Prime Minister Gumbs: Sint Maarten already taking measures to enhance good governance and criminal justice system

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PHILIPSBURG – Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs, said on Sunday that joint cooperation and collaboration is the most feasible way to move forward in building and developing a longstanding relationship that is beneficial to both parties concerned within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Additional discussions will take place between Sint Maarten and the Netherlands with on how to tackle a number of areas such as border crossing crime, money laundering, the narcotics trade, robberies, and human smuggling and trafficking.

“Sint Maarten and the Netherlands both agree that the country’s judicial system needs to be strengthened.  I am pleased with the outcome of the recent deliberations that took place in the Netherlands where Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson met with Dutch Ministers Plasterk of Internal Affairs and Kingdom Relations and Minister Van der Steur of Safety and Justice to discuss moving forward with respect to the protocol that was signed between both Governments.

“Based on a number of reports regarding integrity and the enhancement of good governance, country Sint Maarten started its own process to establish an integrity chamber, and around mid-August, the Parliament of our country passed the national ordinance to establish an independent integrity institution.  Fighting corruption and ensuring integrity are two of the top issues for this government,” Marcel Gumbs, Prime Minister of Sint Maarten said on Sunday.

The four-party Judicial Conference between the Ministers of Justice of the Kingdom of the Netherlands earlier this year decided that the overall judicial system of the islands needed to be strengthened.

The ministers emphasized that the Police Force of Sint Maarten (KPSM) needed additional capacity in order to fight border crossing crime and corruption in the interests of the people of Sint Maarten and of the Kingdom.

A Protocol to establish an Integrity Chamber and strengthen the Judiciary was signed on 24 May, 2015, between Sint Maarten and the Netherlands.