PM Announces Launch of Pilot Projects Addressing Poverty Eradication & Environmental Sustainability

To Inform Public on National Development Plan Principles on Radio Program This Friday

The Prime Minister of St. Maarten , the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams recently outlined her Government’s steps to ensure a sustainable development for St. Maarten going forward. The Prime Minister, who also outlined Government’s vision for the development of St. Maarten at the recently held Governor’s Symposium, will also be discussing Sustainable Development and the development of the Country in General, as it fits into the framework of the National Development Plan, during her live-call in radio program "One on One with the Prime Minister" this coming Friday.  

Photocaption: The Prime Minister being interviewed at the Rio+20 Sustainable Debvelopment Summit last year.

The PM outlined how the successive cabinets under her leadership have been committed to the sustainable development of the country, taking into account global strategies and commitments as well as compliance and goal attainment as set forth in various strategic frameworks. "The term sustainable development is a topic in its own right. It has been modified and sometimes criticized, but the understanding and importance remain the same".

"It is also widely accepted that the ‘interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars’ of sustainable development are: Economic and Social developments , and Environmental

Protection as outlined in the UN 2005 World Summit Outcome Document. With sometimes the social and environmental parts fused into ecological sustainability, along with economic, cultural and political sustainability, making it a 4-prong developmental model. " commented the Prime Minister.

The PM also went on to elucidate on St. Maarten’s participation at the Rio+20 conference and other environmentally oriented conferences and symposia in order to place the Country within the context of a global partnership for sustainability, while simultaneously ensuring that its own development occurs in a sustainable manner.

"It is important that St. Maarten is represented at these conferences due to our fledgling position on the global stage and the sensitivity our country has with regards to the topics being discussed during the Rio+20 conferences for example. All of the points are of particular importance to St. Maarten as we are what is known as a Small Island Developing State and as such we are most vulnerable to environmental changes and external shocks. It is also important that we highlight not only the challenges we face in the areas of social equity and environmental protection, but also that we highlight the steps Government has been taking to address these issues. As a young nation we have to be at the forefront of putting in place mechanisms to address the issues we are faced with," emphasized Prime Minister Wescot-Williams.

The Prime Minister further explained Government’s initiatives on Sustainable Development through the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Report and as part of the drafting of the National Development Plan. The PM stressed that, coming out of the report two pilot projects will be launched in order to address two sections which the MDGs’ report found challenging to St. Maarten: Goal 1. Poverty Eradication and Goal 7. Ensuring Environmental Sustainability.

The PM also outlined the efforts to ensure sustainability in the National Development Plan, currently being drafted for the Country. "I recognize that the NDP is a long term project, but would like to emphasize that the means to get to the Plan, which are dialogue, consensus, capacity building and nation building, are just as important as the eventual Plan itself.

The SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) as defined in the Rio+20 Outcome document will also form part of this Plan. "Cognizant of the need to accomplish quick wins on the road to the NDP, I would like to announce the two MDG pilot projects in the areas of Poverty Eradication (1) and Environmental Sustainability (7) and government’s commitment to work on all MDGs towards the deadline of 2015.In other words, while we continue with the daily governance of St. Maarten and the realities this brings with it, I have prioritized the long term sustainability of our country and its citizens. And that is only possible with the involvement of all sectors and individuals within our society," stressed the PM.

The Prime Minister will be holding a special One on One with the PM Radio Program on 98.1 this Friday starting at nine with members of the NDP workgroup and participants of the Course on Democratic Dialogue where further information will be given and the public will have the opportunity to call in with their questions. The Public can also send emails with questions regarding Sustainable Development, the Millennium Development Goals or the National Development Plan to on********@gm***.com.