President of Parliament Drs. Gracita Arrindell says that Sint Maarten is now an official member of the Parliament of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Last Thursday Sint Maarten was formally introduced and unanimously accepted to be a member of Parlatino. Arrindell and National Alliance (NA) Senator William Marlin proudly took a seat at the table where deliberations started at XXVI General Assembly. Sint Maarten officially participated and voted in the meetings.
Sint Maarten was introduced and welcomed as the smallest and one of the newest members together with Curacao (not present) to the Parlatino General Assembly.
The Sint Maarten delegation met with outgoing President of Parlatino Jorge Pizarro Soto at his office. Arrindell and Marlin presented a gift from Sint Maarten along with the Sint Maarten Flag which was used during the meeting of the board as well as at the General Assembly meeting of December 3.
The Sint Maarten delegates were introduced to several members of the permanent committees of Parlatino. Aruba was also present with representatives from the Governing party and Opposition.
Parlatino permanent committee meetings take place twice a year. "I will be informing our parliament about the aforementioned and for us to draft a proposal to have one of those permanent committee meetings held on the island in 2012.
"The new headquarters of Parlatino will be in Panama City in 2012. As of December 18, Panamanian airlines Copa will be flying directly from Panama to the island. These are very important developments and an avenue to promote tourism and trade between our countries.
"We provided information to the delegates of Parlatino and most of them have never visited the island. I will encourage our Senators when travelling to Parlatino permanent committee meetings, to carry as much information with them about our island as a tourist destination.
"By becoming a member of Parlatino, this is an opportunity for the country to be an active participant in one of the regions oldest regional organizations – 46-years. We are looking forward to our participation and establishing a constructive and effective working relationship that will benefit our people during this term," President of Parliament Arrindell said on Sunday.
The Latin American Parliament (Parlatino), is a regional, permanent and unicameral organization, comprising the National Latin American Parliaments elected democratically upon popular vote. Parlatino was created on December 7, 1964.
The purpose of Parlatino is to promote, human rights, and economic and social development; to maintain and foster relations with other geographic parliaments, as well as international organizations; and to defend against imperialism and colonialism.
Parlatino also meets with other international organizations including the European Parliament.
Arrindell and Senator William Marlin returned over the weekend from attending Parlatino parliamentary sessions.