Prime Minister Attends Dutch-, French-Side Governmental Cooperation Meeting

Waste Management, Education and Health Care some of the Topics Discussed

The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams stressed on the areas where both governments have interests in closer cooperation with their counterparts at Tuesday’s Joint Cooperation meeting between the Council of Minister of St. Maarten and the Territorial Council of St. Martin.


During statements made after the meeting, the Prime Minister stated that various areas of cooperation were discussed; "The meeting today in which most ministers were present was a candid discussion regarding matters of mutual interest between both sides of the island. The topics we discovered included education and the cross border movement, for example the issue of students registered or living on one side and going to school on another; the same in the area of health; waste management; infrastructure; transportation (taxi and bus permits); use and misuse of the social systems; and a joint archive.

During her St. Maarten’s Day address the Prime Minister emphasized that closer cooperation between the two sides of the island is being made a reality through the initiatives of Government and that of St. Martin; "Since last year we have a formal relationship in place between Country St. Maarten and the Representative of the French State the Prefet. This was lacking in the past as the French State is responsible for several areas, areas that since our constitutional change are autonomous responsibilities of St. Martin (South). During the months of November and December, follow ups will be given and the Ministerial Committees in charge of continuing and structuring this formal relationship will have to report on their progress," stated the Prime Minister in her St. Martin’s Day Message.

Tuesday’s meeting was the first to take place with the newly installed Government after the signing of the MOU of February which identified areas of cooperation. "Since then, meetings and discussions have been held on a technical level, that resulted in further detailing the areas of cooperation and proposals to address the same," continued the Prime Minister.

Following the meeting the Council of Ministers visited the general kitchen facility for schools in Grand Case. "I was quite impressed with the facilities which are available on the French Side to provide lunches for students," stated the PM. The meeting closed with a lunch at a school compound hosted by the Collectivite.

The next meeting between the Council of Ministers and the Territorial Council is scheduled for December 7th,"This meeting is important as it will also include the Prefet, who is the representative of the French state," concluded the PM.