PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - As Minister of Public Health, Social Development & Labor, and my role has allowed me a unique opportunity to gain insight into the lives of those whom I serve in St. Maarten. I can be nothing but grateful to the many people who placed so much trust in me-enough trust to share the details of their private lives and personal challenges, much of it very difficult to bear.
How difficult that must be for someone to share this is something that does not escape me. Each and every day my mind and my heart are shaped by these experiences and the issues they subsequently raise. As my Ministry and I navigate the details of these individual issues to provide solutions on a daily basis, over time I come to see them in a broader and more systematic context.
As I begin to look for solutions to these problems to minimize future issues for others- this ultimately allows the ministry to delegate its efforts to the next emerging challenge. We cannot look at issues and challenges one-dimensionally – we must see the bigger picture. This is how my ministry works. And this is how I work.
My decision to run with DP stems from my firm belief that it is the most stable party in our nation and a revitalized Democratic Party. While I strongly believe that as a country the best days are ahead of us, I am equally of the belief that we have just as much to be grateful for. The DP Party is not new- but the ability to be innovative and bold with new ideas and visions that accommodate a dynamic and ever changing landscape must come from knowing the past- what works, and yes, what doesn’t.
No party in the history of St. Maarten has that breadth of knowledge and experience. The world is evolving at an incredibly rapid pace. There is often a mindset to be “out with the old, in with the new”. I would argue that we as a country must be mindful of the work of those before us, as well as the cultural component that makes us uniquely “St. Maarten”.
Because once it is lost, it is forever lost. So it is important to me to move our country and our people into this new era with an excitement for all the changes it can bring while contextualizing it within our own rich culture. The DP Party best embraces this duality, making it the ideal party to lead St. Maarten. This is how they work. And this is how I work.
So today I formally announce my candidacy to represent St. Maarten as I ask for your vote for a position in Parliament. I have devoted a significant part of my professional life to public service and I am extremely proud of the work within my present ministry. I am confident in my ability to continue to make this ministry, this government and this island better- better for ALL people.
Those we have toiled with in the past and have earned the right to enjoy the fruits of that labor, just like those that work today to bring richness to our country in a variety of ways- culturally, financially, academically, professionally, environmentally and personally. Everyone contributes. Everyone. And to those that come after us- our young people, our future.
We must accept our responsibility to continue to make St. Maarten a wonderful place to grow up, be safe and healthy, get a good education, and embrace our culture while maintaining a global mindset- it was the burden of so many before us. Now it is our turn. I have only begun to do MY part.
With the opportunity to represent St. Maarten in Parliament or as a Minister, I will continue to be approachable and available to my fellow citizens, working to create sustainable change that will be mindful of long-term impacts on our systems, our environment, our people. This is how I will work.
Mere weeks from now all citizens can exercise their right to have their voice heard. It is YOUR choice. It is YOUR vote. Please make your vote a vote for ME- A NEW DEMOCRAT, not one against my fellow candidates.
As a country we must remain dignified, even during times of disagreement or conflict. As people we must continue to elevate ourselves, challenging and voting with integrity. And as a Member of Parliament or a Minister, I must have faith in God as he guides me to give all that I have and all that I am to my country St. Maarten. THIS is how I will work. (Statement contributed by the Minister Hon. Cornelius de Weever)