Members of the Executive Council will be heading to The Netherlands for a series of meetings with representatives of various ministries and organizations in The Hague. The week is being termed the Saba Week after the decision to end the Caribbean Netherlands weeks that were held for the past 5 years. The delegation to The Hague consists of Commissioners Chris Johnson and Bruce Zagers, Island Secretary, Tim Muller, Financial Advisor, Piet Gerritsen and Policy Advisor, Koen van Laar.
The change to the Saba Week has allowed the island to create its own agenda rather than follow one set by The Hague. The Executive Council will be meeting with officials in the ministries to layout the position of the government in a number of areas including economic development and the constitutional evaluation. The government continues to maintain that the island should have the autonomy to set its own priorities and this can only be done when there are more funds to accomplish the tasks. The islands will request funding to support the maintenance of the harbor and the airport as well as the recycling facility.
They will also meet with Minister of Economic Affairs, Henk Kamp, who has been instrumental in allocating funds for relocation of the powerplant and other energy related matters. A meeting with BlueRise an alternative energy provider is also planned. BlueRise technology uses deep ocean water to provide energy as well as produce freshwater, which could allow the island to produce electricity in a more sustainable way.
A meeting with students that live in The Netherlands is also planned; the Executive Council would like to hear the challenges the students face and what can be done to assist them.
Press release GIS.