PHILIPSBURG—June 27, 2022. A delegation of the Social Economic Council (SER) of Sint Maarten attended a climate conference titled ‘Climate Crisis and Social dialogue’. The event was held in the “Miltiadis Evert” Auditorium, Technopolis City of Athens in Greece. The conference was organized by the Social Economic Council of Greece in collaboration with the International Association of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions (AICESIS).
The AICESIS is the umbrella organization representing more than seventy (70) member states from four (4) different continents. AICESIS functions as an important international organization for social and economic policy. SER Sint Maarten was invited to attend the conference as a representative of the region of Latin America and the Caribbean together with the SERs of Curaçao, Guatemala, countries of the European Union, Africa, and Asia were also represented at the conference. SER St. Maarten participation demonstrates the high level of awareness of societies and institutions of social dialogue in all countries, regardless of geographical or economic origin and specific interests.
The purpose of the conference was to identify the existing challenges and to formulate, through an open channel of consultation at the international level, concrete proposals for tackling climate change and the consequences of adaptation policies. The topics of discussions were: The new challenges for the green transition to an ever-changing environment, the role of social dialogue and civil society engagement in policy making and Sustainable development, Competitiveness and Social cohesion. For this occasion, the Chairman of SER St. Maarten, Damian Richardson gave a presentation on the importance of ‘climate change in the context of St. Maarten. The Chairman referred to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report titled: “Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptions and Vulnerabilities”.
SER St. Maarten involvement further illustrates the value and usefulness of social dialogue on the topic of climate crisis. The goal of SER St. Maarten is to stimulate a local discussion with government and stakeholders on the topic. St. Maarten is no stranger to natural disasters and addressing the ongoing climate crisis, along with the energy crisis is a priority for SER. As green transition programs and initiatives at the international level are still at the level of declarations, while large sections of society are suffering from the effects of the climate crisis, it is clear now that economic environmental and social policies need to be swiftly reoriented and focused on sustainable green development and transition goals. The delegation of SER Sint Maarten consisted of SER chairman Damien Richardson, and Secretary-General, Gerard Richardson.