Grisha: “again, IPKO has proven our main focus should be amending the Kingdom Charter”

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PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — In a press statement released on Monday March 6, 2023, evening, Member of Parliament, Grisha Heyliger-Marten elaborated on her statements made during the IPKO which took place in Curaçao last week.

During her opening remarks at the IPKO, Heyliger-Marten expressed her discontent and impatience with the fact that, as she participated in her fourth IPKO, the discussion about changing the Kingdom Charter seems to be avoided.

Despite the fact that all governments within the Kingdom continue to complain about its structure and deficient articles, nobody seems to want to address the problems, Heyliger-Marten stated during her address.

“We keep beating around the bush IPKO after IPKO, without making any changes for the betterment of the lives of our people. All of this just to keep the fata morgana of a so-called functioning Kingdom based on equality alive. Frankly, I’m tired of this repetitive process. It’s time that each of our Parliaments calls a spade a spade. We need to make definitive decisions on where we want to go with our respective populations and the Kingdom, why, and how.”

As far as Heyliger-Marten is concerned, the only relevant topic for the next IPKO should be drastic reforms of the Kingdom Charter. “There are stacks and stacks of documentation pointing out that the Kingdom Charter does not and cannot work, and is not in compliance with international law. We have academic research, including the article 73 factsheet, motions of all Parliaments within the Kingdom, court proceedings, reports from the CERD, and more. I don’t know what else is needed to substantiate that we cannot continue with these dysfunctional and abusive relationships within an unlawful Kingdom Charter”, according to Heyliger-Marten.

“It’s not complicated: all that the Parliaments have to do is list the articles in the Kingdom Charter that violate international law and cause complications in the relationship between the Kingdom partners, and either scrap or amend these articles. It really is that simple, because we know exactly which articles we are talking about”, Heyliger-Marten stated. 

In the meantime, Heyliger suggests that the process of screening all current laws within the Kingdom should be initiated, in order to establish if they are in full compliance with international law. “I will be sending a letter to that effect to the Chair of Parliament, the Prime Minister, the Dutch Parliament and Senate, and the Kingdom Council of Ministers within short”, she stated.  

“On a positive note, I am pleased that the IPKO took the important decision that all Parliaments should be involved in the preparations of-, and represented at the Kingdom conference, just as was the case in the process leading up to 10-10-10”, according to Heyliger-Marten. 

“This is how it should be, since the Parliaments are the ones who ultimately have to approve amendments to the Kingdom Charter and any other laws. 

We need to get serious about the people’s business and fundamentally change the Charter as per the motion de Graaf c.s. And if we are not willing to do that, we might as well stop organizing IPKO’s and dismantle the Kingdom Charter once and for all, instead of continuing to chase an illusion for another 68 years, Heyliger-Marten concluded, expressing hope that the next IPKO will be a productive one.