Dutch & French St.Maarten Sign Declaration of Intent

AUDIO INCLUDED IN THIS STORY: The Declaration of Intent between the Governments of the French Republic, Dutch St. Maarten and Collectivité of St. Martin, was officially signed in Claude Wathey Legislative Hall, Wednesday, paving the way for joint cooperation to reach the next level.


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The signing marks the culmination of almost two years of discussions between Government officials and meetings between technocrats to define areas and parameters of cooperation among the three parties.

The tripartite agreement was deemed necessary and important, because of the shared competences between the three entities, and also because Dutch St. Maarten and French St. Martin had changed their constitutional statuses.

The first tripartite discussions by the Cooperation Committee took place on December 2, 2011, at which time the first draft of a Letter of Intent was approved.

Signing the Declaration on Wednesday were Prime Minister of Dutch St. Maarten Sarah Wescot-Williams, Préfet Délégué Philippe Chopin and President of the Collectivité of St. Martin Frantz Gumbs.

Governor Eugene Holiday and President of Parliament Gracita Arrindell were among the witnesses to the signature. Also in attendance was Gilles Huberson, Diplomatic Advisor to French Minister of Overseas Territories Marie-Luce Penchard.

Joining the Dutch side’s Council of Ministers was a delegation from the Collectivité’s Territorial Council, while numerous officials from State and Collectivité services, as well as Gendarmerie and Police aux Frontières (PAF) were in the audience.