In 2013, as Member of Parliament, I convinced my colleagues to institute a permanent Parliament commission to deal with international relations. Kind of amazing if you think of it, that’s not having such platform in our most important democratic institution. This commission, during my tenure came together frequently to discuss matters relating to Venezuela, but it didn’t really venture beyond that. Since 2016 international issues have rarely been discussed. Change is needed.
Hopefully the newly elected Parliament will take international affairs seriously and breathe new life into this commission. This would be an important step toward opening up to the world and letting go of the small village mentality that unfortunately has permeated Parliament for too long.
Parliament should proactively tackle issues that can directly impact us, such as migration, changing demographics, climate, China’s Belt and Road Initiative and global democratic backsliding. But, also issues that seem far away such as modern slavery, mutilation of sexual organs and human rights like the Uighur, albino population, Amazon indians. After all, we’re global citizens.
I hope this isn’t wishful thinking. The world is bigger than Curaçao and the Kingdom of The Netherlands. The future is intertwined and interconnected. Whether we like it or not.