17 October 2013

Bonaire group petitions for self-determination referendum

Foundation “Nos Ke Boneiru Bek”

Press Release

Lieutenant Governor of the Public Entity Bonaire

The Government of Bonaire

The Island Council of the Government of the Public Entity of Bonaire

Mr. Ronald Plasterk, Minister of Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK)

Mr. Wilbert Stolte, Office of the Kingdom Representative

Permanent Committee Members,
Permanent Committee Members of the 1st and 2nd Chamber,

Kralendijk, 10 Oktober 2013

Dear Authorities,
Today, October 10, 2013 is exactly three (3) years that the people of Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba has been incorporated or annexed in the Dutch State Order, Polity,and without her explicit and legitimate consent. Your responsibilities as representatives of our people to their welfare is priority and paramount in this context but also extremely important is that you are aware of and realize that right for self-determination does not belong to administrators and politicians but to peoples.
Leading to the transition on10-10-10 and since then until now there were several individual, group and other protests, demonstrations, signatures actions, protest letters etc. directed to you with the aim to gain attention on this unfinished discussion and trying to get your collaboration to help resolve this impasse and to reconcile and reunite the people again. This is another serious attempt to do so and hopefully the last as it seems that is seems not possible to force further the patience of our kindhearted and humble people.
On behalf of Foundation"Nos Ke Boneiru Bek" (CoC regnr: 8472) a platform for groups and organizations and individuals of our society and with the statutory objective "to the letter and the spirit of Article 73 of the Charter of the United Nations to achieve self-government of the people of Bonaire we bring the following to your attention:
The Country of the Netherlands Antilles originally existed since December 15th 1954 and was comprised of six islands (Curacao,Aruba, St.Maarten, Bonaire St.Eustatius and Saba), which each formed a separate administrative unit, called “eilandgebied” (island territory). As such, each Island Territory had its own local government. In addition, there was a central government for the Netherlands Antilles, as well as a senate that was comprised of representatives of all six (6) islands.
In 1986, Aruba became a separate Country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, while the other five islands remained within the Netherlands Antilles.
In the early nineties, there were discussions within the Netherlands Antilles regarding the constitutional status of the Country as a body. There were referendums held on all five (5) islands. All islands had the opportunity to choose between:

A. Remaining part of the Netherlands Antilles. However, the Netherlands Antilles would then be restructured;
B. Separate status and as such becoming a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands;
C. Direct ties with the Netherlands;
D. Independence.
All islands of the Netherlands Antilles, including Bonaire, opted to remain in the Netherlands Antilles. As the intended restructuring of the Netherlands Antilles did not take place, discussions among the islands once again took place regarding remaining within the Netherlands Antilles as a country. St. Maarten was the first to have its referendum in June of 2000, which sparked the other islands to have their referendum in 2005.
During the referendum in Bonaire the following options were provided, which yielded the following results:  voters turnout of 56.1%:
 Option                                                                  Votes       %                              
A: Remain part of the Netherlands Antilles               853     15.94%
B: Direct constitutional ties with the Netherlands    3182     59.45%
C. Autonomous country within the Kingdom          1290     24.10%
D: Independence                                                        27     0.5%
Following the referenda on the various islands, the first Round Table Conference between the islands, the Netherlands Antillean government and the Netherlands took place on November 26th 2005. It was agreed that Curacao and St. Maarten would become countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, while the three other islands would become directly part of the Netherlands as a "Public Entity".
Around 33 % only of all the people of Bonaire that could have voted, including 16 & 17 years old and foreigners without a Dutch nationality, had chosen for a direct link with Holland. However, it was decided that Bonaire instead of direct constitutional ties with the Netherlands would be integrated as part of the Netherlands.
The Netherlands Antilles ceased to exist on October 10th 2010. The islands, with the exception of Bonaire & St Eustatius, obtained the status which they voted for during the 2005 referendum. As mentioned, it was decided upon that together with Saba and St. Eustatius, Bonaire (together referred to as the BES islands) would become a part of the Netherlands. As such, each one of the BES island would be a "public entity" of the Netherlands.
Unlike the situation of the Netherlands Antilles whereby Bonaire would have a representative in the parliament - and depending on the coalition, also a representative in government - Bonaire does not have any representative whatsoever in the Parliament or the Senate of the Netherlands. Nevertheless, said bodies - the legislature - create and implement laws that are applicable on Bonaire.
It was agreed upon by all partners within the Kingdom of the Netherlands that there would be an evaluation of the current status after a period of 5 years. As such, the evaluation will take place in 2015.
In light of the aforementioned, the people of Bonaire are adamantly of the opinion that they have not exercised their right to self-determination. And as such have denied said right, as they have not freely determined their political status or the chance to decide how to pursue their own economic, social and cultural development. According to the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1541 (XV), any change of status should “be the freely expressed wishes of the territory’s people acting with full knowledge of the change of their status…”
According to Resolution 1541 of the United Nations every change in the status shall be the result of “freely expressed wishes of the territories peoples acting with full knowledge of the change of their status...”
By this we are requesting, in the name of all attached signees - and all others who could not co-sign for one or other reasons and also holds the same right to self-determination-  for the local government of the Public Entity of Bonaire to put all arrangements in place for the free exercise of the right to self-determination, through a referendum, so that the people of Bonaire can decide democratically their own future in accordance with International Standards of Human Rights, the principles of International Law and the Charter of the United Nations.

