One SXM Admitted to Caribbean Reparations Commission
Great Bay —Two years after initiating the process to become a member of the Caribbean Reparations Commission (CRC), the One St. Martin (One SXM) Association was formally admitted as an associate member.
After a preliminary meeting with members of One SXM—represented by Aishira Cicilia, Cindy Peters, and One SXM founder and president Dr. Rhoda Arrindell—CRC reconciled One SXM’s provisional status and formally invited the association to attend the next CRC meeting on April 25.
Arrindell was One SXM’s delegate at the first meeting, which was chaired by CRC chairman, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles. One of three non-governmental organizations to make a presentation, One SXM was welcomed warmly by the CRC membership. The other two associations were the Bonaire Human Rights Organization and the Stichting Nationaal Monument, Nederlands Slavernijverleden (National Monument Foundation, Dutch Slavery Past).
After the introduction and asking for a moment of silence to honor Caribbean American legend Harry Belafonte, Beckles also recognized the global movement of integrated organizations. He stressed that the African Union and CARICOM would henceforth speak with one voice on the issue of Reparations and praised civil society organizations for leading the global conversation.
Among the agenda points for the twenty-ninth CRC meeting was the Netherlands’ Apology for Slavery. The Netherlands delegate expressed dismay that approximately five organizations in the Netherlands had already apologized for their involvement in Slavery without consequence.
On the eve of the 10th anniversary of CARICOM’s Ten Point Plan for Reparatory Justice, the 10-year-old CRC will be revising the Plan to reflect this development, as well as other situations such as those regarding descendants of slaveholders taking accountability for their involvement in Slavery and atoning for this.
According to Arrindell, One SXM is pleased to be a member of CRC, “hoping to forge a stronger Caribbean community with a more inclusive perspective by contributing experience and expertise from our area. We also look forward to becoming a full-fledged member of CARICOM and see Reparations and reparatory justice as part of the package on the path to independence for St. Martin.”