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CARICOM endorses SVG’s candidacy for UN Security Council seat

CARICOM endorses SVG’s candidacy for UN Security Council seat

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The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has endorsed the candidacy of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) for a seat on the United Nations (UN) Security Council for the period 2020 to 2021.

The endorsement came in Haiti at the 29th Inter-sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads of State and Government, held on February 26 and 27.

UN Security Council Elections will be held in June 2019.

“This is a very important matter… if we are elected, we would be the smallest country ever to sit on the Security Council of the United Nations. It would be a remarkable achievement,” Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said last week at a press briefing at Cabinet Room.

The Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. It has 15 members and each member has one vote. Under the Charter, all Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions.

The Security Council has five permanent members — the United States of America, Russia, China, France and Britain and 10 non-permanent members elected on a two-year basis and divided in accordance with regions. SVG is the candidate for the Group of Latin American and Caribbean (GRULAC) countries.

“I don’t know if we are going to have any other challenge, but there are 33-member states in Latin America and the Caribbean and given the assurances which we have had, including in several cases, written assurances, that anybody who is challenging us is likely to find that St Vincent and the Grenadines comes out of GRULAC with a majority, though it is an election worldwide with 192 members of the United Nations,” said Gonsalves.

Gonsalves said the Security Council is the highest institution within the UN, dealing with issues on peace and security and a number of matters that touch on peace and security, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), climate change, desertification and water.

“St Vincent and the Grenadines, we don’t have an army, but we have a voice and we have a voice which is well structured and which is articulate,” noted Gonsalves, who said that every country, however small, has a place in the international relations system on the basis of the equality of states, save and except at the Security Council, where some are more equal than others.

He added, “Could you just imagine the voice which we bring to bear on issues at the Security Council on the themes which I just outlined, how that could help to shape a better world and for ourselves too?

“It is a voice in relation to essential questions in the world to make this world better and then there are other subsidiary things.”