The month of April was a busy period at the Security Council with a packed agenda of activities conducted remotely considering 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. UN Global Funding Appeal: On 20 April the United Nations launched a $29.2 million Global Funding Appeal to help those affected by the eruptions of the La Soufrière volcano in St.Vincent and the Grenadines and other impacted countries. The Appeal was launched by the UN Resident Coordinator to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Didier Trebucq along with Prime Minister Dr. The Hon.
Ralph Gonsalves. Funding raised through the UN Global Funding Appeal will provide immediate humanitarian aid and support sustainable recovery.
2. CARICOM Resolution:
Solidarity with and support for the Government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as neighboring countries affected by the impact of the eruptions of the La Soufrière Volcano: On 28 April, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution entitled “Solidarity with and support for the Government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as neighboring countries affected by the impact of the eruptions of the La Soufrière Volcano”. The resolution was introduced on behalf of CARICOM by the Co-operative Republic of Guyana’s Permanent Representative H.E. Carolyn Rodrigues Birkett, the current Chair of the CARICOM caucus. By this resolution, the General Assembly expresses deep concern about the serious consequences of the explosive eruptions of the Volcano which, have resulted in the displacement of residents, loss of livelihoods, food security and nutrition, health security, and access to social infrastructure, and about the urgent need to restore normal conditions for the population.
It also notes with concern the elevated public health risk of the spread of the COVID-19 virus among persons offered refuge both within and beyond the national territory of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
It invites the international community to continue efforts to increase support and encourages the international financial institutions and organizations to continue to contribute and to respond generously for the duration of the emergency and of the rehabilitation process in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as affected neighboring countries.
3. Regional and Sub-regional Organisations: At this Open Debate, Prime Minister Gonsalves noted the devastating impact of the recent volcanic eruptions in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. He called for support from the international community stating that without effective cooperation between our country, the United Nations, and our regional/sub-regional organisations, our life and living would be wholly unbearable.
Without an enhancement of this cooperation, the relief effort would be stymied and the prospects for our recovery and reconstruction would be dismal.
4. Mine Action: At this Open Debate, The Hon. Keisal M. Peters, Minister of State with the Responsibility for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade highlighted that mine action serves as a vehicle for promoting effective civil-military cooperation in many theaters of operation.
She emphasised the need for multinational cooperation, but also noted the importance of national ownership on the issue.
5. Mali: The A3+1 welcomed the recent meeting in Mali of the Agreement Monitoring Committee, noting the efforts of the transitional authorities to appease the political tension that preceded the events of August 2020. We condemned the latest attack against MINUSMA which caused the death of four peacekeepers. Our delegations called on the government to continue to combat intercommunal violence by strengthening its actions to restore peaceful relations between communities.
We called on Mali’s development partners to resume the aid that has been suspended since the last coup d’état, which will allow the country to better cope with the multiple and multifaceted crises that risk exacerbating the economic, social, health, humanitarian, and security situation.
6. Great Lakes Region:
The A3+1 celebrated some positive political dynamics in the region following elections in Tanzania and Uganda. However, the volatile security situation in eastern DRC remained an issue of concern. The A3+1 also underscored the need for enhanced close collaboration between MONUSCO and the Armed Forces of the DRC to effectively neutralized local and foreign armed group activities.
7. Colombia: The A3+1 was encouraged by the positive developments in the peace process, including the renewed commitment by the parties as evidenced by the March 10 agreement between President Ivan Duque and Rodrigo Londoño, leader of the Communes. We emphasised that a robust and integrated approach remained critical to resolving lingering security challenges.
We reiterated our support for the Secretary-General’s five priorities for the comprehensive implementation of the Final Agreement and we remain hopeful for their achievement.
At the time of publication, the Council would have also held meetings to discuss the situations in the Middle East (including the Palestinian Question, Syria and Yemen), UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo and Sexual Violence in Conflict.
Please visit svg-un.org for the full text of all statements and other updates.