MP Romou elucidates on the many benefits of being a member of the Parlatino Parliament of Latin America and the Caribbean

MP Angelique Romou


PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Says membership opens doors to partnerships and legislation that are beneficial for St. Maarten and its people MP Romou formed part of the delegation that traveled to Panama for the 2022 Parlatino Parliament commencement ceremonies. This was her first trip as a representative of the people of St. Maarten. As a member of various Parlatino committees, the MP was able to sit in on committee meetings and give feedback on the St. Maarten experience as it pertained to the topics at hand.

MP Romou explained that going to Parlatino opened her eyes as to the benefits and the very important role St. Maarten plays as a partner in the Parlatino Parliament. The MP explained that Parlatino if utilized correctly could create vast opportunities for St. Maarten in numerous areas. Forging partnerships with numerous Latin and other countries for sustainable developments in the 21st century which would be very advantageous for St. Maarten’s development and utilizing and amending numerous laws that have been passed, which pertain to issues we are faced with in St. Maarten that may benefit our people.

Romou indicated that 6 laws were passed at this year’s Parlatino assembly, but that from 1984 to now over 109 laws have been passed. MP Romou has identified a couple laws that have gained her interest but being the advocate for equitable Education for all, she has placed her focus on those that pertain to Education. For example; the Model Law to Guarantee the Human Right to Access to Information and Communication Technologies and the Internet and Eliminate the Digital divide which is one that can assist all school going children who may not have access to internet and also do not have the necessary tools or skills to thrive in this era of technology.

The other model law deals with Special Needs for Inclusive Education with an Emphasis on People with Specific Educational Support Needs, an area of major concern for MP Romou who said that she did not only campaign on making a difference in this specific area but has been championing this since the inception of her tenure as a Member of Parliament.

She said that the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports has been to Parliament on her request to provide answers to the many questions surrounding this issue and is currently tasked with providing Parliament with a policy that focuses on Special Needs Education. MP Romou indicated that she has had meetings with key stakeholders as it pertains to getting the St. Maarten Vocational Training School validated and accredited and see this model law and the many position papers which have been done over the years on Special Needs, Vocational Education and institutions for behavioral modification as providing more light at the end of the tunnel to have a concrete law that benefits all students who fit into either one of these groups.

As it pertains to the possibilities of forming partnerships, MP Romou explained that after one of the sessions where she explained her role as the Chair Lady of the Committee for Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, she was invited by the Deputy Director, CIDEIPP, of the University of Austra in Argentina to be a speaker on the panel of Education and Parliaments. This will be the first ever international workshop of scholars and parliamentarians to be held in Latin America and the Caribbean.

This concept was started some 17 years ago in the UK. MP Romou said this international workshop of scholars and parliamentarians aims to bring together the two groups to discuss research findings which are to be of practical use to parliamentarians. The panel sessions provide an opportunity for the presentation and discussion of the findings and may assist Parliaments to evaluate and make suggestions for improvements in their current systems.

Romou named all the topics to be discussed, in this year’s session, Namely:
Theory of Legislation,  Parliaments and Education, Parliamentary Law Issues, Legislative delegation and emergency regimes, Parliament’s experience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Legislation and Public Policies informed in evidence, Regulatory Quality, Open Parliament, Parliamentary Oversight, Transparency and Fight against Corruption, Results-oriented Parliamentary Management, Strategic Planning and Parliamentary Budget Processing Parliamentary Modernization and Digital Revolution in Parliaments, Science and Technological Innovation Parliamentary Foresight.

The Parliaments of the Future, Parliaments, Diplomacy and Foreign Policy, Parliaments in the Global Governance System, Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation, Parliaments, Peace, Sovereignty, Security and Defense of Democracy, Parliaments and Human Rights, Parliaments and Climate Change, Parliaments, Multilateralism, International Trade, and Foreign Direct Investments, Parliaments Gender and the Empowerment of Women, Youth , Politics, and Parliaments, Sub-national Parliaments and Federalism, From presidential to parliamentary systems, Parliaments, political parties, elections, and representativeness.

MP Romou indicated that as a speaker on the panel for Parliaments and Education she would be focusing on Education in the 21st century and the need for global change to meet the needs of all Children with a focus on individualism seeing that even though times has changed not much has changed in our educational systems and that Parliaments all over the world can have a major impact on creating the much needed diversification in Education.

MP Romou concluded by emphasizing that there are tremendous benefits and opportunities that may derive for St. Maarten being a member of the Parlatino parliament, but it is up to us as Parliamentarians to seize these opportunities and make them work for the benefit of the people of St. Maarten.