From Wednesday 3 to Friday 5 October 2018, the president of the Collectivité of Saint-Martin, Mr. Daniel GIBBES, participated in the 14th Conference of Regional Cooperation West Indies Guiana held in Martinique.
This 2018 edition of the event was marked by openness, with the participation of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the Association of Caribbean States (ACS).
President GIBBES spoke on three occasions, particularly emphasizing the added value of Saint Martin in terms of cooperation with neighboring countries and territories.
In its opening speech, President GIBBES wished to focus on four themes that would allow us to move forward together, namely:
The affirmation and the valorization of our maritime dimension,
Maintaining or returning young people to our territories via a regional strategy,
The imperative opening up air and sea,
The use, in our best interests, of the "European lever", at the moment when Saint-Martin will ensure, in December and for a year, the Presidency of the Conference of Ultra-peripheral Regions.
Moreover, during the Sargasso Seminar, President GIBBES was able to highlight the damaging implications of this natural disaster:
1 °) It is difficult, if not impossible, to assess the impact of this phenomenon on our territory for lack of a real statistical tool and increased involvement of INSEE;
2 °) This scourge worsens the state of our finances, already affected by the consequences of cyclone IRMA on our tax revenues;
3 °) The Sargassum phenomenon delays the reconstruction of our tourism industry;
4 °) However, there are promising prospects for the development of Sargassum, collection techniques and cooperation in terms of financing, thanks to the necessary national and European solidarity (State: Ministries and ADEME, Europe: EDF / ERDF cooperation).
Finally, as part of the workshop on civil security, President GIBBES was able to expose his experience feedback on the cooperation between Saint-Martin and Sint Maarten in terms of crisis management following the devastating cyclone, there is 13 months. In the context of growing climate disruption, it is therefore vital, with the support of the State and the European Union, to work to strengthen regional cooperation in order to improve prevention tools and to react in the same way the most effective possible facing such events called to reproduce.
It was recalled that, during the 28 June 2018 Quadripartite Concertation in Paris, the parties stressed the need to develop a cooperation agreement on crisis management. From then on, a joint work of reflection will be initiated in order to formalize the exchange of information and material, to mutualize the infrastructures and the means of communication in a crisis situation, with the aim of drafting a framework of action from here the end of this year 2018.