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New Border Treaty Signed for St. Martin

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs Honorable Ms. Silveria Jacobs announces the successful conclusion of extensive discussions related to the border between Sint Maarten and Saint-Martin. The dialogues were aimed at fostering mutual understanding and cooperation and after diplomatic negotiations, an agreement was reached on a new treaty that will define the shared border on the island. The official signing ceremony took place today, Friday, May 26, 2023 at the border Monument in Belvedere/Belle Plaine.

Prime Minister Jacobs signed the treaty, on behalf of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Minister of Interior Gerard Darmanin signed on behalf of the French Republic. The official signing ceremony was attended by high-ranking officials from both governments, including the Governor. The former Governor, former Lieutenant Governors, as well as former Prime Ministers; and the French Overseas Minister Jean-François Carenco; President of the Collectivité of Saint-Martin, Mr. Louis Mussington; and Préfet of Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin, Mr. Vincent Berton, were present at the signing. Representatives of the consular and diplomatic corps, residing on the island, were also present.

The event served as a testament to the positive and constructive dialogue that has taken place between the two nations, setting a precedent for future collaborations. In addition to the signing, the ceremony featured speeches highlighting the significance of this milestone and the potential it holds for the advancement of bilateral relations. In attendance were media representatives, witnessing this historic moment first-hand. 

Following the signing of the treaty, both parties anticipate a smooth implementation of the agreed-upon measures, which will promote increased cooperation and facilitate more effective dialogue, thereby strengthening the bonds of friendship and understanding between the people of the island.

“I am immensely pleased to announce the successful signing of this border treaty. The outcome fills me with satisfaction and optimism for the future. Through diplomatic dialogue and collaboration, we have achieved a mutually beneficial agreement that fosters peace, stability, and cooperation with Saint-Martin. This treaty's signing is not a means of division or just a symbolic gesture; it is a testament to dialogue, compromise, and unity. It signals an era of cooperation, where map lines no longer divide us,” said Prime Minister Jacobs.

The Prime Minister continued, “I commend the dedication and hard work of the negotiating team, both from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Foreign Relations, who represented The Kingdom with professionalism and resolve. This agreement demonstrates our commitment to resolving differences through peaceful means and finding common ground for the collective prosperity of our citizens. Together, we embark on a new era of collaboration and shared progress, solidifying our position as a nation that values peace, diplomacy, and positive engagement with our family to the North.”


COCI Board and Management Undergo Corporate Governance Training

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce and Industry (COCI), as part of its overall strategic plan of operational efficiency, held a training session for its board and management on the principles of Corporate Governance – Laws and Regulations.

The session was held on Saturday 20th May in the COCI conference room and was conducted by Mr. Franklyn Richards, who has a wealth of knowledge on the subject matter.

The Board and Management of COCI acknowledge Corporate Governance principles to be a core pillar for business functioning. Not only is compliance with regulations and policies propelled by the application of good corporate governance principles, but also business processes, procedures and administration are undertaken in a sound manner.

The knowledge and proper application of these principles results in better-run companies and organizations in which core values are created, and continuously developed to protect entrepreneurs, shareholders and business relations, in their interaction called business.

Based on the training received COCI has emphasized, that as an evolving economy and practically young institution, there is a dire need for boards and directors to understand what good governance practices are and how to implement to ensure that they have sound governance systems in place.

COCI is of the opinion that entity’s Board and Management that are on a recurring basis, corporate governance training is to be enjoyed by all incoming new members and serve also as a refresher for sitting members. In addition, the necessary mechanisms must be implemented to support the continuous application of the principles of good corporate governance in everyday operations.

Under its theme for 2023: “Build 2023, Build Business” COCI will make the training in Corporate Governance Principles accessible to a larger contingency of the business community. "Most forums organized have a threshold for participation due to the participation fee often charged.

“Corporate Governance must be adhered to in all segments of our business community and so greater access must be created”, the President was quoted saying. The application of the principles of corporate governance permits organizations to assess the strength of their own governance protocol and identify needed changes and improvement; all in an effort to become effective and resilient in turbulent times.

“COCI will as part of its support and engagement with the business community have   sessions open to all stakeholders on the topic of Corporate Governance in the near future”, stated COCI President.


