This Month in the Security Council – February 2021
The month of February was a busy period at the Security Council with a packed agenda of activities conducted remotely in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our delegation continued to work closely in the “A3+1” configuration with our African brothers and sisters (Niger, Kenya and Tunisia) on many country-specific and thematic issues.
1. Open Debate on Threats to International Peace and Security caused by Terrorist Acts: Our delegation highlighted the importance of utilizing the multilateral system and other partners to effectively combat terrorism. We noted that initiatives to combat financing of terrorism must be designed in such a way that they bolster, rather than undermine, legitimate socioeconomic activity. Derisking in the financial sector should be grounded in mutually collaborative agreements that effectively address terrorist financing, while at the same time, protect the banking industries in affected countries against negative economic pressures.
2. High-Level Open Debate on the Maintenance of International Peace and Security (Ensuring Equitable Access for COVID-19 Vaccines in Contexts Affected by Conflict and Instability): Our delegation was represented by Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Ralph E. Gonsalves who reiterated the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) call for a global summit in the context of the World Health Organization’s Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) Facilitation Council to discuss equitable access and global distribution of vaccines. Prime Minister Gonsalves further noted that political will, principled engagements and solidarity among all nations remain crucial elements for overcoming COVID-19. The Prime Minister also urged vaccine manufacturers, as a gesture of good-faith towards humanity, to work with developing countries to expand production capabilities, hence alleviating the strain on global supply chains.
3. High-Level Open Debate on the Maintenance of International Peace and Security (Climate and Security): Our delegation was again represented by Prime Minister Gonsalves who reiterated that the first step to prevent or contain climate-security risks is for the major, and historical, emitters to fulfil, and indeed exceed, the commitments made in the Paris Agreement. He further noted that climate change is an existential challenge to us all but it continues to affect, disproportionately, the most vulnerable among us, including small islands and conflict-affected countries. Our sister island, Haiti, is among the most susceptible to the impacts of increasingly intense and frequent climatic hazards.
4. Haiti: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, on behalf of the A3+1, delivered a statement on the situation in Haiti.
We echoed the call of CARICOM, encouraging all parties to engage in meaningful dialogue in the interest of peace and stability and strongly urging that action be taken to foster a safe environment, a return to normal life and the building of sustainable democratic institutions. We further stated that the international community has a critical task in providing comprehensive support to assist the country in alleviating its complex challenges and legacy of underdevelopment. It is past time that we begin the dialogue process for reparation for the legacies of underdevelopment in Haiti.
5. Ukraine: Our delegation expressed our concern that the conflict in eastern Ukraine, especially in the Donbas region, has continued for almost seven years. We emphasized that a cessation of hostilities is essential for peace and security, and we encourage parties to adhere to the ceasefire agreements which is necessary for reaching a sustainable solution.
6. Somalia: The A3+1 highlighted that the electoral agreement reached by the Federal Government of Somalia and the Federal Member States on 17 September 2020 has yet to be fully implemented, and called for further dialogue amongst the stakeholders in this regard. We expressed concern over the volatile security and humanitarian situations, that have been adversely impacted by the activities of Al-Shabaab, the COVID-19 pandemic, the desert locust infestation, devastating floods and other hazards of climate change.
At the time of publication, the Council would have held meetings to discuss the situations in the Middle East (including the Palestinian Question and Syria), the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq and the Central African Republic. The Security Council is also finalizing negotiations on a resolution to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines globally.
Please visit svg-un.org for the full text of all statements and other updates.