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Friday June 7th could be a historic day for St Vincent and the Grenadines ….


St Vincent and the Grenadines began the process to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council  (UNSC) back in  2010.  More than 60 United Nations Member States have never been members of the Security Council, on June 7, 2019, the members of the United Nations General Assembly would through formal balloting, cast their votes that would determine whether St Vincent and the Grenadines makes history as the smallest nation ever to sit on the security council.

The Security Council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with ensuring international peace and security in the world, among other things.

The Council consists of fifteen members, five of which are permanent (P5: United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, and the Republic of China). Ten non-permanent members (E10) elected every two years, with five being replaced every year.

Non-permanent seats on the Council are allocated by regions, of which there are 5; Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and Western Europe and Others Group. In the case of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, our country will represent the GRULAC group, the Group of Latin America, and the Caribbean.

To be confirmed as candidate through the voting process, St Vincent and the Grenadines must obtain two-thirds of the members present and voting, which means that we must get at least 129 votes if all members of the United Nations are present and voting on that day.

During the period 2010 to now, leading up to the very crucial vote, St Vincent and the Grenadines has shown leadership at the United Nations at various levels, and have consistently increased our profile in preparation for life on the Security Council and beyond.

Since the candidacy was officially lodged under the leadership of the then Permanent Representative Ambassador Camillo Gonsalves, it was clear that going forward the eyes of the United Nations and by extension the world, would be on this tiny Small Island Developing State, vying to be the smallest ever to sit on the Security Council.

The current Permanent Representative Ambassador I. Rhonda King, built on the work of former Ambassador Camillo Gonsalves, and was entrusted with the Chairmanship of the Fifth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) for its 71st session.Since then, St Vincent and the Grenadines was able to successfully pilot a resolution through the General Assembly for the recognition of World Technology and Innovation Day, a day now celebrated yearly on the United Nations calendar. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, through the Permanent Representative served as Vice President to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations for the 2017-18 period and is currently serving as the President of ECOSOC which would end in July this year 2019.

It is widely accepted that the United Nations Security Council is the most prestigious organ of the United Nations, and because of the matters the Council is responsible for, the voices of those countries occupying the seats at any given time, be they permanent or temporary, are brought into sharp global focus.

To sit on such a prestigious body, will no doubt put the eyes of the world on St Vincent and the Grenadines as we would continue to espouse those fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter that we have always held dear, and encourage their continued observance by all nations, great and small.

As a Small Island Developing State, we can be the voice of those like us, and champion causes that are existential, including climate change and its impact on our security apparatuses, border security for small island states with great seascapes to patrol and sustainable development among priority areas. SVG’s commitment to multilateralism, rule of law and the principle of non-interference and non-intervention, would represent a central tenet of our engagement on the UNSC.

Under the United Nations Charter, the functions and powers of the Security Council are:

>to maintain international peace and security in accordance with the principles and purposes of the United Nations;
>to investigate any dispute or situation which might lead to international friction;
>to recommend methods of adjusting such disputes or the terms of settlement;
>to formulate plans for the establishment of a system to regulate armaments;
>to determine the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression and to recommend what action should be taken;
>to call on Members to apply economic sanctions and other measures not involving the use of force to prevent or stop aggression;
>to take military action against an aggressor;
>to recommend the admission of new Members;
>to exercise the trusteeship functions of the United Nations in “strategic areas”;
>to recommend to the General Assembly the appointment of the Secretary-General and, together with the Assembly, to elect the Judges of >the International Court of Justice.


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