Caribbean Netherlands better on the EU map, reports envoy Rijna

Special envoy Edison Rijna reported to the State Secretary for Kingdom Relations and Digitalisation Alexandra van Huffelen on his work since his appointment on the 18th of April. The report offers insight into the approach of the envoy for the European Union, and United Nations, and economic development with Latin America and the Caribbean for the benefit of the Caribbean Netherlands.

Special envoy Edison Rijna reported to the State Secretary for Kingdom Relations and Digitalisation Alexandra van Huffelen

The report shows that envoy Rijna held discussions with a large number of organizations relevant to the economic development of Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba within and outside the Kingdom – from ministries to EU institutes – in order to establish relations and at the same time explore where untapped opportunities lie for the islands.

Naturally, the objectives of the mission, the priorities, and expectations of the islands, and how best to shape mutual cooperation were also discussed at length with the administrators and Island Councils in the Caribbean Netherlands. From these discussions, it was concluded that the mission will initially focus on five areas of interest essential to the Caribbean Netherlands: climate change, connectivity, food security, sustainable energy sources, and economic diversification.

State Secretary Van Huffelen: “The mission was established with one clear goal: to contribute to the sustainable economic development of the Caribbean Netherlands. Sustainable growth is important to increase the livelihood of current and future generations on the islands. I see the mission as an opportunity to more effectively represent the interests of the Caribbean Netherlands within the EU, UN, and the region, and to increase the use of potential funds by the islands.”

Envoy Rijna: “During my tour of all kinds of organizations, it became clear to me that in general people are not sufficiently aware of what they can do for the islands. In any case, there is a lack of knowledge about the islands and their constitutional position, but also vice versa: what the islands can mean to the EU and EU institutions, for example. One of the first tasks is therefore to ensure that the Caribbean Netherlands is better put on the map.”


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