Vinaora Nivo Slider 3.xVinaora Nivo Slider 3.x
Vinaora Nivo Slider 3.x

Board of University of St. Martin Foundation (BUSMF) sticks to decision to close USM despite Government’s offer to “Save USM”.

usm17032014PHILIPSBURG:--- On Monday December 11th, the government represented by Minister Jacobs and supported by the Department of Education and the Divisions of Inspection and Exams met with members of the Board of USM foundation represented by President Mrs. Giterson-Pantophlet, Vice President Wycliffe Smith, member Marcella Henry and MFO Robert Judd in what the Ministry expected would be the final meeting to come to an agreement regarding saving the University from imminent closure and all the negative consequences thereof.
After almost 2 weeks of discussion and correspondence back and forth about the MOU it appeared last Friday that the USMF board was prepared to accept the proposed financial injection of 3 monthly installments of 230K guilders to get classes restarted, however, that was not the case.
On Friday, while the Ministry prepared for a meeting to fine-tune the agreement and further explain how the feedback of Legal Affairs and USM was worked out in the document, USM handed us a letter and postponed the meeting to discuss further with other board members not present.
The Ministry taking USM’s concerns into consideration, further tweaked the MOU in USM’s favor, conceding that due to the emergency the injection would be free and clear of any deductions, and that the study financing tuition and other fees (balance 2015/2016) due would still be paid as well, including the current subsidy USM continues to receive (Ang. 63,750 monthly) without living up to the obligations for such.
Financially, USM would receive 230K after the MOU was signed (CoM will render a decision this week and payment would occur shortly after). The second payment would take place on January 8, with the third payment in February. The University would also bill government as usual for the students who receive study financing as soon as they could start which could be between 170-200K depending on the number of students.
The University is further expected to cooperate with SOAB to do the financial review of their books from 2013-2016, as well as allow an investigation into the financial management and structure of USMF and its affiliates (USMEF, MDC N.V) and provide recommendations to restructure it to improve accountability, efficiency, transparency and management of USM in relation to its usage of public funds and guaranteeing quality education.
Once financial statements are completely reviewed and approved by SOAB, USMF would also be eligible to receive the 10% withheld (170K).
USM is also expected to report monthly on the usage of the funds to avoid it being used for old debts, and to ensure that funds are used to be able to execute the core objectives of the University - Education.
USM had mentioned in its closure options presented to the Minister in writing the possibility for the USM Endowment Foundation to secure a loan to pay off debts and so this also was included in the MOU to ensure that the new injection of funds would not be used for this purpose.
USM was also to submit all necessary documentation in order for the Ministry to process an increase in structural subsidy request (made November 2, 2017) of 3 million guilders per year by January 31 in order for the Ministry to have time to prepare the advice for a decision by March 30. This increase would remain in place until the Higher Education Ordinance could go Into effect or until further increase is requested.
Government also highlighted the finalization of the Higher Education Ordinance as a high priority with deadline December 2018.
USM demanded that it be at Parliament by June 2018, which the Minister and Dept Head of Education Lacorbiniere-Hodge explained to the president and representatives why that was not possible in the current situation as collaboration with Legal Affairs is necessary for vetting. The Ministry is also seeking technical assistance to aid with the legal advice for this and other ordinances.
A formation plan of its staffing and the hiring of an Dean and President were also expected with the restart of the semester.
All this was presented with the intention to immediately inject much-needed funds, provide assistance with reporting, recommendations for restructuring, increase efficiency, move towards a higher structural subsidy, and the finalization of Higher Education Ordinance to promote quality Higher Education on St. Maarten at USM.
USM sat down in the meeting on Monday and after a few introductory words by the Ministry handed over the letter stating they would stick to their decision of November 23 and close the University as the offer from government was too late, was not sufficient, and they could not restart in January as there was no registration in November and holidays were approaching.
No matter what efforts were made to discuss the points of disagreement within the MOU, USM stuck to its gameplan and refused the offer.
USM stated in its letter that the only viable options to restart were:

  1. Get sufficient funds (we offered what had been asked in the MOU and their regular subsidy never stopped)
  2. Get a structured increase (that was offered as well in the MOU)
  3. Guarantee the Higher Education Ordinance by June 2018 (we have it as priority in the MOU with a deadline of December 2018)

In conclusion, USM has decided to jeopardize the futures of all students currently unable to continue their studies or start in January and put the employment of their employees further at risk in order to prove that they are right and the government, which should have finalized legislation for Higher Education, caused their demise.
Government of St. Maarten stands firm in its resolve and commitment to assist USM to survive as it is the only opportunity for many for higher education on the island. Government pledges to continue to support and increase support to USM, however, in a transparent, efficient and effective manner where accountability is adhered to. Government is of the opinion that dialogue on this matter was prematurely cut off by USMF and hopes USMF rethinks its position and the weight of their decision to refuse government’s offer - unless they have a better offer which they have not enlightened us about.
For the record, USM did inform in writing that one of the six options available including filing for Moratorium was “Negotiating with the incoming coalition to restart USM ...” - this statement would require much explanation as that date is not yet known and the same Ministry and departments would have to advise the new Minister as well.
The general public and USMF is reminded that the land on which the University stands is leased land from Government and Government’s permission is needed to transfer such assets or take loans/mortgages on it. So any other plans would require transparency towards government.
USMF is also further reminded that as long as they continue to not hold classes that their current subsidy can be suspended or stopped according to the subsidy ordinance pending further agreements.
These are all scenarios government has avoided over the years including post-Irma in the interest of continuity of the institution and the important role it plays in the community. The USMF board should seriously consider the consequences of its actions to the students, staff, and community of St. Maarten.
USM has submitted a request on the afternoon of December 12th to meet with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sport where they plan to revisit and discuss the proposed MOU again. The meeting request has been honored and will take place on Wednesday, December 13th 2017.

