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                                                                                                           LOCAL Saturday 25 March 2023

            King Willem Alexander met with Small Island Developing States

            leaders and ministers

            On March 21, 2023, King Willem Alexander of the King-
            dom of the Netherlands organized a gathering with the
            Prime Ministers and ministers of the Small Island Develop-
            ing States.

            The attendees included the leaders of Aruba, St. Maarten,
            Bonaire, Curacao, St. Kitts, Barbados, Jamaica, Tuvalu,

            Fiji, and the Maldives. During the encounter, they focused
            mainly on the small islands concerning climate change
            and water issues.

            The Prime Minister stated that although similarities with the
            other islands, Aruba is an exception regarding the chal-
            lenges the other islands face, as these do not affect Aru-
            ba. An important issue discussed was water availability in
            the Caribbean Islands. Contrary to Aruba, many other re-
            gional islands cannot supply water 24 hours to their com-
            munities but only part of the day.

            For Aruba, the sea water desalination plant is a blessing.
            Many other islands hope to one day have such water pu-
            rification plants.

            WEB Aruba provides purified water 24 hours a day in a
            steady supply which we must not take for granted. The
            Aruban community should be more aware of the impor-
            tance of water and use it consciously. It is a community's
            commitment to using water consciously to guarantee its
            availability for everyone. It is a big challenge to which the
            Government is committed.

            The Prime Minister thanked King Willem Alexander for or-
            ganizing this encounter and addressing the issue in con-
            text with the small islands since they usually do not get
            due attention.q
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