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Address by Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix at the opening of the Kingdom Youth Parliament, Sint Maarten, on 20 May 2014
Members of the Kingdom Youth Parliament, ladies and gentlemen,
Our shared history within a single Kingdom goes back two hundred years. That history belongs to each and every one of us: it is common to all the inhabitants of the four countries that make up the Kingdom and those living in the special municipalities of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba.
Every generation looks at the past, the present and the future in its own way. And in doing so each new generation feels the need to decide its own priorities and to set its own course. In a democracy this cannot be achieved without people meeting each other and entering into debate.
Over the next three days you will be coming together as members of the Kingdom Youth Parliament to debate matters which concern us all. I greatly appreciate being invited to attend. Though I belong to a different generation, I feel closely involved and very welcome.
This gathering brings young people from every part of our Kingdom here today, each contributing his or her own experiences, knowledge, talents, ideas and opinions. A variety of traditions and characteristics will come face to face. This is a challenging moment for all participants. Debating is, after all, more than trying to convince others that you are right. Listening to others and having the courage to adjust your own opinions is equally important. The point of shared reflection is for people to be heard and for interesting ideas to strike a sympathetic chord.
It is good that the Youth Parliament is taking place on Sint Maarten. We can only properly understand the significance of two centuries of shared history if we take account of everyone’s perspective and if the contribution of all parts of the Kingdom is fully acknowledged. It can be refreshing for people from the Netherlands – young and not so young – to reflect on our future in these surroundings. The trade winds that blow in Sint Maarten create a different ambience than the southwesterlies of Hoek van Holland. And the cocoa trees near Philipsburg offer a different kind of shade than the Dutch oaks at Burgh Haamstede. That variety should be seen as an enrichment.
We have many cultural traditions that may sometimes be very different. Our shared history embraces periods of acrimony and times of hope and expectation. Despite the differences in our experiences and perceptions, we have been joined in one Kingdom for two centuries. That is very significant.
Without concealing differences of opinion, it is useful to focus on the things that bind us and on the positive forces at work everywhere in our Kingdom.
I hope that this assembly will enrich our knowledge, broaden our perspectives and encourage a stimulating exchange of experiences. It is good for a new generation to participate actively in the public debate on cooperation within our Kingdom and to put forward new ideas. And it is reassuring for people of my generation to see and meet so many young people who feel a joint responsibility for our shared future. Your enthusiasm is infectious!
I hope that all the members of the Kingdom Youth Parliament will enjoy the groundbreaking and fascinating debates that are to come. I wish you every success and, above all, great fun!
I now pass the gavel to the Speaker of the Kingdom Youth Parliament, who is also the ambassador of the Sint Maarten team: Ms Trumane Trotman.
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.
Pa promé biaha den e 200 aña di eksistensia di e Reino Hulandes, tin un Parlamento Hubenil di Reino ta tuma lugá. Esaki ta keda organisá na honor di e selebrashon di 200 aña di Reino. Na Sint Maarten, di 20 te ku 22 di mei. Sinku tim di kada unu dies hóben ta bai den debate ku otro tokante diferente tópiko ku ta afektá nan awor i den futuro, manera enseñansa, kultura, desaroyo duradero i derechonan di mucha.
Timnan di pais
E timnan ta bin for di Hulanda, Kòrsou, Aruba, Sint Maarten, i tambe tin un tim mesklá di Bonaire, Sint Eustatius en Saba. A selektá e hóbennan a base di grabashonnan kòrtiku den kua nan a motivá dikon nan kier partisipá na e parlamento hubenil. Kada tim tin un ‘coach’ ku gran ekspertisio i eksperensia den polítika i maneho: Miembro di Parlamento Hulandes (Eerste Kamer) Marijke Linthorst pa Hulanda, èks promé minister di Antia Hulandes Suzy Römer pa Kòrsou, minister Michelle Winklaar pa Aruba, èks gezaghèber Franklyn Richards pa Sint Maarten i èks sekretario di estado antiano Nora Sneek pa e tim di Bonaire, Saba i Sint Eustatius.
Komité Nashonal i Selebrashon 200 aña Reino (2013-2015)
Despues di e komienso na playa di Scheveningen i den Ridderzaal (30 di novèmber 2013) i e Festival di Konstitushon (29 di mart 2014), e Parlamento Hubenil di Reino (Koninkrijksjeugdparlement – KJP) ta e di tres evento nashonal di e Komité Nashonal 200 aña di Reino. Durante e selebrashon ta para ketu na e historia, presente i futuro kompartí. I tambe nos ta selebrá loke ta konektá tur habitante di Reino: un demokrasia ku derechonan igual i obligashonnan pa tur habitante. Despues di Sint Maarten seguidamente lo tin tres evento mas na Maastricht, Zwolle i e klousura na Amsterdam na sèptèmber 2015. Na nòmber di e Komité Nashonal lo ta presente na Sint Maarten: Ank Bijleveld-Schouten (presidente), Izaline Calister, Albert Verlinde, Erben Wennemars i Rein Willems.
