Published On: Wed, May 30th, 2018

IpKo delegations feel displeased with Undersecretary Knops

KnopsTHE HAGUE - The delegations taking part in the Interparliamentary Kingdom Council feel themselves to be insulted by Undersecretary of Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops. The reason for the shared indignation is the minister's answer to the question of what his plans are with regard to the establishment of a dispute resolution system for the Kingdom.

Knops indicated in a short note yesterday that before the end of the year he will present a proposal for a dispute regulation for the Kingdom.

IpKo chairman Alexander Pechtold: “The letter raises more questions than is answered. We wanted to hear that the dispute settlement has priority. The letter does not help us any further and I regret that.”

On behalf of the Curaçao delegation, Giselle McWilliam spoke of a 'vague letter that did not help at all'. She called it 'outrageous' that the bill drawn up under Plasterk and the accompanying advice from the Council of State have still not been presented to the parliaments. “We do not want to have the feeling that we do not count. What is happening now is unacceptable because this is a fundamental issue. I think we should receive the bill within four weeks.”

The Aruban delegation, through Rocco Tjon and Ady Thijsen, said that Knops' reaction was unacceptable. Sarah Wescot-Williams sided with this criticism on behalf of Sint Maarten: “This letter is a step backwards.” On behalf of the Dutch delegation, Ruard Ganzevoort stated that he was 'not amused'. “The letter is very thin and does not do justice to the IpKo. The bill of which we do not even know the content must be sent to the parliaments as soon as possible.”

In addition to disappointment about the vagueness of Knop's response, all spokespeople commented on his remark that attention to the dispute settlement should not obstruct the approach of 'urgent issues such as sustainable public finances, the reconstruction of Sint Maarten and practical cooperation aimed at exploiting economic opportunities'. "Nonsense", Pechtold summarized the feelings. It was decided to send the broadly-living displeasure to Knops by letter and to ask him to present a 'step-by-step plan' before 18 June and to submit a 'bill' to the parliaments by November 1 at the latest.

By Rene Zwart (The Netherlands)

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