This Month in the Security Council – September 2020
The work of the Security Council was conducted remotely during September due to the COVID-19 pandemic and our delegation continued to work closely in the “A3+1” (Niger, South Africa and Tunisia) configuration to address key issues. The 75th session of the General Assembly took place at the end of the month in a much different format as a result of the pandemic. World leaders were invited to submit pre-recorded videos of their speeches which were broadcast in the General Assembly “as live”.
1. United Nations General Assembly: Prime Minister, Dr. The Hon. Ralph E. Gonsalves addressed the General Assembly on Saturday 26th September via pre-recorded message. Our Prime Minister highlighted that many of the complex challenges facing our world today, including the COVID-19 pandemic that has brought about a profoundly altered condition of life, living and production, can only be addressed through inclusive multilateral solutions and comprehensive development strategies. He underscored that we cannot use outdated tools to effectively address contemporary exigencies, and spoke to the need for ambitious reforms of the international financial architecture and the Security Council to reflect modern realities. He also emphasized that amidst the thundering calls for racial and social justice, globally, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines reaffirms that Black Lives Matter, and reiterated our Caribbean Community’s demands for reparatory justice.
2. Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations: At a high-level meeting to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, Prime Minister Gonsalves emphasized that the challenges of the 21st century demand a firm recommitment to the values of unity and solidarity envisaged by our forebears as they created the United Nations. As we celebrate this historic moment, we must pursue a renewed and effective multilateralism steeped in the virtues of inclusivity, equality, and justice for all.
3. Alliance for Multilateralism: During the 75th session of the General Assembly a meeting was held to discuss effective multilateral cooperation. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Commerce, Hon. Sir Louis Straker addressed the meeting on behalf of our delegation. He stated that “our institutions must…be brought up to the mark for the urgent actions that are needed to solve issues such as climate change, unsuitable financial policies, reparations, the achievements of the SDGs, and to foster sustainable peace and security”.
4. Humanitarian Effects of Environmental Degradation: Minister Straker addressed the Security Council on behalf of our delegation at a high-level meeting to discuss the detrimental effects of environmental degradation on peace and security. He noted that “the scale of human suffering wrought by climate change and its attendant hazards demand the firm political will and decisive collective actions”. He called for developed countries to honor financial pledges for climate adaption and mitigation at a minimum.
5. Global Governance Post COVID-19: Minister Straker again addressed the Security Council at a high-level meeting convened to discuss the maintenance of international peace and security post COVID-19. He emphasized the need for building capacities for the most vulnerable stating that, “uneven development of economies, healthcare systems and governance institutions, produces vulnerabilities that affect us all”. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines reiterated calls for developed countries to honour their overseas development assistance (ODA) commitments.
6. Children in Armed Conflict: A meeting was held to discuss the protection of education during conflict. Niger addressed the Council on behalf of the “A3+1”. We recognized the important developments in the protection of students, faculty, staff, and schools from attacks and threats. We also emphasized that quality education is a key mechanism of security for all people.
7. Joint Annual AU-UN Consultations: On September 29th and 30th, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) met for the 14th Annual Joint Consultative Meeting. At the Informal Seminar held on September 29th, members of both Councils discussed working arrangements for strengthening the cooperation between the UNSC and the AUPSC in light of the 75th anniversary of the UN and the 57th anniversary of the AU. They also discussed the “Silencing the Guns in Africa” initiative in order to create conditions conducive to Africa’s development. At the meeting on the 30th, the situation in Mali and the Sahel Region, as well as the situation in Somalia were discussed.
Please visit svg-un.org for the full text of all statements and other updates.