Commemoration / 375th anniversary of the Treaty of Concordia: "no future without unity"

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This Thursday, March 23, 2023 at the Mont des Accords border, officials gathered for a ceremony commemorating the 375rd anniversary of the Treaty of Concordia.

The celebrations began at 8:30 am with the reading of the nine articles of the Treaty of Concordia in French by Claudine Lake Minguau, Director of Cultural Action, and in English by Clara Reyes, Director of the Culture Department of Sint Maarten. Still in force today, the Treaty of Concordia is a cooperative agreement signed on March 23, 1648 between France and Holland concerning the occupation, sovereignty and sharing of the island of Saint-Martin with free movement of goods. and people throughout the island territory. 200 years later, French sovereignty over the northern part, retroceded by the British, was reaffirmed by the Treaty of Paris of 1816, then by the Franco-Dutch convention of November 28, 1839 which specified the application of the Concordia agreements in this concerning hunting, fishing, the joint exploitation of saltworks and the extradition of delinquents. After the opening prayer and the national anthems: "Wilhelmus" by La Vaun Henry, "La Marseillaise" by Natisha Hanson and "O'Sweet Saint-Martin Land" by the Seventh Day Adventist choir to whom we also owe the 'Unity Song shortly after the traditional laying of the wreath at the foot of the stele by the representatives of Saint-Martin/Sint Maarten. Following the poem "The Treaty" by Sonia Fleming, the speeches were numerous: Rodolphe Samuel, Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports of Sint Maarten, Dominique Démocrite Louisy, 3rd Vice-President of the COM , underlined, in French, the importance of mutual aid between the two parts of the island. Valérie Damaseau, president of the culture committee, took charge of reporting the remarks in English, ending with a strong metaphor describing the island: One heart with two beats (a heart with two beats).

Sint Maarten Premier Silveria Jacobs recalled that it makes "good sense to work together", using a proverb that cries out: "When two brothers fight to the death, a stranger inherits the their father ". For Louis Mussington, president of the Collectivity, the Treaty of Concordia “is a symbol of sustainability and success”. Finally, Ajamu Baly, Governor of Sint Maarten, and Vincent Berton, Delegate Prefect of the Northern Islands, who "invited the Collectivity and the government of Sint Maarten to seize the opportunities to work together in a desire to share the same destiny, good side of history. The ceremony continued with the magnificent choreography of Sashaun Prince on “Island Anthem”, the poem “Unity” put in dance by Indisu, and “The art of the Unity Flag 1990 through Poetry” by Melissa Fleming.

Natisha Hanson and Benjamin Bell sang a duet "Saint-Martin is my home", leaving the assembly moved for this 375th anniversary of the Treaty of Concordia. _VX

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