Motibu i meta
E debate di hóben ta originá for di e nesesidat pa aserká Reino for di un otro punto di bista. Òf manera Herman Tjeenk Willink (miembro di e Komité Nashonal 200 aña Reino i e Komité di Relashonnan di Reino) a remarká: “Reino ta muchu importante pa lag’é den man di polítika, gobernantenan i ámtenarnan.”
Kon hóbennan ta pensa di e pregunta kiko realmente ta loke ta konektá nos ku otro den Reino? Dikon na skolnan sekundario Hulandes nos ta siña asina tiki di e islanan Karibense? Kon nos por duna forma na futuro di un manera duradero p’asina e siudadanonan di tur e isla(nan) por saka probecho? I kiko nos komo hóben mes por hasi pa duna forma i kontenido na e futuro konhunto?
Na final di e reunion na Sint Maarten lo bin un deklarashon final (slotverklaring) ku ademas di duna kontesta riba e preguntanan aki, lo bin tambe ku puntonan di akshon ku kua kada miembro di KJP mes ta bai traha den nan propio pais.
Su Altesa Real Prinsesa Beatrix lo habri e Parlamento Hubenil di Reino djamars mainta 20 di mei na universidat di Sint Maarten. E ta tene un diskurso di apertura i lo ta presente frekuentemente durante e dianan di seshon. Tambe e lo serka konosí ku e hóbennan di un manera informal. “Nos ta honrá ku su presensia”, lider di proyekto KJP Ron van der Veer ta bisa for di Sint Maarten. “Komo Reina for di 1980 el a habri e reunion anual di Parlamento (Staten-Generaal) riba ‘Prinsjesdag’ no ménos ku 33 biaha, i pa e motibu ei ta fenomenal ku eksaktamente e ta hasi e apertura pa e promé KJP.”
Den e lunanan tras di lomba e timnan a prepará nan mes pa medio di entrenamentu den e arte di debatí. Durante di finnan di siman nan a bini huntu pa train pa por argumentá un ponensia mihó posibel. I kaminda ta nesesario, siña tambe e facts and figures di e struktura estatal for di kabes. E Instituto di Debate Hulandes ta guia e debate ofisial na Sint Maarten i a guia tambe e seshonnan preparatorio. Otronan tambe ta yuda: kada tim tin un ‘coach’ ku hopi ekspertisio i na Sint Maarten un grupo di eksperto lo duna splikashon tokante e diferente tópikonan.
KJP mes ta resultado di kolaborashon di Reino kompletu
E KJP ta un idea di Ron van der Veer, sekretario di e Komité Relashonnan di Reino, huntu ku sinku hóben: Trumane Trotman, Marifer Aguirre Broca, Carl Fielmich, Kennedy Ogenio i Aster van Tilburg. Pa ehekushon di kontenido a hasi un petishon riba entre otro e Instituto di Debate Hulandes (Roderik van Grieken i Else van Nieuwkerk). A haña sosten pa e organisashon serka un kantidat di boluntario entusiasmá, di kua Tanja Fraai i Wendele van der Wiele a resultá indespensabel. A risibí sosten organisatorio i otro sosten di University of St. Maarten (Annelies Oliver-Van den Assem) i di Sint Maarten Youth Council (Connie Francis-Gumbs).
Ademas e KJP a risibí sosten di: Air France KLM, Maduro & Curiels Bank, Erasmushuis Sint Maarten, InterExpo, Pasanggrahan Royal Guesthouse, Perscentrum Nieuwspoort, Unicef i
Representashon di Hulanda na Philipsburg.
Djaluna 19 di mei: Sera konosí ku otro i ku Sint Maarten/Saint-Martin. Pa 17.00 lo tin un seshon di informashon ekstenso pa prensa, di entre otro e presidente di e Komité Nashonal, Ank Bijleveld-Schouten, e lider di proyekto di KJP Ron van der Veer, algun partisipante na KJP i RVD. Lo ‘stream’ e seshon di informashon pa prensa aki. Periodistanan por hasi pregunta tokante di esaki na e personanan tras di mesa via @KYParliament. Mas detaye tokante esaki ta sigui despues.
Djamars 20 di mei: Apertura i komienso di e debatenan
Djarason 21 di mei: Tayernan, debatenan i sena
Djaweps 22 di mei: Determiná deklarashon final (slotverklaring)
Djabièrnè 23 mei: Despedida i partida
YOUNGSTERS FROM ALL OVER THE KINGDOM IN DEBATE IN SINT MAARTEN
For the first time in the 200 years of existence of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, there will be a Kingdom Youth Parliament. This is organized in honor of the celebration of 200 years of Kingdom. The celebration will take place in Sint Maarten on May 20th to May 22nd. Five teams of ten youngsters will engage into debates on various issues that affect them now and in the future, such as: education, culture, sustainable development and the children’s rights.
