Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – President of the United Nations Security Council (November 2020)
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines held its first and only presidency during our tenure on the Security Council during the month of November. Most of the Council’s activities were still conducted remotely in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, however the Council was able to meet in person on three occasions. Our delegation continued to work closely in the “A3+1” configuration with our African brothers and sisters (Niger, South Africa and Tunisia) on many country-specific and thematic issues.
Virtual briefings to the wider United Nations membership, the press and civil society: Our presidency commenced with a virtual briefing to the press by Prime Minister, Dr. The Hon. Ralph Gonsalves on 2 November. The briefing focused on Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ programme of work for the month of November and was followed by a short question and answer segment. On that same day Ambassador H.E. I. Rhonda King briefed the wider UN membership and engaged in a civil society dialogue on our programme of work.
Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace: On 3 November, we held our signature event under the agenda item “Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace” and entitled “Contemporary Drivers of Conflict and Insecurity”. This virtual open debate was chaired by Prime Minister Gonsalves and many members of the Security Council were represented by their Foreign Ministers and Deputy Foreign Ministers. H.E. Amina Mohammed (Deputy-Secretary-General of the UN) and Professor Sir Hilary Beckles (8th Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies) were among the briefers. Delivering our national statement, Prime Minister Gonsalves noted: “The urgent challenges of our times will not be solved overnight – we need safe hands, creative minds and we have to apply our hearts to wisdom. But through a renewed multilateralism that places people at its center; a multilateralism that considers the needs and perspectives of all member states equally; and respects the timeless principles of international law, a better future is possible. As we embark on this important decade of action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, let us work to ensure peace, security, and prosperity for all of humanity…”
Peacekeeping Operations: An open debate was held on the evolving role of UN policing (UNPOL). The A3+1 noted the key role that police in peacekeeping play in restoring stability in conflict areas and their contributions to peaceful and longstanding solutions. Additionally, the configuration stressed the importance of providing UNPOL with appropriate resources to promote the effectiveness of UN missions.
Peace and Security in Africa (G5 Sahel): The A3+1 stressed the importance of a holistic approach to properly address the security and development challenges on the African continent. Peace cannot be achieved without addressing the root causes of instability in the Sahel region, which include development challenges and Climate Change. We reiterated the international community’s obligation to support Member States in the region.
International Criminal Court (the Situation in Libya): SVG praised the efforts of Libyan parties for their efforts in reaching a permanent ceasefire agreement. We continued to reiterate our support for the International Criminal Court and the integral role it plays in assisting Libya to overcome its difficulties.
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Our delegation called on leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina to cooperate and coordinate necessary measures to safeguard and support public health. Additionally, SVG urged all leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina to uphold the rule of law, including the fight against corruption and organized crime.
Yemen: SVG commended the work of all humanitarian organizations operating in the country. Yemen faces a real threat of famine; however critical action must be taken to save the Yemeni people. Furthermore, dialogue has proven to be an essential tool in achieving necessary progress; our delegation encourages the cooperation of all relevant parties.
Election of Judges to the International Court of Justice (ICJ): On 11 and 12 November, The Security Council, meeting independently from but concurrently with the General Assembly, elected five judges to the International Court of Justice for nine-year terms beginning on 6 February 2021.
By the time of publication, meetings on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Somalia and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea would have taken place under our presidency.
Please visit svg-un.org for the full text of all statements, information about our presidency and overall engagement on the Security Council.