St. Maarten became an Associate Member of UNESCO on October 25, 2011. The Sint Maarten National Commission for UNESCO is part of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sports Affairs (Ministry of ECYS). It is an office (unit) within the Support Bureau of the Ministry and receives sustained support and guidance from the Government. The Sint Maarten National Commission for UNESCO can therefore be classified as a Governmental Commission.
In December 2012, the Secretary-General for the Sint Maarten National Commission for UNESCO was officially appointed and has been responsible for the implementation of the Commission’s activities and the overall management of the Secretariat.
In May 2013, the legal framework for the installation of the Sint Maarten National Commission for UNESCO was approved by Government. According to the ‘Landsbesluit regelende de instelling van de Nationale UNESCO Commissie Sint Maarten’, Article 4 # 1, the National Commission shall comprise of:
- The Minister as the chairperson of the National Commission;
- The Head of Department of Education as the vice-chairperson, who will substitute for the Minister when s/he is not present;
- The Head of the Foreign Affairs Office, who will substitute for the Head of Department of Education when s/he is not present;
- An UNESCO official appointed by Landsbesluit.