Integration with full political rights, independence, and free association are the three legitimate alternatives which constitute the internationally recognized options of political equality under the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1541 (XV). As such, the aforementioned options should be among the choices for the people of Bonaire to vote upon during a constitutional referendum.

We consider it the duty of our government to provide the necessary information to its people prior to the constitutional referendum, so that the population is aware of the ramifications of the status options contained in Resolution 1541, and so that the population would be able to make an informed choice between the various status options.

We invite you, that have Bonaire's interest at heart, in the name of all the signees,to do everything within your possibilities to honour  this request and organize as soon as possible a referendum for the People of Bonaire.

Awaiting a positive reaction from you, I remain,


James Finies, president and coordinator Foundation “Nos Ke Boneiru Bek”
Kaya Mamore 3
Email: jamesfinies@gmail.com or info@noskierboneirubek.com

 Attached:     Copy list signatures petition referendum Bonaire 2013
                      Copy list signatures petition referendum via internet
                      Copy list individual reasons of signees via internet
                             why a referendum

Press release:


Kralendijk—Djaluna último 14 òktober 2013, Fundashon Nos Ke Boneiru Bek a hasi entrega na gezaghèber sra. Emerencia di firma nan kolekta den último lunanan pa sostené e petishon na nos gobièrnu i gobernantenan pa organisá un referèndem konstitushonal pa e pueblo Boneriano.

T’asina ku sr. Finies a duna splikashon na gezaghèber di Boneiru dr. Lydia Emerencia ku segun e organisashon e struktura ku Boneiru ta den aktualmente no ta loke ku pueblo di Boneiru a skohe pe, p’esei nan a sali na fabor di pueblo di Boneiru pa haña Boneiru bèk. Komo ku pueblo di Boneiru e keda mal informá pa polítikonan di turno.

A logra akumulá mas ku 3500 firmante ku ta di opinion ku mester bini un kambio mas rápido posibel mirando e direkshon i kiko a resultá despues di 10-10-10, kaminda e pueblo di Boneiru a hañ’é konfrontá ku a traspasá su teritorio, e isla di Boneiru i tambe su poder i derecho demokrátiko di sigui desaroyá su propio gobernashon i goberná su mes na Hulanda. Segun Finies, e traspaso i akto aki 10-10-10 ta ilegal pa motibu ku no tabatin outorisashon di e pueblo Boneriano, ku ta e úniko ku por disidí esaki i no a hasi´é te asina leu.

Pa nos di “Nos Ke Boneiru Bèk” e fecha di 10-10-13 tambe ta marka final na e trayektoria di buska firma pa sostené un petishon popular pa un referèndem pa asina korigí i kambia loke a bai robes i alabes kuminsá un etapa nobo. E “Revolushon Boneriano”, un etapa kaminda ku nos lo ta bek riba e ruta di liberashon i pa rekobrá nos teritorio i derecho di por goberná nos mes.

Ku e sosten di parti di firmantenan ku ta apoyá e lucha sagrado aki i tambe esnan ku no a òf no por a firma pa un òf otro motibu pero ku tambe ta mantené e mesun derecho pa nos rekobrá nos Boneiru i nos propio gobernashon bèk. Segun e fundashon di “ Nos ke nos Boneiru bèk”, nos ta di opinion ku nos tin e derecho di eksigí f demanda nos derecho ku inhustamente òf ilegalmente, a keda kita o sekuestrá for di nos pueblo Boneriano. Awor nos ta konvensí ku e mensahe kla aki lo yega i komprendé dor di nos gobernantenan i ku lo rekonsiderá e posishon aktual i rekonsiliá i uni e pueblo por lo mínimo ku sigur lo tene debido kuenta  i respetá e pueblo su derechonan i deseonan.

Un gradisimentu ta bai na tur persona ku a yuda ku e proseso aktivamente pa buska sosten i tambe un pabien na firmantenan tur ku gran determinashon i kurashi a mustra ku nos tin suidadanonan, Bonerianonan balente i tambe hendenan di tur parti ku ta sostené i ta stima Boneiru i su pueblo.