The teams come from the Netherlands, Curaçao, Aruba, Sint Maarten and there is a mixed team from Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. The youngsters have been selected on the basis of short video clips in which they motivate why they want to participate in the Youth Parliament. Each team has a coach with extensive expertise and experience in politics and government: Senator Marijke Linthorst for the team of the Netherlands, former Prime Minister of the Netherlands Antilles Suzy Römer for the team of Curaçao, Minister Michelle Winklaar for the team of Aruba, former Lt. Governor Franklyn Richards for the team of Sint Maarten and former Antillean Secretary of State Nora Sneek for the team of Bonaire, Saba and Statia.
National Committee and the celebration of 200 years Kingdom (2013-2014)
After the start celebration at the Scheveningen beach and in the Knight’s Hall (November 30th, 2013) and the Constitutional Festival (March 29th, 2014), the Kingdom Youth Parliament is the third national event of the National Committee Bicentennial Kingdom. During the celebration a moment will be taken to reflect on our collective past, present and future. We
will also celebrate that what binds all of the inhabitants of the Kingdom: democracy with equal rights and duties for everyone. After Sint Maarten there will be three events: Maastricht, Zwolle and in September 2015 the closure in Amsterdam. On behalf of the National Committee Bicentennial Kingdom will be present: Ank Bijleveld-Schouten (pr), Izaline Calister, Albert Verlinde, Erben Wennemars and Rein Willems.
Background and objective
The youth debate arose from the need to approach the Kingdom from a different angle/perspective. Or as Minister of State and Member of the Committee Kingdom Relations Herman Tjeenk Willink remarked: “The Kingdom is too important to be left to politicians, administrators and government officials.”
What do young people think about the actual binding factor within the Kingdom? Why do we learn so little about the Caribbean islands in the Dutch secondary schools? How can we shape the future in a sustainable manner so that all citizens of the Kingdom can benefit from it? And what can we as young people contribute to shape our future. At the end of the meeting in St. Maarten, a final statement will be presented together with the answers to these questions in addition to as action points that each KYP member can work out in their respective countries.
Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix will open the Kingdom Youth Parliament (KYP) on Tuesday morning, May 20th at the University of St. Martin. She will deliver the opening statement and will frequent the sessions during the days. She will also meet with the youth members informally. “We are honored by her presence!” says project manager KYP, Ron van der Veer, from St. Maarten stated. “In her capacity as Queen; since 1980 she has opened the Prinsjesdag/Prince’s Day session of the States General, as many as 33 times and it is wonderful that no one other than the Royal Princess will be there to open this first KYP session!”
In the past months, the teams have prepared themselves by practicing the art of debating. They came together during the weekends in order to practice how to build arguments that support their statements in the best possible way . And, where necessary, they learned the facts and figures of the constitutional structure by heart. The Dutch Debate Institute will lead the official debate in St. Maarten and has also helped with the preparatory sessions. Other people will also lend a helping hand: each team has a coach with a lot of expertise and in Sint Maarten the various topics will be highlighted by a group of experts.
KYP self result of kingdom-wide cooperation
The Kingdom Youth Parliament idea was conceived by Ron van der Veer, Secretary of the Committee Kingdom Relations, together with five young people: Trumane Trotman, Marifer Aguirre Broca, Carl Fielmich, Kennedy Ogenio and Aster van Tilburg. As far as the content is concerned, assistance was provided by the Dutch Debate Institute (Roderick van Grieken and Else Nieuwkerk) and the organizational support was provided by a number of enthusiastic volunteers, in particular Tanja Fraai and Wendele van der Wiele should be mentioned who have made themselves indispensable. In addition, many organizational and other support was received from the University of St. Martin (Annelies Oliver – van den Assem) and of the St. Maarten Youth Council (Connie Francis Gumbs).
The KYP was also supported by: Air France KLM, Maduro & Curiel’s Bank, Erasmushuis Sint Maarten, Inter Expo, Pasanggrahan Royal Guesthouse, Perscentrum Nieuwspoort, UNICEF and the Dutch Representation of the Netherlands in Philipsburg.
Monday, May 19th – The “getting acquainted” of the youngsters with each other and with
At 17:00 an extensive press conference with, amoungst others, the President of the National Committee, Ank Bijleveld-Schouten, KYP- Project Manager Ron van der Veer, several KYP participants and the RVD. This press conference will be streamed live via this website. Reporters can ask questions to the persons at the table via @KYParliament.
