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‘Security Council bid no move against Colombia’

‘Security Council bid no move against Colombia’

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St.Vincent and the Grenadines’ consideration of a bid for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the year 2011/2012 term must not be viewed as anti-Colombia move.{{more}}

Prime Minister Dr.Ralph Gonsalves made this statement against the backdrop that St.Vincent and the Grenadines had been thinking of running for the seat while Colombia had already indicated it was making a bid for the seat.

The Government of St.Vincent and the Grenadines has, however, given up its 2011/2012 bid and made an official announcement on the issue last Friday.

Gonsalves said this decision was taken after the Government failed to receive the endorsement of two CARICOM countries.

However, critics say that Gonsalves, a close ally of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, had considered running for the seat at the request of Venezuela.

Chavez is known to have frosty relations with the President of Colombia Alvaro Uribe.

At a press conference held at Cabinet Room, Main Administrative Building, the Colombia issue resurfaced when Gonsalves disclosed that St.Vincent and the Grenadines will now be pursuing a seat on the council in the 2020/2021 term.

“Between 2012/2013 right up to 2019/2020, a number of other countries in GRULAC, the Group of Latin American/Caribbean states, have already lined up themselves and none of those countries we would wish to mount a challenge to for one reason or the other.

“For instance, Guatemala has never been on and one of the strengths of candidacy is that we have never been there…So why should I challenge Guatemala? Why should we challenge Argentina which is a country which is held in very high regard and one of the power houses of Latin America,” said Gonsalves.

The prime minister, responding to the reason for vying for the seat against Colombia, also a Latin American country, stated that Colombia has had opportunities to hold the seat on more than one occasion and as recent as eight years ago.

“Colombia had been most frequently on the security council…There has been a short turn around time,” said Gonsalves.

“The reasons were never anti-Colombian. Never at all. And of course, when I go to Spain for the European Union Latin America and Caribbean Summit I will speak to President Uribe and outline to him why we were going to make the bid and why we have decided not to proceed with the bid,” Gonsalves exclaimed.

The prime minister said the Government of St.Vincent and the Grenadines determined that its candidacy against Colombia could only succeed if it enjoyed the unanimous endorsement of all fourteen member states of CARICOM.

“We regarded a wholly united CARICOM bloc endorsement as crucial to its electoral chances,” said Gonsalves.

He said St.Vincent and the Grenadines’ analysis of the feasibility of its candidature led it to conclude that there was a strong likelihood of success in either seeking the 2020/2021 position or the 2011/2012 vacancy.

Gonsalves disclosed that St.Vincent and the Grenadines is the smallest country in the world by population ever to announce its candidature for a seat on the United Nations Security Council. (HN)

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