To say the year 2022 was eventful is an understatement. Still, in the midst of global turmoil coming from seemingly all sides, at Future Islands we managed to reach several important milestones, including increased involvement in local initiatives in the Caribbean Netherlands, exclusive interviews with various and our very first original webinar series. While we’re proud of our achievements and full of energy to continue learning and growing in 2023, we recognize that none of this would have been even remotely possible without the support of our readers and followers, here and on our social media. Without YOUR support.
We wish all of you a very happy and healthy new year, full of positive energy and good vibes!
Below, we’re rounding up some of the new years’ wishes and prospects for 2023 that were shared by the Dutch Caribbean’s leaders and decision-makers over the past few days.
Island Governor of Bonaire, Edison Rijna
“As far as I’m concerned, the equal treatment of all inhabitants of the Caribbean Netherlands can’t come quick enough. This means working towards a decent social system as fast as possible. Equality, most of all, means: equal opportunities for all to develop and take part in society. […] I hope that all participating parties [for the upcoming elections] will respect voters by campaigning in an honest, open and content-based manner. In other words, by sticking to facts and not making it personal. Naturally, this goes for everyone, not just in politics […] Let’s be nice to each other, online as well. In order to build a good future for everyone, we will need each other more than ever”.
Island Governor of Saba, Jonathan Johnson
“Unfortunately, (a)social media are causing more polarization. But instead of worrying about that situation, we should focus on spending more quality time with the people around us. My wish for the people of Saba in particular is to look forward to the available opportunities and to look back at how far we’ve come. Our island has changed throughout the years and change is a given, but we should also protect what makes us unique. For the people living in our Kingdom, I wish that they get to know more about each other and listen to each other more. Despite the many changes experienced by some people on our islands, it’s our responsibility to help those people in need”.
Governor Commissioner of St. Eustatius, Alida Francis
“Despite the worldwide economic challenges in 2022, Statia can be enormously proud of everything we’ve achieved so far. My wish for 2023 is for us to focus more on the things that unite us and the things we have in common. That’s the only path to real progress, the path to further development and the path to a more prosperous Statia. Politicians have a lot to do in 2023. Improvement is needed in the areas of healthcare, the banking industry, affordable flight connections between the islands, the fight against poverty, and the quality of life of Statian students in the European Netherlands. These are all included in the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed by local governments and the Dutch ministries back in June 2022”.
The basis for this article was originally published on www.caribischnetwerk.ntr.nl and others in December 2022.