International Day of Pensioners

Today the SMSPA wants to extend best wishes to all the seniors and pensioners in Sint Maarten on the occasion of the Day of the Pensioners July 25, 2012. It is our hope that the reflection on this day will establish the valuable contribution of the seniors to the development of Sint Maarten, and will also be a day to demand for attention for the needs and to eliminate the structural abuse and violations of the rights from the seniors in this part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

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Member of Parliament of the Netherlands Antilles mr Gilberto (Beto) Thomas, at that time a representative of parliament of the Netherlands Antilles in the PARLATINO, brought the PARLATINO decision to establish July 25th as International Day of Pensioners in all coountries of the region, to the attention of the government of the Netherlands Antilles. Then Minister of Finance, Gilbert de Paula, sent this PARLATINO decision to the Director of the APNA fund, Drs E. Profeet, who then advised the Antillean government to declare this day as an official day in the Netherlands Antilles. Minister of Labour Eithel Pieters and Prime Minster Maria Liberia-Peters signed the decree in 1991, to have the 25th of July as the official Day of the Pensioners in the Netherlands Antilles. So the Netherlands Antilles was one of the first countries in the region to officialize the Day of the Pensioners. Since then this day has been observed in the Netherlands Antilles by various organizations.

For the first time the Day of the Pensioners was conmemorated in Sint Maarten on Sunday July 25, 2010, two years ago. The conmemoration was organized by the Committee that prepared the formalization of the Sint Maarten Seniors and Pensioners Association. They took the initiative to promote this official day here in Sint Maarten with a program in the Seniors Citizen’s Recreational Center at Hope Estate. The program was characterized by a reflection upon the importance of the contribution of retirees and pensioners given or which  can still be given to the society of Sint Maarten. Also some seniors among which present deputy Prime Minister William Marlin reflected upon the situation and the position of pensioners, and the challenges they face in the Sint Maarten society.
Last year July 2011, the SMSPA sent a delegation of the board to Curacao, where the July 25th conmemoration was twofold. In the morning a mass was held in the Catholic church in Suffisant and a reception afterwards with the Minister of Social Development and Labour of Curacao. In the evening the occasion of the Day of the Pensioners was conmemorated during the Opening Session of the First Dutch Caribbean Seminar on Aging in the aula of the University of Curacao. The Seminar, with a strong input of the Sint Maarten Seniors and Pensioners Association delegation, evaluated the achievements of the International Action Plan on Aging in the Caribbean part of the kingdom of the Netherlands. The SMSPA delegation distributed among the participants their presentations given to the Parliament and the Council of Ministers of Sint Maarten in march and june of 2011, and also shared a copy of the Petition to the Council of Ministers of Sint Maarten of June 8, 2011, to adddress in the Kingdom government the unequal pensions, the unequal health care quality and the unequal health care insurances in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
This year July 2012 the SMSPA is conmemorating the two years of existance of the SMSPA and the Day of the Pensioners in Sint Maarten in a reflective manner. Through radio and tv interviews the SMSPA will conmemorate what has been achieved by the SMSPA since July the 15th, 2010 the day the SMSPA was founded, but also will be conmemorated that the SMSPA was founded just around July the 25th,  the Day of the Pensioners, upon initiative and with the support of the CLATJUP board member responsible for the development of CLATJUP. On Thursday morning radio host "Electra" Mercedes Wyat at Laser 101 had an interview with three boardmembers of the SMSPA, and on Friday the radio host Lloyd Richardson interviewed two boardmembers of the SMSPA. On July 25th AVS news will air an interview for its viewers to conmemorate the Day of the Pensioners and the second birthday of the SMSPA.
For more information on what the seniors of Sint Maarten and the SMSPA has achieved one can visit the SMSPA Facebook page "Soualiga Senior" or one can contact the individual board members.
For more information about the international background of International Day of the Pensioners please below, the English translation of the press release of the Latin American Confederation of Retirees, Pensioners and Older Persons (CLATJUPAM) on the occasion of July 25, 2012.

Translation of Press release Secretary of Education CLATJUPAM

(=Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Retirees, Pensioners and Older Persons)

on the occasion of the Day of the Pensioners July 25, 2012


Today it is exactly 23 years ago that CLATJUPAM (former CLATJUP) was founded. CLATJUPAM (former CLATJUP) is the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Retirees, Pensioners and Older Persons.
The Confederation was founded on July 25, 1989 in San Antonio de los Altos, Estado Miranda, in Venezuela, on the premises of Universidad de los Trabajadores de America Latina (UTAL). 64 representatives of pensioners organizations of 16 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean were the founding members of CLATJUPAM (former CLATJUP).
Immediately after their installation the board of CLATJUP requested the PARLATINO to declare July the 25th as the International Day of Retirees and Pensioners. The PARLATINO, where representatives of Parliaments in the Latin American region discuss issues of common concern, passed the resolution in 1990.
Ten years later, in 1999, the III Congress of CLATJUP once more ratified the decision to promote and celebrate the International Day of Retirees and Pensioners in all countries of the region on the day that CLATJUP was founded. The congress also resolved that all affiliated organizations on or around this day have to realize mobilizations and gatherings given the possibilities and the reality of each country to address the issues of pensioners.


Before 1989 in the workers movement in our region when workers were no longer kept in the workplace because of their age, these workers had to retire and only some could go on pension. Consequently these workers were no longer kept as members in the labour union. This meant that retired workers were also set aside

by the organized workers movement. CLATJUP (now CLATJUPAM) came into existence to maintain workers who retire organized in the workers movement.

From the Declaration of Principles we gather what the founders had in mind with the retirees and pensioners after 1989 through the confederation and their affiliated organizations. They wanted the retirees and pensioners to:

* serve and be useful for the wellbeing of all,

* participate in society and in the workers movement, because the potential creativity and the product of the experience of the human being does not end at a certain age.

* aspire the realization of their human rights, the improvement of their standard of living above poverty level, and the termination of the cruel marginalization of retirees and pensioners.

* reintegrate the retirees and pensioners as human beings entitled to all human rights in society

* channel their concerns and aspirations,

* continue to provide their experience, their capacity, their honesty and their affection, and

* participate in the evolution and the development of the nation.

It is therefore worthwhile to celebrate the birthday of CLATJUPAM (former CLATJUP).

It is even more worthwhile to reflect upon the achievements up to now and the challenges that still lie ahead of the organized movement of pensioners and retirees in the region and in every country of the region.

drs Raymond Jessurun (Secretray of Education of CLATJUPAM)