NOAA predicts up to 17 named storms of which nine could become hurricanes

SINT MAARTEN/FLORIDA (MIAMI) - NOAA forecasters with the Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, predict near-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic this year. NOAA’s outlook for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, which goes from June 1 to November 30, predicts a 40% chance of a near-normal season, a 30% chance of an above-normal season and a 30% chance of a below-normal season.

NOAA is forecasting a range of 12 to 17 total named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher). Of those, 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 1 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA has a 70% confidence in these ranges.

The upcoming Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be less active than recent years, due to competing factors — some that suppress storm development and some that fuel it — driving this year's overall forecast for a near-normal season. 

After three hurricane seasons with La Nina present, NOAA scientists predict a high potential for El Nino to develop this summer, which can suppress Atlantic hurricane activity. El Nino’s potential influence on storm development could be offset by favorable conditions local to the tropical Atlantic Basin.

Those conditions include the potential for an above-normal west African monsoon, which produces African easterly waves and seeds some of the stronger and longer-lived Atlantic storms, and warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea which creates more energy to fuel storm development.

These factors are part of the longer term variability in Atlantic atmospheric and oceanic conditions that are conducive to hurricane development — known as the high-activity era for Atlantic hurricanes — which have been producing more active Atlantic hurricane seasons since 1995. 





TRIBUTE TROUPE Delivers Another Spectacular Performance with Three Sold-Out Shows

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The TRIBUTE TROUPE, under the leadership of DJ Jansen de Jong and Joost de Jong Jansen has once again wowed audiences with their incredible talent and dedication. Ten professional ladies worked tirelessly to create a show that left audiences in awe, and due to popular demand, they have decided to give another double performance on June 18th, 2023, at 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm in the BLACK BOX THEATRE @ NIA, John Larmonie Center.

The TRIBUTE TROUPE’s latest show was so good that the audience simply didn't want to leave! It was an unforgettable experience of Tribute Troupe with songs, dance and acting.

That's why they've decided to give another performance, so you can come and relax, burst out laughing, and maybe even shed a tear. You'll definitely leave happy, and best of all, it's free of charge. Donations are extremely appreciated, so please give generously.

On a very important note, please leave your goats at home. We want to ensure that everyone can enjoy the show without any distractions.

So mark your calendars and get ready for another unforgettable performance from the TRIBUTE TROUPE. Tadaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Make your reservations through WhatsApp messages only on 580-7174. For more information check our Facebook and Instagram: Tribute Troupe.


Author Loekie Morales to Be Featured in BNK 2023 Curaçao Storybook

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Beyond Kultura Events (BKE) Foundation is pleased to announce that Curaçao’s library Biblioteka Nashonal Korsou (BNK) has selected two stories of children’s book author Loekie Morales for inclusion in its new story compilation book for 2023.

The theme of this year’s book is MY HOME. Authors were asked to write about the theme from an in Curaçao based child perspective.

“When I learned from BNK that both my stories will be included in their prestigious storybook, in Papiamentu and Dutch, I couldn’t be happier. I’m so grateful with the acceptation of both stories,” says Morales.

Morales: “In January I was sitting under a palm tree in St. Maarten, where I was awaiting my car to be washed. A flock of birds was chirping there, while the wind was playing with the palm tree leaves. The story of ‘De palmboom bij opa, mijn thuis’/‘The palmtree at Grandpa’sis my home’ was born in my head. It is about a boy who is sad about his parents divorcing. Under the palm tree at grandpa’s house he finds solace. There is his home.

The other story: ‘Trampas bracht mij veilig thuis’/‘Trampas brought me safely home’ is a story based on a real life experience of my youngest sister. When she was a todler, her dog Trampas used to pick her up from school and bring her safely back home.

This year marks the first lustrum for the publishing of BNK’s storybooks. The book will serve as a gift for Children’s Book Week-Siman Ban Lesa. It will be distributed to all primary schools in Curaçao.



SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Adequate and affordable housing for the residents of St. Martin is an urgent matter requiring immediate attention to ensure the population’s safety in the face of climate change. Through the Island(er)s at the Helm research program and in collaboration with Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) and the Royal Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV-Leiden), the University of St. Martin (USM) is looking into the challenges and opportunities related to designing safe housing, especially for low-income households.

Social housing is in short supply, requirements can be overwhelming, and often they do not meet the population’s needs. Consequently, many people on the island are left without access to adequate housing, which is considered to be a human right. As a result, some residents had(?) no choice but to build their own homes.

