Dutch Kingdom’s prime ministers meet with UN Secretary-General

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On January 31, 2022, the Dutch Kingdom’s Prime Ministers and the Secretary-General of the UN, Mr. António Guyerres, held a meeting to address important issues. The Dutch Kingdom’s prime ministers were Prime Minister of Aruba Evelyn Wever-Croes, PM of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of Curacao, Gilmar Pisas, and the Prime Minister of Saint Maarten, Silveria Jacobs.  

It is an annual meeting where the leaders discuss important and relevant subjects for the entire Dutch Kingdom. Some topics addressed this year was the UN’s SDG for 2030, the tense situation on the Russian – Ukraine border, climate, and the necessity for a joint effort to minimize the impact on climate change and the situation in Venezuela and Covid19.

One important topic was the ongoing situation in Venezuela that has had a considerable impact on Aruba. The situation in Venezuela is putting enormous pressure on Aruba and Curacao as concerns immigration from Venezuela. Due to its limited capacity, it is a heavy burden for Aruba,

It led to the request from the islands for more support in solving the humanitarian, economic and political crisis in Venezuela.

They also requested the UN’s attention on the effects of climate change on the islands. It is essential to work together on planning, and each member will have to adapt this to their local situation to limit the effects of climate change on each island. The smaller islands have to deal with regional climate change the pollution caused by larger countries. This pollution causes rising temperatures, hurricanes, and more severe natural disasters.

They also discussed the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the islands. It affects Aruba, particularly, because of its dependence on tourism and air travel.

Aruba is currently participating in a “multi-dimensional vulnerability index” to find a better balance, not only for the GDP, which is the tool to measure the development of countries but also provides more dimensions of the countries’ development.

Another important issue discussed was the liquidity support and debts needed to address the problems caused by the Covid 19 pandemic. It is essential for small countries like Aruba, a Small Island Development State like Aruba, that otherwise will never get out of the economic crisis.

The participating islands informed that the Dutch Kingdom will present their “Voluntary National Review”, a national voluntary report of how each island is complying with the “Sustainable Development Goals”. It will be presented during a political forum in the upcoming months about the faced successes and challenges with the hope to help other countries as well.

The Prime Minister of Aruba stated the meeting was fruitful. The Secretary-General listened to the requests of the islands that were most affected. Aruba, Curacao, and Saint Maarten received praise for how they handled one crisis after another and have the commitment of the UN.