NA Leader MP Silveria Jacobs (File photo) NA Leader MP Silveria Jacobs (File photo)

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Officials of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) gave a presentation to the Members of Parliament on Thursday, 7 June 2018 for the design and implementation of an institutional framework for mainstreaming Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of the Country’s National Development Plan, the National Alliance (NA) Parliament Faction office said in a statement on Tuesday.

The main take away of the meeting was questions posed by the National Alliance (who were all in attendance) faction. Namely, MP (Member of Parliament) Silveria Jacobs and MP Ardwell Irion posed questions about data management and data sharing between the public and private sector.

MP Egbert Jurendy Doran posed questions concerning the benefit to the locals and job opportunities for the people of St. Maarten, as it relates to implementing the SDG framework. This concern for data sharing was also echoed by MP Brison.

These data sharing concerns were also a priority for the St. Maarten delegation, Chaired by MP Jacobs, in the Interpalementair Koninkrijksoverleg (IPKO) meetings held last week in the second chamber in The Hague.

There is a lack of data sharing and collection on St. Maarten and the Government has to do more as it concerns the number of persons living below the poverty line, the number of persons post Irma still without roofs and homes, persons out of work, persons still in distress and persons still needing social and emotional support.

This basic information being accessible to produce accurate and informative reports are a must, in order to get us ‘back on our feet’. Also, the number of persons entering in and out of the country and as to what is the nature of their visits are statistics we don’t report and have available.

MP Silveria Jacobs specified that, “It is high time that we pay as much attention to the development of capacity within the country, as it equates to building human capacity, strengthening ‘us’ to help ourselves.”

“Whether in data collection, analysis, priority setting, policy setting of legislative development.” There are many deficiencies of data sharing and the overall lack of transparency that data can provide in aiding Policy Makers to make better decisions in the Government operations.

One of the ways forward for the overall development of Country St. Maarten is its data management and sharing development. Involving both public and private sector and having a standardized frame work where in, policy makers, government and private business owners can all benefit from a modernized way of doing business and competing in an ever growing digital market, all across the world.

The ECLAC meeting in the parliament building and the IPKO meetings held in The Hague were all highlighting a more digital way of working as it concerns the data management, security and sharing of information, while striving to achieve the SDGs.

“I highly support this UN funded initiative to assist St. Maarten in recovery and planning towards meeting needs of our people and ensuring of forward momentum, development and success as a tiny island nation,” stated MP Jacobs.

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