Princess Beatrix receives closing agreement
Youngsters will be giving form to the future of the Kingdom themselves. That is on of the most important decisions of the Kingdom Youth Parliament (KJP), which reached its closure on Thursday on Sint Maarten. For three days 50 youngsters debated there about the topics in the Kingdom of now and the future, which are important to them. Education and culture, children’s rights and durable economic development were central.
Princess Beatrix, who opened the KJP on Tuesday, was also present when the end results were submitted. On Thursday she followed a part of the debates and she has spoken with all of the youngsters during the past days. She was also the first to receive the closing agreement.
In three short presentations the youngsters indicated how the three themes which should receive special attention concerning the collaboration within the Kingdom during the coming years, should be further concretely elaborated upon. They are going to make a Kingdom Career Website (Koninkrijks Carrière Website) in collaboration with colleges and universities. The goal is to help future students on the island to make good study choices when they are considering to go to the Netherlands for further studies. According to the youngsters currently there is not enough information about this subject.
Another point of action will be combating the brain drain on the islands. The Caribbean parts of the Kingdom invest in their youngsters to go study in the Netherlands, but many of them do return home afterwards. This means that they no longer give a contribution to further developing their country/island, which did invest in them. This is the reason why the KJP youngsters want to realize more collaboration between institutions for higher education in all parts of the Kingdom. The students also have to be motivated themselves, in order to choose those studies that contribute to the development of the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom. One of the KJP youngsters put it like this:
“Let’s stop the braindrain and start the braingain”.
To obtain more and better knowledge about each other, a Kingdom Youth Channel will also be setup on Youtube, where youngsters will take care of popular video’s themselves. The target group here consists of youngsters of 12 to 18 years. The first video has to go online in December. The goal is to create a ‘kingdom identity’.
In order to get more and better knowledge and awareness of each other there will be a Kingdom Youth Channel on Youtube, where youngsters will take care themselves of uploading popular videos. The target Group here is young people aged 12 to 18 years. The first video should go online in December. The goal is to create a ‘kingdom identity’.
For the 19 -year-old Aruban KJP participant Nurianne Helder, after three days of debating together, the KJP already a great success for that matter. She said at the closing session: “I’m no longer an Aruban citizen or a Dutch citizen, but now I certainly feel and am a Kingdom citizen” .
From various sides during these three days of Kingdom Youth Parliament, people insisted that this initiative should be continued. Aruba proposed through its Minister of Culture, Michelle Winklaar, to be the candidate to organize the next edition, possibly in 2017.
The KJP was the third national event of the National Committee in the context of the 200 years celebration of the Kingdom. On behalf of the National Committee, President Ank Bijleveld promised to raise the subject of continuation of the KJP initiative in a letter to the Minister of Interior Affairs Ronald Plasterk. Commenting on the results of the KJP, she stated to be particularly pleased about the “connection” it brings in the Kingdom.
After the earlier national events of the National Committee Kingdom 200 years in Scheveningen, the Hague and now St. Maarten, there still are three upcoming events: end of August in Maastricht, in April 2015 in Zwolle and the closure next September in Amsterdam.