the Kingdom Parliament approved the changes to the Kingdom Charter and the different consensus kingdom laws, making possible for St. Maarten to become country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

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The challenge is ours to make it happen as promised on 10-10-10. For that to happen much work still needs to be done. Not just by the team of advisers, the Commissioners and Island Council Members, but also very much so by the civil servants. And with all of us, the people of St. Maarten. It is most appropriate to borrow a line from the song writer as we sing in unison, ain’t no stopping us now.
The past days have been hectic and challenging. There were moments when we thought the process may be in danger. But we never lost focus of the mission we came to accomplish; convince the Members of the Dutch Second Chamber that they had a responsibility towards the people of St. Maarten and Curacao. That they had an obligation to respect the will of the people and support them in their quest for constitutional change. We have constantly been told that the members of the Dutch Parliament were not convinced that St. Maarten was able to become country this year. We had our work cut out for us and at the end of the debates we were convincing and victorious

I feel blessed to have been given the opportunity to represent St. Maarten at this time. I am proud to be a part of Team St. Maarten, which was made up this time of advisors, Drs. Eugene Holiday, Richard Gibson who as always gave St. Maarten their best and worked all hours of the day and sometimes very late at night with the rest of the Antillean advisors to get the job done, and Senator/Councilman Drs. Rodolphe Samuel and yours truly.
Chief of Staff/Island Secretary Joane Dovale-Meit who has always been on the Team had to stay on St. Maarten to man the Fort as much work needed to be done these days as well. Work in preparation of the dismantling of the Central Government and the transfer of tasks to St. Maarten.

I have noted an increased enthusiasm among the civil servants as the concrete plans are being put in place to set up our ministries and institutions. I like that "all hands k" attitude and hope that soon all other civil servants are infected by the 10-10-10 bug. We can and must get it done, Together for St. Maarten.
All through the past days here in The Hague, my thoughts and prayers have been with our colleague, Mrs. Iliana Schotborg-Pasman and her family because of the sudden passing of her husband, St. Maarten Usona Director Bart Pasman. His sudden passing was not only a great loss to Iliana, their children and the rest of the family, but also to St. Maarten. Bart was a fine, hard working person who always wanted the best for St. Maarten and worked diligently to get our projects approved. He will be greatly missed.

Iliana has also been a strong pillar in the process towards constitutional change as she played a pivotal role in the preparation of needed legislation.
Congratulations are in place for St. Maarten, for 100% of St. Maarten. Those who can vote and those who didn’t vote, those who voted for other options as well. For in country St. Maarten, every citizen and resident has a right to police protection, proper health care, a clean environment and quality education for all.
Congrats and a big thank you is in place for project Director Dennis Richardson who has been aboard Team St. Maarten from the very beginning. He has worked tirelessly, advising, negotiating, battling and compromising on behalf of country St. Maarten.
But at this historic time he was not able to be present in The Hague with his team. He was greatly missed by all the delegations, including the Dutch delegation. But he was there with us in spirit and at times even on the phone or via email. Dennis thank you and we wish you a speedy recovery


I want to thank all of you have sent a short message, an email, made a call, to offer your moral support, words of encouragement and to extend your congratulations to Team St. Maarten. Your support has been a source from which to tap the needed strength from to continue the battle.
There is still much work ahead of and for all of us. Let us all join heads and hands together for St. Maarten. Let us all look towards 10-10-10 with great anticipation.

William Marlin,
Commissioner of Constitutional Affairs