Fundashon “Nos Ke Boneiru Bek”


U.N. General Assembly Fourth Committee adopts 2013 decolonisation resolutions

The administering powers which administer most of the remaining territories worldwide, continue their pattern of voting against U.N. decolonisation resolutions. 


General Assembly

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
Sixty-eighth General Assembly
Fourth Committee
8th Meeting (AM)


Reiterating its conviction of the need for the eradication of colonialism, the Fourth Committee today concluded its annual consideration of the question of decolonization, and forwarded 11 draft resolutions to the General Assembly, six of them approved without a vote.

Continuing its tradition, the Committee approved by consensus its omnibus draft resolution on Questions of American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guam, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, Turks and Caicos Islands and the United States Virgin Islands.

That text would have the General Assembly reaffirm that, in the process of decolonization, there was no alternative to the principle of self-determination, which was also a fundamental human right, as recognized under the relevant human rights conventions. 

In a series of provisions concerning the administering Powers of the 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories on the United Nations list, the Assembly would reaffirm those Governments’ responsibility to promote the Territories’ economic and social development and take all measures necessary to protect their environments.  The Assembly would call on the administering Powers to participate in and cooperate fully with the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization.

Speaking in explanation of position after the text’s approval, the question was raised about the application of principles other than that of self-determination to the Territories.  The representative of Spain said that although the delegation had joined the consensus on the draft because it supported the right to free self-determination, the principle of territorial integrity should also be applied in some cases, such as in that of Gibraltar.

Also speaking on that draft was Argentina’s representative, who expressed support for the right of self-determination in the Territories as outlined in the omnibus draft resolution, but, drawing attention to General Assembly resolution 1514 (1960), said that the principle of self-determination was only one of two guiding tenets applicable to Non-Self-Governing Territories.  The question of the Malvinas* was a “special and particular” case, whereby the territorial integrity principle, as established by numerous General Assembly resolutions, was also to be considered.

Also speaking in explanation after passage of the draft was the representative of the United Kingdom, called the approach of the Decolonization Committee “outdated” because it failed to take into account how the relationship between the United Kingdom and its Overseas Territories had modernized.  Also, he added, the United Kingdom did not accept the assertion that the people of Gibraltar did not have the right to self-determination.

The Committee also approved without a vote a draft resolution on French Polynesia — reinstated just this year on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.  By its terms, the General Assembly would reaffirm the inalienable right of the people of French Polynesia to self-determination and also recognize the significant health and environmental impacts of nuclear testing conducted by the administering Power in the Territory over a 31-year period.

Other draft resolutions approved without a vote today included three more on specific territories — New Caledonia, Tokelau, and Western Sahara, as well as a fourth draft text on study and training facilities for inhabitants of Non-Self-Governing Territories.  A draft decision on Gibraltar would be considered at a later date.

Requiring a recorded vote was a draft resolution on information from Non-Self-Governing Territories, which would stress the importance of timely transmission of adequate information relating to the Territories by the administering Powers.  A decision was taken to forward it to the General Assembly, by a vote of 149 in favour to none against, with 4 abstentions (Israel, Rwanda, United Kingdom, United States).

By a recorded vote of 107 in favour to none against, with 51 abstentions, the Committee approved a draft resolution on the implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and the international institutions associated with the United Nations.  
A text on dissemination of information on decolonization was approved by a recorded vote of 156 in favour to 3 against ( Israel, United Kingdom, United States) with no abstentions.

Also requiring recorded votes were resolutions on economic and other activities affecting the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories — 153 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 2 abstentions (Rwanda, United Kingdom);

and on the implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples158 in favour to 3 against (Israel, United Kingdom, United States), with no abstentions.

Prior to action, the Committee also heard from several delegates as its general debate on decolonization concluded.  Broadly speaking, the representative of Algeria said that the “pretexts and red herrings” used by the occupying Powers must be denied.  Concerning Western Sahara, it was pointless to hide the national aspirations of the Saharan people.  The United Nations, he added, must engage them in a genuine exercise of self-determination.

The representative of Morocco stated that a tiny minority persisted in seeing the Western Sahara issue through its own fantasies rather than through historic facts.  Morocco’s autonomy initiative represented a historic compromise with “a win-win focus” and was still on the negotiating table. 

Also participating in the discussion were representatives of South Africa, Viet Nam, and Palau.

Speaking in exercise of the right of reply were the representatives of Spain, United Kingdom, Argentina, India, and Pakistan.

The representative of the European Union delivered a general statement ahead of action on the Western Sahara text.