The Ombudsman of Sint Maarten, Dr. Nilda Arduin, along with the Secretary General of the bureau, Mr. Randolf Duggins, attended a working visit to Oranjestad, Aruba from the 9-11 November, 2015.
The purpose of the trip was to establish a consultation platform between the National Ombudsman institutions of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The recently appointed Ombudsman of Curaçao, Mr. Keursly Concincion, the National Ombudsman of The Netherlands, Mr. Reinier van Zutphen, and Dr. Nilda Arduin agreed to come together on a yearly rotating basis and discuss issues of mutual concern. The next consultation has been tentatively scheduled for June 2016 on Sint Maarten. Additionally, Dr. Arduin, in her capacity as President of the Caribbean Ombudsman Association (CAROA), discussed possible future contribution of her colleagues to the regional organization. The National Ombudsman of the Netherlands is also the Ombudsman for Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba (BES).
The choice to meet on Aruba was partly on the invitation of the President of Parliament,
Ms. Marisol Lopez-Tromp, to support the Parliament of Aruba in its initiative and process of establishing the Ombudsman institute.
An initiative National Ordinance hereto is presently at the Parliament of Aruba for debate.
In this regard various meetings were held by the three Ombudsmen with stakeholders: the Governor of Aruba, Mr. Fredis Refunjol, the President of Parliament, Ms. Marisol Lopez-Tromp, the Prime Minister, Mr. Mike Eman, the Minister of Finance and Government Organization, Mr. Angel Bermudez, and the Council of Advice. Information sessions with government department heads and invited guests were also organized. Invited guests were given the opportunity to ask the panel of Ombudsmen questions about the institute and their experiences. One of the highlights of the visit was the attendance and participation of Dr. Arduin and Mr. van Zutphen in a public meeting of Parliament, sharing her experiences of the past five years establishing the institution on Sint Maarten with the members of Parliament and the public. The two days of sharing information and experiences had the effect of reviewing and evaluating the Ombudsman institution of Sint Maarten, and as such an extra benefit for the Sint Maarten operations.