ISO 3166-2 Newsletter II-3 is dated 2011-12-15. For Bonaire, codes have been assigned to each of the island regions, which it calls special municipalities.
The FIPS code for Bonaire is probably the same as that for Netherlands now, since no separate code has been
assigned. Formerly Bonaire was part of Netherlands Antilles, whose FIPS code was
"Caribbean Netherlands" is becoming popular as an informal name for Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba.
Newsletter VI-9, revising ISO 3166-1, was published on 2011-06-12. It changes the spelling of "Saint" to "Sint" in the full English country name.
The Netherlands Antilles has undergone a major change. The Working Group on Netherlands Antilles Administrative and Financial Relations recommended on 2004-10-08 that Curaçao and Sint Maarten become self-governing countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands (a status similar to that of Aruba), and that Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius become 'Kingdom islands'. The implementation of this move was postponed several times, and finally occurred on 2010-10-10. Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius are now 'special municipalities' of the Netherlands. They now represent the nearest equivalent to the former Netherlands Antilles. They remain an integral part of the Netherlands (as Curaçao and Sint Maarten used to be before this change). They are listed as a separate entity by ISO because it often issues separate codes for remote outlying areas of a country.
Newsletter VI-8, revising ISO 3166-1, was published on 2010-12-15. It cancels the ISO code for Netherlands
Antilles, and adds the codes
CW for Curaçao,
SX for Sint Maarten, and
BQ for Bonaire. According to this newsletter, the full name of the country is now "Bonaire,
Saint Eustatius and Saba" in English, or "Bonaire, Saint-Eustache et Saba" in French. This naming is
somewhat arbitrary, because the area is a grouping of three overseas possessions of the Netherlands that
don't necessarily have a collective identity. I have chosen to call it simply Bonaire, for the largest
of the islands. Similarly, I have chose to identify the largest city on Bonaire as the capital, but this may
not have any administrative reality behind it.
Update 2 to "Geopolitical Entities and Codes" was published on 2010-11-30. It cancels the FIPS code for
Netherlands Antilles, and adds the codes
UC for Curaçao and
NN for Sint Maarten.
Presumably FIPS now considers Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius to be part of the Netherlands.
In 1900, Curaçao was a Dutch colony, comprising the Netherlands' Caribbean island possessions. In 1948 its name was changed to the Netherlands Antilles. On 1954-12-29, Surinam and the Netherlands Antilles both changed their status from colonies to integral parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Aruba split from Netherlands Antilles on 1986-01-01 to become a separate colony. Curaçao and Sint Maarten followed the same path on 2010-10-10. The name Netherlands West Indies has been applied sometimes to the Netherlands Antilles alone, and sometimes to Surinam as well.
Possessions of the Netherlands in the Antilles Islands, which were named for a legendary western island of Antillia.
Bonaire is divided into three eilandgebieden (island regions).
Each of the island regions is primarily composed of an island of the same name. Bonaire also includes the much smaller Klein Bonaire Island, and other offshore islets. Within the original Netherlands Antilles, Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao together constituted the Benedenwindse Eilanden (Windward Islands), and the other three, the Bovenwindse Eilanden (Leeward Islands).
Sint Maarten: island discovered by Columbus on 1493-11-11, Saint Martin's Day
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