Tuesday, May 20th: Opening and start of debates
Wednesday, May 21st: Workshops, debates and dinner
Thursday, May 22nd: Establishing of the final statement
Friday, May 23rd: Farewell and departure
Download the KYP booklet now! It contains the program & the participants introduce themselves to you!
Starting this weekend we will upload a daily journal to inform you about all the KYP activities. Check out the site for these short movies. You will get to know everything about the debaters and we’ll send you more information about the issues disccussed and last but not least.. all the latest news!
The kingdom’s young people debate on Sint maarten – press release National Comittee 200 years Kingdom
Last week the National Committee 200 years Kingdom sent a press release about the activities being organized on Sint Maarten in the week of 20 – 22 of May. You can read it over here:
The Kingdom Youth Parliament will be held on St Maarten from 20 to 22 May. Five teams of ten 16 to 23 year-olds will debate issues including education, culture, sustainable development and the rights of children – and give their views on the Kingdom today and in the future. The teams will come from the Netherlands, Curaçao, Aruba and St Maarten, plus a combined team from Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba (Caribbean Netherlands). The Kingdom Youth Parliament is the National Committee 200 Years Kingdom’s third national event and is jointly organized with the Kingdom Relations Committee.
The Kingdom Youth Parliament will be opened by Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix on 20 May. Her Royal Highness will attend several sessions and receptions as part of the Youth Parliament and will meet with a number of team members.
Around 150 potential team candidates applied – by video – in 2013. Selection criteria included enthousiasm, persuasiveness and consistency. The broadest possible coverage of aspects relevant to the Kingdom was also a priority. The 50 successful finalists formed five teams.
Every team was allocated a coach with a long track record in politics and administration: for the Netherlands Marijke Linthorst, member of the Upper House of Parliament; Curaçao – former Antilles premier Suzy Römer; Aruba – minister Michelle Winklaar; St Maarten – former Lt. Governor Franklyn Richards; and for the CN team, former state secretary of the Antilles Nora Sneek. The debates will be chaired by Roderik van Grieken and Else van Nieuwkerk of the Netherlands Debating Institute.
The National Committee has published a historical timeline booklet to mark the celebrations around 200 Years Kingdom. “Unity and Diversity – 200 years Kingdom, key historical dates for the Netherlands and the six Caribbean islands” will be distributed to junior/senior high school students on the six islands. For teachers the booklet offers interesting links and openings around their island’s history. On 21 May, in the presence of Princess Beatrix, National Committee chair Ank Bijleveld-Schouten will present the first copy to students of the St Maarten Academy.
Starting today the web magazine on www.200jaarkoninkrijk.nl will focus on the Kingdom in the Caribbean. Coverage includes interviews with young people involved in the Kingdom Youth Parliament – and with Cuco Martina (FC Twente), Olympian swimmer Enith Brigitha, and National Committee member Izaline Calister makes a musical appeal.
National Committee 200 Years Kingdom
The Kingdom Youth Parliament is the committee’s third national event since the start of celebrations on 30 November 2013 and the Constitution Festival on 29 March 2014. The programme will highlight our shared past, present and future – and democracy – plus universal rights and obligations. Three more events are scheduled after St Maarten: 30 August 2014 in Maastricht, 18 April 2015 in Zwolle and 26 September 2015 in Amsterdam.
The main programme of the Kingdom Youth Parliament includes:
Monday 19 May – Teams meet together and make the acquaintance of National Committee members
Tuesday 20 May – Official opening/debates start
Wednesday 21 May – Workshops and dinner
Thursday 22 May – Drafting of closing statement and farewell party
Friday 23 May – Farewell and departure
Tanja Fraai en Mike Ho filmed the preparations of team Curaçao together with their coach Suzy Römer. You can check out the movie on the teampage on this website. Keep up the good work, team!
Saturday the 21th of December the members of the Caribisch Nederland team – the ones who are living on Bonaire – had a meeting at Spice Beach Bar. They met the ambassador Carl Fielmich and had a great get-to-know-eachother. They are looking forward meeting the other debaters of the Caribisch Nederland team!
Approximately 150 outstanding videos are showing how much energy and creativity our Kingdom has. And they made the lives of the ambassadors, coaches and other members of the jury quite complicated indeed. How can you limit a group to 50 if you could easily select a team of 100…
We have looked at several criteria, from enthusiasm and passion to logical thinking and the power to persuade. And we wanted the Kingdom to be represented as broadly as possible.
This all means that we have to say ‘no’ to some truly outstanding candidates and that makes us feel sad. Unfortunately we only have 50 seats and therefore we had to make some tough choices. Let me thank all candidates for their inspiring en enthusiastic stories. Your videos gave the Kingdom a new face. Many thanks for doing that!
If you have any questions about the result, please send an email with your phone number and we will call you back.
It is my pleasure to present to you the fifty members of the Kingdom Youth Parliament 2014: