19 December 2016

Sint Eustatius, Bonaire civil society reject Netherlands unilateral intervention despite rejection of Dutch rule by the people

Second Chamber’s plans for ‘Special Observer’ in Statia rejected 

Civil society organizations Brighter Path Foundation and Nos Ke Boneiru Bek have strongly condemned the move from The Hague to appoint a “Special Observer” in St. Eustatius, as was recently reported in various Dutch Caribbean news media. 
The group said in a joint statement: 

“Bearing in mind that the Public Entity status was formally rejected by the people of Statia in the December 2014 referendum, whereby an overwhelming majority voted for more autonomy, and which was later ratified by the Island Council of St. Eustatius, any move on the part of the Dutch Government to impose administrative rule on the island territory, is in direct violation of the people’s human rights."  Disregarding the democratically- elected island representatives can be considered an undemocratic act on the part of The Hague.” 

The organizations see the increasing sanctions being imposed on the local government and the people of Statia as confirmation that the Public Entity status is profoundly deficient, as it does not meet the UN criteria for full internal self- government, which according to UN resolution 1541 (XV), can only be achieved in one of three ways namely:

 (a) Being in free association with an independent state as a result of a free and voluntary choice by the people of the Territory expressed through an informed and democratic process;

 (b) Fully integrated into an independent state on the basis of complete equality between the peoples of the Non- Self-Governing Territory and those of the independent date, 

(c) Independence. 

The unilateral exercise of power and control by The Hague strengthens the resolve of the organizations to assist the democratically- elected government to put all measures in place to obtain the status that the people desire, the organizations said.