~Grisha: IPKO is becoming less and less relevant while international developments are moving at a fast pace~

Member of Parliament Grisha Heyliger-Marten


PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Having returned from the Netherlands, MP Grisha Heyliger-Marten reflected on the IPKO meetings held in the Hague last week.

“This IPKO was the least productive and organized one that I have experienced thus far”, Heyliger-Marten stated in a press release issued on Sunday evening. “To me, the agenda and discussions showed a worrying lack of interest and urgency when it comes to the many important issues that we have been facing within the Kingdom. The agreement list reflects this as well.”

According to Heyliger-Marten, it seems that the main issue that needs to be addressed within the Kingdom keeps being avoided. ”I said it before and I will continue saying it. We keep dancing around the big elephant in the room, which is the deficient structure of the Dutch Kingdom. It is clearly not serving the people of the islands exactly because it is deficient. So as long as we don’t eliminate those deficiencies, we can have all the IPKO’s, tripartites, landspakketen, TWO’s and Governing programs that we want, and nothing will change for the better for the people who we represent”, Heyliger-Marten stated.

“While we keep wasting time trying to make something unworkable work, more and more Caribbean nations are moving ahead and focusing on objectives like sustainable development, capacity building, decolonization, and reparations in cooperation with each other and with direct assistance of the UN. Objectives that will actually bring direct benefits to the people of those nations’ ‘, according to Heyliger-Marten.

Heyliger-Marten further pointed out that the BVI is now also looking at using Article 73 of the UN Charter as a basis for achieving these objectives. In contrast, the Kingdom Relations Committee of the Dutch House of Representatives canceled its May 10th meeting on the Article 73 factsheet that it itself commissioned. According to Heyliger-Marten, the reason cited for this cancellation was “lack of participation” from the side of factions and MP’s represented in the Committee. “This is just one very telling example that the Dutch political establishment is not interested in real change and bringing the Dutch Kingdom in full compliance with international law”, Heyliger-Marten said.

With respect to reparations, Heyliger-Marten stated that, in addition to CARICOM’s “Ten Point Plan”, the “Permanent Forum on People of African Descent” decided last week to work on establishing a global reparations commission and conceptualizing a special global international tribunal to adjudicate reparatory claims. These concepts will be presented to the United Nations General Assembly for approval.

“So while we as Kingdom partners continue to run around in circles in a non-functioning Kingdom, the issues that we face are being dealt with at a global level. It is therefore high time that we organize a Round Table Conference with all the islands to discuss how we want to continue within the Dutch Kingdom”, Heyliger-Marten concluded.