GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: The Honorable Ministers of Justice of Aruba; Rocco Tjon, Curaçao; Shalten Hato and Sint Maarten; Anna E. Richardson was in Geneva to attend the Kingdom’s Universal Periodic Review session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on November 15, 2022. The Ministers made use of that unique opportunity to hold the second Justice Tripartite meeting between the Caribbean countries of the Kingdom.
Though the three Ministers of Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten remain in close contact with each other and have met on several previous occasions, including on the sidelines of multilateral events and other forums, the initiative was taken in June of this year for a structural Tripartite meeting that will serve as a forum for regular dialogue at a Ministerial level in the field of Justice. The meeting enabled them to discuss ways in which more value and substance can be added to ongoing cooperation efforts and to further strengthen the bonds between the Ministries of Justice of the three countries.
The second Justice Tripartite meeting was chaired by Minister Richardson who expressed appreciation to her esteemed colleague Ministers of Justice for making themselves available on short notice for the meeting while the preparations for the session of the UN were at full speed.
During the meeting, a large diversity of topics that focus on areas of mutual interest were discussed. For example, the challenges the countries face with carrying out different projects with limited resources such as forensic care in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom, and the establishment of a joint workgroup towards working on the Law Enforcement Institutes or Justice Academies in the countries providing a uniform curriculum. Also discussed between the three Ministers of Justice were best practices related to Interpol Curaçao and Interpol Aruba.
Another item that was touched upon was the registration of sex offenders. A group of students of Security Management is currently carrying out an assignment for the Ministry of Justice in Sint Maarten regarding this subject matter. The Ministers expressed their interest to utilize the end report of the students as a starting point for an advanced study by an established entity.
Subsequently, the Ministers discussed financing these initiatives of the Caribbean countries of the Kingdom, via the establishment of a joint workgroup to assess possibilities within the countries’ legal frameworks to generate extra funds for services provided by the Ministries. Considering the aforementioned review session of the UN Human Rights Council, the topic of Immigration and Human Rights was also discussed.
Concluding the meeting, the Ministers of Justice expressed their satisfaction with the efficient conduct of the second meeting and the already proven positive effect that the Tripartite has for an increased and productive working relationship between the three countries. This enables them to discuss issues more directly related to Justice and achieve positive outcomes that will benefit all three countries equally. The next Justice Tripartite meeting is scheduled for January 16, 2023, and will be hosted by the Ministry of Justice and Social Affairs of Aruba with Minister Tjon as chair of the meeting.