Press Release from the Ministry of ECYS

K1 Britannia Foundation to host 4th Annual Christmas Angels Program.

k1britanniaxmasangel12122017PHILIPSBURG:--- Christmas is a time for giving, showing and receiving love. The K1 Britannia Christmas Angels Program is a perfect way to show that this holiday season.

K1 Britannia’s post-disaster relief work is aimed at bringing back some sort of normalcy to the community, but the Christmas Angels Program is aimed at bringing back joy and smiles to the many that need it.
Since 2014, the foundation has hosted its annual Christmas Angels Program and will host it this year despite the circumstances after Hurricane Irma. The community is encouraged to visit the K1 Britannia team from Thursday, December 14th to Sunday, December 17th between the hours of 9 AM – 6 PM at the New Government Administration Building on Pond Island.

The two large Christmas trees will be filled with over 600 little angels which were all made with love by and represents a foster child, a client of the Sister Basilia Center, a resident of the St. Martin’s Home, a client of Mental Health Foundation, a member of UJIMA, or an underprivileged child who needs some extra love this Christmas. Persons can pass by, choose a special angel, buy a present for the child or elder it represents and in return get to keep the little angel as a gift from that person to them. This enables persons to feel the impact one single act can have on another child or elder.

For more information about the program and how you can be a part of it as an individual or company, contact the foundation at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , +1(721)553-8186 or via Facebook at

K1 Britannia Foundation Press Release

FirstCaribbean International Bank Limited Exploring A Potential Stock Market Listing.

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados:--- FirstCaribbean International Bank Limited is exploring a potential stock market listing of some of its shares in the U.S., the world’s deepest capital market. No decisions have been made. However, a listing on the NYSE would provide CIBC FirstCaribbean with access to a larger investor base, enhanced liquidity, and greater access to capital.
CIBC FirstCaribbean has delivered strong operating performance and financial results over the last three years. During this period, we have achieved an increase in adjusted net income of $123 million in 2015 to $153 million in 2017 (a CAGR of 11%), with a strongly improving asset quality profile.
We have demonstrated continued market share gains with greater than average market growth across most geographies and business segments. We have achieved this by offering a superior client experience and technology interface together with our full suite of products and services.
This trend is set to continue and we remain focused on delivering excellent service to our clients and providing the best possible return on investment for our shareholders.

CIBC FirstCaribbean Press Release

Plenary Session of Parliament on Draft National Ordinance Integrity Chamber on Wednesday.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The House of Parliament will sit in a plenary public meeting on Wednesday, December 13, 2017. The Minister of General Affairs will be present.
The urgent plenary public meeting is scheduled for 14.00 hrs in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelminastraat #1 in Philipsburg.

The agenda points are:

  1. Incoming documents
  2. Approval Decision Lists Public meetings Parliamentary Year 2017-2018 no. 1, 3, 4, 6 and 9
  3. Ontwerp van Landsverordening tot instelling van de Integriteitskamer, alsmede tot regeling van de inrichting, samenstelling, taken en bevoegdheden van de Integriteitskamer (Landsverordening Integriteitskamer) (IS/208/2017-2018 d.d. 6 december 2015)(ZJ 2017-2018-104)
  4. Amendment to article 69 and addition several new articles to the Rules of Order

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations.

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg.

The parliamentary session will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 120, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1, SXMGOV Radio 107.9 FM, video live stream via the internet, and also Parliament FB page: Parliament of Sint Maarten.

Caribbean leaders launch ambitious plan to create the world’s first “climate-smart zone”.

The Caribbean Climate-Smart Coalition seeks rapid implementation of US $8 billion climate investment plan that will transform regional energy system, build resiliency, drive economic growth and set a global example.

caribbeanclimatesmartzone12122017PARIS, France:--- Recent hurricanes have left unprecedented devastation across the Caribbean and it is a traumatic time for all those who live in the region. Whole communities and towns have been decimated, and the global community needs to act quickly and give generously to relieve suffering and help to rebuild.
Alongside the on-going emergency response, Caribbean leaders today announced the launch of a new public-private coalition to create the world's first "climate-smart zone". The Caribbean Climate-Smart Coalition aims to find a way to break through the systemic obstacles that stop finance flowing to climate-smart investments. With the right domestic and international reforms, the world can step up – and help unleash the means to catalyze an ambitious US $8 billion investment plan to bring greater energy and infrastructure resilience to 3.2 million Caribbean households. This would help Caribbean islands to eliminate their costly dependency on fossil fuels so that they can meet close to 100% percent of their energy needs from renewable sources, and to embed resilience into communities and livelihoods to realize the bold ambitions of all Caribbean people.
The announcement came at the One Planet Summit hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris to review progress made on the Paris Agreement adopted by global governments two years ago today.
The Coalition aims to reinvigorate the islands that have been impacted by recent hurricanes Irma and Maria, and help build more resilient infrastructure and communities across the region as the likelihood of future extreme weather events increases.

Digital News Agency Press Release

Vinaora Nivo Slider 3.x
Vinaora Nivo Slider 3.x


Vinaora Nivo Slider 3.x
Vinaora Nivo Slider 3.x
Vinaora Nivo Slider 3.x
Vinaora Nivo Slider 3.xVinaora Nivo Slider 3.x
Vinaora Nivo Slider 3.x
Vinaora Nivo Slider 3.x
Vinaora Nivo Slider 3.x
Vinaora Nivo Slider 3.x
Vinaora Nivo Slider 3.xVinaora Nivo Slider 3.x
Vinaora Nivo Slider 3.x
Vinaora Nivo Slider 3.x
Vinaora Nivo Slider 3.x