They built the units mostly on undesired plots, such as hillsides that were left vacant for a long time, or even in their backyards to rent them for much needed income. Although the conditions of self-built housing are far from ideal, they are often the only housing option for those with little income and who find themselves barred from social housing.

To gain a better understanding of how hurricane and climate proof homes should be designed, USM is hosting architect and doctoral researcher Ms. Aga Kus of TU Delft, who began interviewing residents earlier this month. Working with two local bilingual research assistants, Kus is set to gather data on different types of housing construction including traditional jollification, formal contracting and informal settlements on Pond Island, Dutch Quarter, Belvedere, Cole Bay, and Philipsburg.

By documenting testimonies from before and after hurricanes Louis (1995) and Irma (2017), Kus hopes to identify practices which can inform designers and policy makers on the needs and concerns of local inhabitants. Research Assistants are Kimberly Watamalejo and USM student Marlenny Richardson.

While repair and rebuilding support has been provided to some inhabitants(?), those who did receive the assistance have taken the challenge of fixing their properties upon themselves. However, concerns regarding the safety of these units are rising, especially with the upcoming hurricane season.

Architects, builders, and researchers have acknowledged the urgency of the problem. Yet, despite their efforts, many inhabitants of the islands still lack access to appropriate housing. Ms. Kus’ research aims to enhance the safety and affordability of housing by studying conventional building traditions and self-built housing practices to enhance material circulation and collective design for the future housing proposals.

“The challenge of providing housing on the Islands is increasing due to population growth and rising prices, and then exacerbated by natural hazards caused by climate change,” Kus was quoted saying in a USM press release.

“However, self-built housing units offer valuable insights for housing design on the Island. These units are developed gradually, making them affordable and functional, which is lacking in many social housing projects around the world. Additionally, some low-income residents build their houses collectively through jollification, decreasing costs and strengthening community bonds. Moreover, inhabitants often circulate materials by reuse or repurposing, which reduces environmental impacts. These qualities could serve as guidelines for designing houses in the future,” she stated.

Adhering to USM research protocol, which promotes social research on both sides of the island, Kus took a peek at self-built housing development in French Quarter by interviewing senior women who actually participated in the physical construction of their homes.

These recalled the days of outhouses, the introduction of concrete blocks as a common building. material and the opening and closing of hardware stores across the border, where wood and zinc could be purchased. Additionally, Kus visited traditional wooden homes which survived hurricanes.

“If the gale does not stop at the border, neither does the sharing of knowledge-practices and experiences among the people of St. Martin, especially now when facing climate change challenges. The same goes for ethnic diversity. Many migrant residents are newcomers to the island, and they bring with them building strategies from all over the Caribbean”, said USM President Dr. Antonio Carmona Báez who accompanied Kus in some of the interviews, serving as an interpreter for Spanish speakers.

“We are happy with Ms. Kus’ presence at USM and the respect she has demonstrated to the island and its people. She is an ethical researcher who is working with the local population and local experts in developing bottom-up solutions,” Carmona concluded.


Integrity Chamber Invites the Public to Participate Virtually in the Integrity Symposium

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On May 26, 2023, at the American University of the Caribbean, the Integrity Chamber will host its first Integrity Symposium.

This symposium, with the theme: “Building Integrity to Build a Nation”, will aim to stimulate a national discussion and offer new ideas about the foundational elements of integrity for building a stronger Sint Maarten.

The symposium is invite only, however, the public can participate virtually via the Integrity Chamber’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

The symposium will include an official opening by the Prime Minister, an address by the president of the Integrity Chamber, Mrs. H.W. (Rian) Vogels, and keynotes by Mr. Dion M. Abdool of Transparency International and Professor Emeritus Trevor Munroe of National Integrity Action.

One of the highlights of the Integrity Symposium is its panel discussion. Participants, both in person and online, will have the opportunity to ask relevant questions to the panelists, which include the keynote speakers and members of the Integrity Chamber, Mr. Rafael Boasman and Mr. Hans Lodder.

