BES Islands –On Monday September 14th Kingdom Representative, Gilbert Isabella, and Secretary General of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, Richard van Zwol, paid an extra visit to St. Eustatius to discuss the Plan of Action with the Executive Council and the Island Council.
On September 1st Kingdom Representative Isabella presented the Plan of Action regarding the financial and administrative problem of St. Eustatius to Minister Plasterk of Interior and Kingdom Relations.
The Plan of Action was drafted by the Steering Committee.
“The proposed action points from the Plan of Action should lead to the improvement of administrative and decision-making processes on St. Eustatius.
- The Plan of Action briefly outlines how ‘good governance’ can be achieved and supported.
- De mentioned action points are based on and are linked mainly to previously identified bottlenecks that were also raised through administrative, official and signals from people of the island.
- An Expert Group will further work out details of the financial management that will be a part off the Plan of Action.
- The Minister has sent the Plan of Action this week to the Executive Council with the request to start implementing the plan”, says Isabella.
During this extra visit Isabella and van Zwol talked with the Island Governor, Commissioners, the Island Council, the Islands Secretary and the Registrar to provide extra explanation about the purpose of the Plan of Action focusing on the interest of the island and the people of St. Eustatius.
“We have tried to convince all parties involved why implementation of the plan is important. I have explained that the general plan has been prepared precisely to offer the Executive Council space to further implement action points itself. The Netherlands is therefore extending a hand to the representatives of the island to move forward and to get started in a focused way.
“There is no question of a boycott, on the contrary; The Netherlands is willing to provide support where necessary and together with the representatives (Executive Council) get started. Obviously there a number of pre-conditions. I would therefore like to also stay away from all kinds of statements and comments that claim the opposite”, says Isabella.
The Plan of Action is public therefore you can read for yourself which are the action points mentioned. It will also be translated into English. It is now important that the Executive Council itself quickly takes a decision on implementation the Plan of Action. I have, as Kingdom Representative with the support of The Hague, all pledged cooperation.
The notice of objection that is filed by the Executive Council will be handled during an official hearing on the island. The Committee will then draw up an advice for the Minister who will then make a decision. This procedure is independent of the implementation of the Plan of Action. It is good to distinguish those two processes.
From the talks it is clear that both Commissioners as well as the factions who form part of the coalition would like to first discuss the Plan of Action within the coalition. During the discussion with members of the Island Council we were assured they would like to work with The Netherlands to solve the problems of the island.
In our view, the Plan of Action offers a good starting point for this. “We both extend our hand to the Executive Council of the island to, in the interest of the people, come together”, said Isabella.