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SVG’s support of nations like Venezuela is rooted in the UN Charter


The support and defence by St Vincent and the Grenadines’ (SVG) of nations like Venezuela, Cuba and Haiti is rooted in the United Nation’s (UN) Charter.

So is the decision by SVG to try for a seat on the UN Security Council.

“I urge all persons to read the charter of the United Nations because if you read this you would not have any confusion as to why we defend the independence and sovereignty of St Vincent and the Grenadines and for example that of Cuba and Venezuela and other countries to…”, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said recently.

The UN Charter sets out four main purposes, maintaining worldwide peace and security, developing relations among nations, fostering cooperation between nations in order to solve economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian international problems and providing a forum for bringing countries together to meet the UN’s purposes and goals.

“This is the bible of multilateralism…”, the Prime Minister noted while adding that the government usually receives a lot of criticism for their defence and foreign policy decisions as it relates to certain countries but persons must not think that he is “losing it” when he makes certain decisions.

“When you see we are doing certain things I don’t want you to say ‘I wonder if your elder Ralph losing it how he defending Venezuela’s independence and sovereignty?’ No, don’t think I losing it,” said Gonsalves who added that it seems as it some of the countries that helped to write the UN Charter wants to ignore it at times.

“They can ignore it, but as a small country this is our defence against arbitrariness and imperial overrule in the same way as in the domestic setting the constitution is your protector,” said the Prime Minister.

Gonsalves said that when the UN was founded in 1945 at the end of the second World War, the UN charter stated that it was done, “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind….”

“….Those are the opening lines you know, to save succeeding generations,” noted the Prime Minister who added that the Charter also aims, “to regain faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained…”

The Prime Minister stressed that countries in the UN cannot simply ignore the Charter and do what they feel like because the organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.

“So, when persons who want to belittle SVG including people in this country, [saying] how Ralph them could be so fresh they want to go on the Security Council. It (the Charter) addresses equality of states.

“In the same way that I tell the young people you are not better than anybody, but nobody is not better than you…we are part of an organisation and we mean something, and we are equal before God and man,” Gonsalves said.

He added, “So, when we agree to the Paris Accord, we don’t pull out. When the United Nations pass a resolution in relation to state solution on Palestine and Israel, we don’t dismiss that.

“When annually the General Assembly passes a resolution supported only by the Unites States and Israel that the blockade against Cuba is illegal, we take these resolutions seriously because this (Charter) tells me that I should take them seriously.”

He said that the Charter also speaks about promoting social progress and better standards of life and maintaining international peace and security and that all members should refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.

“So that when somebody tells the press in an offhand manner that in relation to Venezuela every option is on the table including military intervention how do you square that?

“If we throw this [Charter] away, is dog eat dog, survival of the fittest. We will be in a state of nature where life is nasty brutish and short. This is why this is so important,” Gonsalves said.

The national security minister also noted that the UN’s Charter says that the UN shall ensure that states which are not members of the UN act in accordance with these principles so far as may be necessary for the maintenance of international peace and security.

“And our relations with Taiwan are guided by that principle because they are not members of the UN,” Gonsalves noted adding that when SVG was called by the Dominican Republic and a former president of Spain to help bring about peace between the warring political forces in Venezuela, SVG accepted although they had issues with the Dominican Republic.

“The meetings were to take place in the Dominican Republic and although my government was staying away from the Dominican Republic on many matters, this matter was of such great importance I discussed it with the foreign minister and our reservation to going to the Dominican Republic was trumped by the obligation under the charter of the UN.”