State Secretary Alexandra van Huffelen of Kingdom Relations will pay a working visit to Curaçao, Bonaire, Aruba, St. Maarten, St. Eustatius and Saba from 10 to 24 February.
During this introductory visit, the State Secretary wants to be informed about matters that are important for the islands, such as livelihood security, education, the economy and the care for nature. In addition to the official meetings and consultations, she also wants to meet as many residents as possible. For this reason, the programme is varied with room for meetings with residents and entrepreneurs. State Secretary van Huffelen: “My first digital contacts were very nice. I am therefore very much looking forward to the personal conversations and a broad introduction to the Caribbean part of our Kingdom.”
On Tuesday 22 February, the State Secretary will arrive on Saba, where she will speak with the governor, the executive council and the island council. Among other things, there are conversations with a young entrepreneur and with a number of residents about daily life. During an island tour the next day, the State Secretary will visit recycling projects, a hydroponics farm, the port (incl. ferry) and a school.
On Sunday 13 February, the State Secretary will travel to Bonaire. She will speak with the acting government representative, the island governor, the executive council and the island council. She will also have a conversation with the representatives of the Central Dialogue and will visit Plenchi di Trabou and talk to the people who get support there. On Tuesday 15 February, the State Secretary will visit a number of locations and meet people there who work on issues such as sustainable energy, poverty problems and social housing.
On Thursday 17 February, the State Secretary will travel from Aruba to St. Maarten, where she will speak with the governor, the prime minister, the council of ministers and the state chairman, and representatives of Non-Governmental Organisations. A visit to Point Blanche is on the programme that same day. Consultations with key figures from the tourism sector have also been scheduled. In addition, the State Secretary meets people who have been affected by the problems after Hurricane Irma and there is a guided tour in the context of the reconstruction. She also watches the work of the men and women of the coast guard.
On Sunday 20 February at the end of the day, the delegation will leave for St. Eustatius, where the State Secretary will speak with, among others, the Government Commissioner and Deputy Government Commissioner, the island council members, a young entrepreneur and STENAPA, the St. Eustatius National Parks Foundation. She will also visit Fort Oranje, the solar park, a childcare location and a social housing project to hear from residents what they find important.
On Thursday 10 February, the State Secretary will arrive in Curaçao, where she will hold talks with the governor, the prime minister, the council of ministers and the state chairman. An introductory meeting with the National Reform Commission about the multi-year developments is also on the programme.. The State Secretary will visit the immigration barracks and various districts on the island, meeting residents and entrepreneurs. In addition, a visit to Plaza Bieu is on the agenda. Further, she will also visit the Tula monument and speak with various people about the history of slavery.
On Tuesday 15 February, the State Secretary will arrive in Aruba. Here, talks are planned with the governor, the prime minister, the council of ministers and the state chairman. She will also hold talks with the Director of the Central Bank, representatives of the tourism sector and the business community. Meetings also take place with people who work in healthcare, there is an art walk to get acquainted with artists, a visit to the Casa Cuna foundation is on the agenda and there is a visit to the Arikok National Park. In addition, the State Secretary will talk a lot with people who are committed to Aruba through social organisations.