The event will be streamed on the Facebook page at: and the YouTube page at: //">

More information about the Integrity Symposium can be found on the website at

Hans Lodder press

Hans Lodder




Police Investigating Two Serious Traffic Accidents. Three occupants in serious but stable condition

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The St. Maarten Police Force (KPSM) is actively investigating two serious traffic accidents that occurred on the evening of May 23, 2023. These incidents took place at the junction of Sucker Garden Road and Arch Road, as well as on G.A. Arndell Blvd (Link 1).

At approximately 8:15 PM, the police dispatch center received multiple reports of a serious traffic accident on Sucker Garden Road, resulting in two individuals sustaining severe injuries. Immediate action was taken as police officers and ambulance personnel were swiftly dispatched to the scene.

Upon arrival, our patrol encountered two young men who were seriously injured on the road. Immediate first aid was administered, and both individuals were expeditiously transported to the Sint Maarten Medical Center.

Initial investigations suggest that a scooter rider and their passenger, along with a red Ford Mustang, were traveling from Sucker Garden towards Philipsburg. The driver of the red car attempted to make a left turn into a car park while being overtaken by the scooter rider, resulting in a collision.

Unfortunately, before the arrival of the police, unknown individuals had removed the scooter from the scene, presenting challenges for the ongoing investigation.

Shortly after, at approximately 8:20 PM, the dispatch center received a report of another accident on Link 1, where one of the victims was trapped inside a vehicle. The Police Fire Brigade and ambulance personnel were immediately dispatched to the location.

Preliminary findings indicate that the driver of a white Hyundai was ascending the mountain towards the roundabout at Indigo Bay, while a grey SUV was descending. At a certain point, the driver of the white vehicle lost control, leading to a head-on collision with the grey SUV. The Fire Department personnel successfully extricated the victim from the vehicle.

The female victim received immediate on-site first aid before being transported to the Sint Maarten Medical Center. Currently, all three victims involved in the two separate accidents remain in a serious but stable condition. The Traffic Department personnel are diligently conducting investigations into these incidents.

The St. Maarten Police Force remains fully committed to ensuring the safety of our community. Updates regarding the progress of the investigations will be provided if deemed necessary.

police acci on hill wed24

Link 1 vehicle accident with first responders on the scene. 

 police red car accident wed24

Sucker Garden road accident involving a car and scooter. 


Police Investigate Vandalism of vehicles possibly by students

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Sint Maarten Police Force (KPSM) is actively conducting investigations into incidents involving the vandalism of window panes on two private vehicles on the L.B Scott road. It has been reported that students were responsible for these acts of destruction by throwing stones.

The Sint Maarten Police Force urges parents to engage in a constructive dialogue with their children regarding this unacceptable and criminal behavior. Such acts not only carry severe consequences for the minors involved but also pose potential repercussions for their parents.

KPSM kindly request parents to emphasize the importance of responsible conduct and respect for others property to their children. By doing so, we can foster a culture of accountability and discourage such destructive behavior.

The Sint Maarten Police Department appreciates the cooperation of the community in this matter and encourages anyone with relevant information to come forward and assist in our investigations. Together, we can uphold the values of our community and create a safer environment for all.

Anyone with information about these incidents to contact KPSM on +1 721-5422222 or the anonymous tip line on 9300.

You can also leave a private message via the Facebook page: Police Force of Sint Maarten – Korps Politie Sint Maarten) if you know or suspect something.

police bus pix2 ins1 vandal




Police Successfully Captures Dangerous Dog. Owner Urged to Contact Authorities

SINT MAARTEN (GUANA BAY) - The St. Maarten Police Force would like to inform the public that the dangerous dog, previously reported as running loose in the Guana Bay area, has been successfully apprehended. This action was taken in response to recent reports of the dog attempting to attack pedestrians in the Hope Estate area.

On the evening of May 22, 2023, a collaborative effort involving a group of dedicated police personnel, alongside other non-governmental organizations, was undertaken to capture the brown and white Pitbull mix that posed a threat to public safety. After an extensive search in the vicinity of Hope Estate, the operation concluded with the successful containment of the dog.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind the owner of this dog that it is crucial to come forward and contact the St. Maarten Police Department to address this matter promptly. It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure the proper control and management of their animals. Allowing a dangerous dog to roam freely can lead to the commission of a criminal offense.

The St. Maarten Police Department reiterates its commitment to the safety and well-being of our community. We urge the owner of the brown and white Pitbull mix to contact us as soon as possible to facilitate the resolution of this situation.

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