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Citizen Diplomacy

with Zjeito !

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One of the myths of our times is that relations between countries is principally a function of government policy and that diplomacy is exclusively a government-to-government dialog. Actually, it is businessmen and businesswomen, unelected people of good will; be they artists or scientists, athletes, musicians, students, or scholars in the humanities, who are more integral to defining the tone of relations between countries than elected officials. Citizen diplomacy generally precedes and increasingly supersedes government-to-government relations.

Citizen diplomacy is exclusively about the power of values and the power of the human spirit and has become the grassroots of foreign relations. The Aruba Sister Cities Program serves as the handbook that underscores the vital role of exchanges between Oranjestad-Aruba and the USA. Today, globalization and the engagement of private citizens in international business provide every individual with a greater opportunity as well as more responsibility for exercising citizen diplomacy than ever before. Recognizing the importance of citizen diplomacy to Aruban foreign relations, the Aruban government has wholeheartedly supported the Aruba Sister Cities Program which OASCA developed for the City of Oranjestad-Aruba.

This program is considered as a long-term investment and impacts individuals and communities in both Aruba and the USA.

OASCA is proud to have executed citizen diplomacy initiatives since 2016, when the organization attracted Oranjestad’s first sister city and looks forward to continue fostering people-to-people engagements, empowering our citizens, promoting peace and thus fulfilling its mandate and responsibilities with Zjeito!

The organization will explore partnership opportunities with citizen diplomacy organizations throughout the United States to expand Oranjestad's horizon.

OASCA cordially invites you to become an active member of the Happy People Consulate.

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An Intricate Constellation

Aruba is a proud constituent partner of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the country of the Netherlands is responsible for effecting foreign affairs on behalf of the entire Kingdom.

Therefore, Oranjestad-Aruba does not possess its own diplomatic apparatus in the USA and as a result of this structure, only benefits from one diplomat in the form of a Minister Plenipotentiary who officially represents the Prime Minister of Aruba and looks out for Aruban interests in the vast United States of America. Aruba’s Minister Plenipotentiary is stationed at the Dutch Embassy in Washington, DC and represents and engages with the small Aruban community in the States.

It is therefore incumbent on ordinary citizens to stand up and fill this enormous diplomacy void. OASCA acts as the platform to facilitate citizen diplomacy.


The Dynamic Diplomacy Triangle

Oranjestad-Aruba Sister Cities Association is structured as a collaborative three-pronged citizen diplomacy corps, comprised of Aruban expats in the USA, Arubans who live on Aruba and Friends of Oranjestad in the USA, working together with the commitment of advancing Oranjestad as a globally connected city.

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You Belong to the City!

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The "Friends of Aruba" club is revered as a significant part of Oranjestad's extended family.

This important and cherished group includes Americans who have previously established a relationship with Oranjestad-Aruba and who are enamored with All Things Aruba, many of whom frequently visit the Happy Island.

They play such an integral part to the success of Aruba’s citizen diplomatic endeavors and Oranjestad is so lucky and grateful for these special friendships!

Arubans have high international aspirations for their capital city and since the Aruban-American diaspora in the States is so small, we require the participation and support from this very special society.

Friends of Oranjestad are as committed to the advancement of Oranjestad in their US sister cities and eager to contribute in making Oranjestad an ultra modern and model city in the Caribbean.

Let’s come together and build the Happy People Consulate one handshake at a time.

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United in solidarity with the Orange City

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“Mystery always reveals itself in the realm of curiosity.

If every place has a story, my island is a legend.

This rock carries all our dreams.

It paves the way to our adventures where time is in our hands and imagination is free for every single one of us; her people.”

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