Published On: Wed, Jul 19th, 2017

Marlin reaffirms St. Maarten’s commitment to SDGs

marlin discussion

GREAT BAY—Prime Minister William Marlin reaffirmed St. Maarten’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, during a speech at the UN High Level Forum being held at the UN headquarters in New York. St. Maarten is attending the forum as part of a Dutch delegation comprising all four countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands this week. “I can assure you, of our unwavering commitment to achieving the SDGs for the well-being of our people,” the prime minister said. “For us sustainability has a very unique meaning; we have to keep improving the quality of life for all our citizens while functioning under the core principles of open government, integrity, accountability, transparency, sustainable development, social inclusion, and equality,” he added.

The Prime Minister disclosed that the UNDP office provides support to the St. Maarten government in integrating the SDGs into our National Development Plan and policies that are now being drafted. “We stand ready to continue this important work in the future, and to report our further progress to the international community,” he declared.

Prime Minister Marlin pointed out that Country St. Maarten has been working closely with multi-lateral groups such as PAHO to help achieve some of the SDGs it outlined and committed to. “We have been working closely with the PAHO, the W.H.O. and the Caribbean Public Health Agency to improve health care policies and services. A National Health Insurance scheme is now being developed while a brand new hospital is also on the books,” Marlin said. “Tourism the main pillar of our economy, accounts for some 80 per cent of all economic activities. Using the Millennium Acceleration Framework, St. Maarten has introduced measures to combat poverty and hunger.”

He noted that based on the latest National Household Budget Survey, the average household in St. Maarten spent approximately US$44,700 in 2015. This is more than double the amount a decade earlier. “We offer compulsory education and lifelong learning and we are improving our vocational and tertiary education levels to meet the growing demands for skilled labor. We are working diligently on affordable housing, to provide especially for our young professionals,” the prime minister said.