Published On: Mon, Jan 8th, 2018

Hurricane, sustainability, climate are focus of IPKO

IPKO1THE HAGUE - Hurricane Irma, sustainability and climate change and its effect on the small island states are the main themes of next week’s Inter-Parliamentary Kingdom Consultation IPKO in Aruba.

During the three-day IPKO, delegations of the Parliaments of the Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten, under the chairmanship of Chairman of the Aruba Parliament Juan Edberto “Ady” Thijsen, will discuss important themes that concern all countries of the Kingdom.

This time, the central themes will be the aftermath and reconstruction of St. Maarten after Hurricane Irma, sustainability and climate change. On Tuesday, the first day of the IPKO, the St. Maarten delegation will give a presentation on the effects of Hurricane Irma. The current situation in St. Maarten and the Reconstruction Fund will be discussed.

The political and economic situation in Venezuela and the effects this has on the Caribbean part of the Kingdom will also be a topic of discussion on Tuesday. The IPKO will start on Tuesday morning with the customary opening remarks by the delegation leaders.

Sustainable development goals (SDGs) will take centre stage on Wednesday. The SDGs are a set of objectives for future sustainable development based on international cooperation, formulated by the United Nations.

These goals are especially important for small island development states (SIDS) such as the Dutch Caribbean due to their increased vulnerability to climate change, the associated natural disasters and the rising sea levels. The state of affairs of the SDGs in the Netherlands – Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten – will be discussed. The delegations will pay a working visit to an organisation in Aruba that specialises in sustainable energy.

The IPKO will be closed off on Thursday with the signing of the joint declaration containing a number of agreements and standpoints, followed by a press conference which journalists throughout the Kingdom will be able to view as it is broadcast live.

The First and Second Chambers of the Dutch Parliament announced on Friday the general agenda and the composition of the Dutch delegation, which will be headed by Chairman of the Second Chamber’s Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations Alexander Pechtold of the Democratic Party D66.

The Dutch delegation will consist of 12 persons: four from the First Chamber and eight from the Second Chamber. Representing the First Chamber will be Senators Ruard Ganzevoort of the green left party GroenLinks, Sophie van Bijsterveld of the Christian Democratic Party CDA, Thom de Graaf (D66) and Mohamed Sini of the Labour Party PvdA. Ganzevoort is the acting delegation leader as Chairman of the First Chamber’s Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations.

Besides delegation leader Pechtold, the Second Chamber will be represented by Joba van den Berg (CDA), André Bosman of the liberal democratic VVD party, Antje Diertens (D66), Machiel de Graaf of the Party for Freedom PVV, Attje Kuiken (PvdA), Ronald van Raak of the Socialist Party (SP) and Liesbeth van Tongeren (GroenLinks).

Prior to the IPKO, the Dutch delegation will visit Bonaire on Sunday and Monday. The delegation will meet with representatives of the local government and pay a number of working visits to local organisations and institutions.
The IPKO is held twice a year.

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