University of St. Martin gearing up for second of Constitutional Lecture Series

With Leader of Government Commissioner Marlin as key speaker

The University of St. Martin (USM) is continuing its Constitutional Lecture Series under the theme "How Prepared Are We?" with Leader of Government, Commissioner William Marlin scheduled to speak on Wednesday, June 9, 2010.


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This lecture hailed as "The William Marlin Lecture" is free to the general public and is part of a series of lectures, of which the main objective is to inform the community and bring about more consciousness on the constitutional status. The duration of this event is 7:00pm to 10:00pm.

According to USM President Josianne Fleming-Artsen, this upcoming lecture promises to be very enlightening since Commissioner Marlin is involved in key areas that are directly related to Country St. Maarten.

"Commissioner Marlin will bring the public up to date on the realities on where St. Maarten is and what needs to be done in the next months as we approach 10.10.10," remarked USM President Josianne Fleming-Artsen. "The public needs to know how far St. Maarten is from the finish line and what the challenges are that we still face. The public wants to know figures and numbers where people are needed to assist in accomplishing the goals of Country. The bottom line is knowing where St. Maarten stands in its preparedness in this process."

In the first lecture Minister Roland Duncan presented an update on the constitutional change process and spoke about issues such as abortion, same sex marriages and euthanasia which have become a debate against Holland. Minister Duncan also spoke about Dualism, the new governmental system which will call for the establishment of a Parliament and Council of Ministers in St. Maarten.

The minister also addressed the finer details of ‘Duncan Law’, and the preparedness of country St. Maarten, as we step out of the Netherlands Antilles. This law permits the dissolution of the current Island Councils so that early elections can be held. The law also allows for the expansion of the Executive Council from five to seven commissioners to facilitate the handling of tasks taken over from the Central Government while also setting precedent for the future Council of Ministers. Minister Duncan also handed over all signed agreements and laws passed to the University of St. Martin and promised to these translated at some point.

Duncan’s special advisor, Mr. Terry Peterson was also a featured speaker and he touched on the fact that Country St. Maarten will be in a position to foster new alliances which include cooperation agreements, policies, treaties and also models for integration into regional and international entities such as the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States and agencies of the European Union and United Nations.

"The intimate setting of the last lecture series allowed for open discussions. We are aiming to continue with such while hoping that the public turn out in greater numbers," said USM President Fleming.

She added that the university will be hosting two different informative lectures this week, on June 8 and June 9 respectively, and the public should be aware of the two different lectures and not confuse them. The second of the Constitutional Lecture Series is free and scheduled for June 9, 2010.

The USM Lecture Hall has a seating capacity for about 200 people and attendants are urged to be on time.