The honor has been bestowed upon me to bring you wishes for a Blessed, Prosperous, and Healthy New Year on behalf of the URSM.

This Holiday Season is always a Happy time for us all because we get the opportunity to close an old chapter and open a new one. A new Chapter that in spite of all adversaries that have gone before, gives the opportunity and privilege to offer people new Hope, new Expectations, and renewed Confidence!

URSM will approach 2022, taking another path, a different approach, a new attitude, to ensure that we capture and focus on what counts and is important in building a future for the next generation, and the generations to come. St. Maarten must rise up out of its slumber and sleep and focus on its most important investment, the people of Sint Maarten. For what is the value of any accomplishment, if it is only for a chosen few? URSM is focused on you, the people!

The year 2021 was indeed a challenging year for most everyone, whether it was the Corona Pandemic or any impeding vulnerability, we all got a taste of those intriguing times, which might not end in the near future. Our country needs a clear strategic vision, sound political leadership, deep-rooted morals, and values, bold decision-making, courageous men and women, and a demonstration of empathy for those most at risk. Our people need new hope that will endorse their mental state and give them new directions and positive futures. Political tactics and tricks have undermined the prosperity of the common man. Our people have been sacrificed for individual gain and wealth. This big shift in Political “greed” leadership has created more poverty for the people, than ever before. For that reason, the URSM will be taking another path with the people of St. Maarten.

URSM will empower the people of Sint Maarten. It is our belief that with the alleviation and elimination of poverty on Sint Maarten, the building of a strong middle class can be started, which is what URSM aims for. Our resilience as a people speaks volumes when we review the last four (4) years, 2017-2021, after hurricane IRMA and during the Corona Pandemic. The spirit to overcome, which lives in each of us, must continue to give us strength, even in our exhaustive physical and mental state. Let us have courage, even when there seems to be hopelessness, poverty, lack of opportunity, and injustice that confronts us.

As a people, we must stress the importance of St. Martin’s unity and its inclusiveness to resolve turbulence, dynamism, and complexities as we face the many socio-economic challenges for the betterment and improvement of this country. With renewed determination, we can overcome and work towards building this nation by collaborating with a commitment to a higher purpose. This higher purpose must be loaded with integrity and morals, which I believe will give St. Maarten an awakening to build a new era. An Era of Transformation and Commitment. We can make this change!

As we reflect upon the past and make plans for the future, 2022 must be a year of Bold Decisions. Moving into what we thought could not be possible, and making it possible. Just to mention a few ideas would be, to transform minimum wage to living wage; to increase social welfare benefits; to create and amend policies to create employment; to increase old-age pension; to introduce a sustainable financial model for health care; finalizing discussions on our currency debate; the introduction of US pre-clearance; the establishment of a National Development Bank, and the list continues …

As we look towards 2022, we leave behind all the obstacles that obstructed our move forward – egoism, greed, division, and envy. Let us begin 2022 with a recommitment of ourselves to the values and morals of respect, compassion, integrity, with a sense of dignity and love for country above self.

We, URSM, look forward to a dynamic year filled with Opportunities and Hope for our people, which will enable them to demonstrate wisdom, unity, sound morals, and high commitment to all challenges and opportunities 2022 will offer. The URSM believes in you and is counting on you to be responsible citizens.

Be Safe and Healthy everyone! URSM wishes you a Blessed, Happy, and Productive Year!

Dr. Luc Mercelina