MP Duncan Proposes Roundtable Discussion on Kingdom Charter

Member of Parliament Solange Ludmila Duncan


Philipsburg, Sint Maarten — The Committee for Constitutional Affairs and Decolonization (CCAD) held its first committee meeting on Wednesday 10th March, 2021. Chairperson of the Committee MP Ludmila Duncan requested that the first meeting be closed-door in order to discuss the working methods of the committee.

In my capacity as Chairperson, I presented a proposal on the contextual framework for the committee as well as a proposal to host a roundtable discussion of experts to discuss the democratic deficits in the Kingdom Charter and possible ways forward, stated MP Duncan.

Local experts will be invited to present position papers and present their views in Parliament. This would be the first roundtable discussion held in Parliament.

No matter what everyone thinks about decolonization, whether we are fully decolonized or not, the committee was established unanimously to deliberate and work on the issues that do exist because of our status as a so-called country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is also about how we are treated.

Another agenda point in the meeting included the 2020 Dutch NGOs contribution pertaining the Twenty-second to Twenty-fourth Periodic Report on the Kingdom of the Netherlands to
the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination report by the Dutch Section of the International Commission of Jurists (NJCM) which stated that “Kingdom interference in the autonomous matters of the Caribbean countries are in fact interference by the Netherlands” and that “this historically grown constitutional imbalance upholds racialized discourses and practices.” MP Duncan noted that we often do not debate discrimination in the Kingdom when it exists systematically.

“In 2020 legal experts all around the Dutch Caribbean agreed that the conditions for liquidity support and the imposing of a Caribbean Reform Entity in its original state, trampled on our autonomy and in some cases human rights. We cannot forget that this was and will continue to be the case as long as major democratic deficits exist in the Kingdom,” added the MP.

MP Duncan during her presentation in the meeting also called on her colleagues to deliberate on matters at three levels; international, kingdom and local. “A majority in Parliament supported the international trajectory towards fixing our democratic deficits with the submission of a petition at the UN. Some are against and they have a right to be however there has also been debate and a lack of action taken at the Kingdom level with the Kingdom Charter being the key instrument in need of reform. For some Members, this is the only trajectory that we should on. This is why I proposed the hosting of a roundtable discussion in Parliament with local experts to deliberate possible actions,” added the MP.

“Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten have been waiting for a dispute regulation to handle matters of conflict within the Kingdom for 10 years. Why hasn’t it been finalized as yet? This is why there are different trajectories and I believe that all are valid at this crucial time in our history.”

The MP Duncan looks forward to chairing public meetings of the CCAD and aims to have the Committee publish reports within short for public consumption.