St. Maarten submits a historic petition to UN



Philipsburg, Sint Maarten — Parliament on St. Maarten has submitted the island’s first Petition to the United Nations requesting it to investigate violations of a UN Mandate right to a full measure of self-government for the people of St. Maarten.

The Petition is based on a motion presented by MP Grisha Heyliger-Marten (United People’s Party) and subsequently passed by 12 of the 15 Parliament MPs on November 5th, 2020. In the fifth resolution of that motions Parliament resolved to “retain legal counsel to assist the Parliament and Government of Sint Maarten with ending the violations of Sint Maarten’s UN-mandated right to a full measure of self-government; completing the decolonization of Sint Maarten and the other islands of the former Netherlands Antilles with the assistance of the United Nations in accordance with the past, present, and future obligations of the Netherlands under international law; and obtaining reparations from the Netherlands for violations of international law and norms as well as its treaty obligations.”

On March 9th, 2021, Choharis Legal Solutions, on behalf of the Parliament, filed a petition to both The Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance and The Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent. Both institutions form part of the United Nations system.

Leader of the United People’s Party and President of Parliament stated: “The petition forms a compendium of many statements, studies and facts presented to and within parliament over the years.”

He said Parliament represents the people of Sint Maarten, in accordance with Article 44 of the Constitution, and part of our duty is to ensure that the interest and rights of the people of Sint Maarten are protected at all times. “Our obligations include investigating whether Kingdom and International laws are upheld by all and to create new laws where needed. With this filing, I have complied with the wishes of Parliament and my mandate as President to carry out the same.”