Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten sign Savaneta covenant

ARUBA--The prime ministers of Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten signed the Savaneta Covenant on Thursday, sealing the cooperation between the three countries for now and for the future.
 
The agreement includes themes such as integrity, migration and development.
 
  The agreement signed by Prime Ministers Evelyn Wever-Croes of Aruba, Eugene Rhuggenaath of Curaçao and Leona Romeo-Marlin of St. Maarten states that the tripartite meeting will take place at least every six months. Present at the signing were also Ministers of Finance Xiomara Ruiz-Maduro of Aruba, Kenneth Gijsbertha of Curaçao and Perry Geerlings of St. Maarten.
 
  Wever-Croes spoke of a “long, intensive day,” but also a day with tangible results. “We are three small islands, but our joint interests are great. It is important to work together in view of the international developments. This agreement structures our cooperation and makes it concrete. The three prime ministers already have a good cooperation, but this is on a voluntary basis. We have now also secured this cooperation for the future.”
 
  The three countries share different themes, said Wever-Croes. She mentioned integrity and the establishing of the St. Maarten Integrity Chamber, the Aruba Integrity Bureau, the corporate governance code, migration and the impact of the crisis in Venezuela. She said the countries intended to sign the international anti-corruption treaty.
 
  Wever-Croes announced that the Social Economic Councils of the three countries will organise a symposium in Curaçao on May 9 and 10 about (illegal) migration and the impact this has on the economies of the three countries.
 
  St. Maarten Prime Minister Romeo-Marlin spoke of a “very successful” tripartite. “I am looking forward to the next meeting. It is always good for three prime ministers to sit together and to pledge support in our endeavours in running a country on a daily basis.”
 
  Curaçao Prime Minister Rhuggenaath said that despite the “ambitious agenda,” it was important for the three countries to intensify their cooperation and to face challenges together, to achieve progress together in the area of economic and social development, to deal with migration issues, to improve integrity and good governance, and to work on the capacity of the governmental apparatus. These themes are part of the covenant that was signed, he explained.
 
  “We can learn from each other, pool resources, each with our own autonomy, together forward for the benefit of our people. It is interesting to see how we can progress together by listening to the way each island deals with these themes so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” said Rhuggenaath.
 
  This was the third tripartite meeting. The first meeting took place in May last year, followed by the second in St. Maarten in October 2018. For the first time, the finance ministers of the three countries were present at the tripartite meeting in Aruba. During their meeting, the ministers discussed mutual challenges in their working areas.
 
  “We will continue this cooperation, because together we stand stronger,” said Ruiz-Maduro of Aruba.
 
The Daily Herald

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