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A Vision for Curacao: Navigating Between UPG Status and CARICOM Integration

A Vision for Curacao: Navigating Between UPG Status and CARICOM Integration

 

June 20, 2024

 

Recently, discussions have emerged about changing the status of the Dutch islands from LGO (Landen en Gebieden Overzee) to UPG (Ultraperifere Gebieden). This change would grant access to development funds and improve islanders' living standards. Naturally, this conversation extends to islands like Curaçao.

Simultaneously, Curaçao has become an associate member of CARICOM, integrating more deeply into the Caribbean community. At first glance, this dual alignment might seem like a split, but it does not have to be. Curaçao is both a UPG and a gateway between the Caribbean and Europe. However, achieving this vision is not a one-person job. It requires a clear strategy and concerted effort from all of us. Let us work together to navigate this path and shape the future of Curaçao.

Ironically, while the benefits of UPG status are substantial, the path to achieving it is challenging. Implementing and complying with the necessary regulations demands significant intellectual resources—resources we currently lack (denkcapaciteit). Given the Netherlands' political climate and the new government's composition, it is unlikely that support will come from The Hague. As a result, our development path may be further delayed. This underscores the urgency and importance of our strategic planning and capacity-building efforts.

In conclusion, while the potential benefits of UPG status and CARICOM membership are clear, realizing this dual vision for Curaçao will require strategic planning, capacity building, and a collaborative effort from local leaders and the international community. These are necessary for our progress to continue, prolonging our challenges.


Miguel Goede

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