From left Mr. Hein Knegt, Regional Envoy for the Caribbean, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of the Netherlands; The Honourable Prime Minister of Sint Maarten Leona Marlin-Romeo; Mr. Ronald Jackson, Executive Director of CDEMA and Mr. Clemens Butcher, Reservist Officer of the Netherlands Naval Command on Curaçao, following the signing of the MoU between CDEMA and the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Bridgetown, Barbados – The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA)and the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today at CDEMA Headquarters ensuring cooperation on disaster risk management.
The MoU, which was signed by Prime Minister of Sint Maarten, Honourable Leona Marlin-Romeo and Executive Director of CDEMA, Ronald Jackson, will apply to the islands of Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten and the Netherlands including the public entities of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba.
The cooperation aims to limit the impacts of climate change by strengthening the conditions necessary for sustainable regional development.
The Honourable Prime Minister of Sint Maarten Leona Marlin-Romeo expressed her strong belief that the partnership will indeed benefit Sint Maarten and the territories of the Kingdom to unite and face the challenges ahead.
After Hurricane Irma devastated the island in 2017, it became crucial to have a well-functioning and equipped Disaster Management Organization especially for coordination and information management.
She said, “With this MoU that we will be signing today, the Kingdom of the Netherlands aims to further embed the Dutch Royal Navy and other assets at its disposal into regional disaster coordination mechanism, enabling them to deliver the Kingdom’s assistance even faster and more effectively to any nation in the region where necessary.”
Executive Director of CDEMA Ronald Jackson said, “CDEMA is very pleased to be signing this MoU with the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The shared experiences, the variable capacities and the exposure of the region makes deepening of the Regional Integration process and cooperation on matters of Integrated Disaster Risk Management and overall Resilience a more urgent endeavor.”
Jackson deemed the MoU to be timely as the European Union and its Member States continue to promote a comprehensive approach in addressing major risks and climate change. The 2014-2024 Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Strategy and the Resilience Pathway also underscore monitoring sustainable development in the region.
Sint Maarten is not an official Participating State of CDEMA, however Prime Minister Marlin-Romeo said that the MoU is the first step towards their cooperation to pursuing membership.