Prime Minister Wescot-Williams: “Move away from discussions focusing on a bridge or a tunnel; we should all be part of a larger discussion focusing on St. Maarten moving forward in terms of Sustainable Development and not just on nearsighted goals”

The Primer Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams over the weekend stressed the importance of inclusive sustainable development and the vision for the Island in terms of the National Development Plan. The Prime Minister also stressed the importance of the community dialogues and the work that is currently being done to ensure that all communities are included in the dialogues for the National Development Plan.
The Prime Minister stressed that, as a small island developing state, St. Maarten has to develop taking into accounts the principles of sustainable development in order to strike a right balance within all sectors; “The emphasis on what I have been stating for some time now is that, especially as a young country, we need to come to decisions regarding the sustainable development of St. Maarten in all of the areas including Economic Development, Environmental Protection and Social Development. This is the only route route going forward. However, when we look at inclusive or sustainable development the other pillar that we must also look closely at is sound and proper Governance. All of these factors need to be in place to ensure that St. Maarten develops in a balanced manner and now, as our own country, the emphasis must be placed on this. That is why a collective vision for the country St. Maarten is so important in determining what the best priorities for the country are. We should move away from the discussions focusing on a bridge or a tunnel; we should all be part of a larger discussion focusing on St. Maarten moving forward and not just on nearsighted goals. This is what it comes down to today and this is what St. Maarten should be focusing on; what is the overall plan and how do you get persons to buy in the plan and get people to ask us where we, as politicians, see St. Maarten in the future,” commented Prime Minister Wescot-Williams.
The Prime Minister also emphasized that there is a current push to ensure that all districts are included in the participatory discussions regarding the establishment of a National Development Plan; “We have had some very active and participatory districts as part of the social participation in the National Development Plan while others have not been so participatory. Therefore we are thinking on different and innovative approaches of going into the community and we want to refocus on all that we have gotten and come to the decision as to how we can tweak the organization of that grouping and how we can reach everyone in the community,” stressed Prime Minister Wescot-Williams.