New Minister of Finance Marinka Gumbs addresses nation with vision of unity, progress

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~ First female Minister of Finance ~

In a humbling address to the nation, newly appointed Minister of Finance Marinka Gumbs, the first woman to hold the position, stood before her fellow St. Maarteners to express profound gratitude and outline a vision for the future of the island’s economy and society.

The Minister began by acknowledging the divine grace that has allowed her to take on this pivotal role. Embracing her assignment with humility, she recognized the weight of her new responsibilities, emphasizing her readiness to face the challenges ahead.

“I humbly accept this opportunity to serve my country. Being acutely aware of the gravity of this function, I have fully prepared myself to take on the challenges, responsibility, and accountability inherent to the Finance portfolio,” Minister Gumbs said.

Underscoring the trust placed in her by the Democratic Party and its leader, Honorable Member of Parliament Mrs. Sarah Wescot-Williams, the Minister expressed her heartfelt appreciation for the confidence shown in her capabilities and their shared commitment to integrity and dedication in service to the nation.

The Minister paid homage to the trailblazing women who have set the groundwork for this moment, celebrating her position as the first female Minister of Finance in St. Maarten’s history and committing to serve as a beacon for future generations of women leaders. “With this historic milestone comes great responsibility. To those extraordinary women, whose shoulders I stand on, I offer my sincerest appreciation,” the Minister said.

Recognizing the central role of the Ministry of Finance as the engine of the economy, the Minister spoke candidly about the scrutiny from both the public and Kingdom partners that her portfolio attracts. “I am cognizant of the fact that to be successful in my new role, my Ministry needs to enjoy the trust, the buy-in and cooperation of other colleagues in government, community leaders and most importantly each individual citizen of this island,” she stressed.

Addressing the financial challenges that the nation faces, including the rising cost of living and economic inequality, she pledged to tackle these issues with systematic diligence.

“I realize that trust and confidence in me as your Minister of Finance can only be earned through the systematic and relentless tackling of the significant financial challenges facing our people today, including the need for sustainable growth, the preservation and protection of our environment, our history, culture and everything that makes us unique and stand out as a people, as a country.  I assure you that with the assistance of the persons in my Ministry and my colleague Ministers in government, I will approach these challenges with diligence and integrity, with an emphasis on transparency.

The Minister stressed the importance of policies promoting fairness and opportunity, and the empowerment of citizens to partake in the governmental decision-making process. She acknowledged that the success of St. Maarten hinges on the collective efforts of civil servants, the private sector, and the input of its citizens.

“To this end, my Ministry will work closely with Ministers across government, our partners in the private sector and most importantly, you the citizens who are the heart of this nation. I would be only fooling myself if I believe that I will be able to execute my role. I need your assistance in keeping my finger on the pulse of the economy and the realities of the lives of our people. Together let us join efforts to bring about the changes that will create a more equitable and prosperous existence for each and every citizen of our beautiful, beloved island,” Minister Gumbs said.

In a personal note, the Minister thanked her family and friends for their love and support, especially reminiscing about her late father, whose presence was deeply missed at this proud moment. To her son, she dedicated her resolve to lead by example, instilling values of faith, courage, and determination. “You can accomplish anything,” she told her son.

“To every member of our society I promise to give my all, to listen to your recommendations regarding what is needed to improve your quality of life and that of your family. I aim to be a strong leader, who will govern with integrity, courage, wisdom, empathy, discernment and compassion. I care deeply about my role in this pivotal Ministry. I acknowledge its significance and the impact it has on the people’s daily lives and our country’s future.

She continued: “To my fellow council of Ministers, may our united efforts be blessed, so that we will be protected, motivated and energized as we embark on this journey of hope and hard work. And together may we make great strides towards the continuous advancement of St. Maarten, for St. Maarten and its people.”