While decolonization can be viewed from many varying perspectives, it is important to define what decolonization means for St. Maarten. In 1955, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) did an assessment of The Kingdom Charter, and stated exactly how the Netherlands could fully decolonize St. Maarten, and by extension, its sister islands of the former Netherlands Antilles.
Firstly, UNGA pointed out that the appointment of governors by the Netherlands, and the powers they exercise, was in conflict with a “full measure of self-government”. The same applies to Articles 43, 44, 50, and 51 of the Kingdom Charter. Once those articles are struck from the Kingdom Charter, St. Maarten will be fully decolonized. Making the Kingdom Charter UN compliant does not require a referendum nor complicated and lengthy negotiations.
St. Maarten would then become an independent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, with a “full measure of self-government” meaning that the Kingdom will no longer exercise any authority in any way, shape, or form on St. Maarten.
An immediate benefit of finalizing our decolonization is that St. Maarten will be able to join the East Caribbean Court of Justice system. Our legal system will then be in English which is the spoken language of St. Maarten. All of our students would then be able to become judges and lawyers, because the legal system will be in English, the language they speak.
It is worth mentioning that only 21 of the 76 members (28%) of the UNGA voted in favor of the Kingdom Charter as presented in 1955. The primary reason for such a low approval rate was that the UNGA did not believe that the Kingdom Charter gave the former Netherlands Antilles a full measure of self-governance nor a right to self-determination.
Lastly, United Nations Resolution 945X states that only the UNGA has the competency to determine whether a territory has been fully decolonized.