In the month of September, the Security Council conducted most of its work tin-person, while a few agenda remained virtual due to 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. United Nations General Assembly (UNGA): The 76th session of the UNGA opened in September, with the annual General Debate taking place from 21 to 25 September and 27 September. This year, the theme of the General Debate was “Building resilience through hope – to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalize the United Nations”. It was conducted in a hybrid fashion, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Heads of State or Government elected to either deliver their statement live from the podium in the General Assembly Hall, or via pre-recorded statement. Prime Minister Dr. The Honorable Ralph E. Gonsalves’ pre-recorded statement was delivered on Saturday 25 September.
2. Afghanistan: The A3+1 remains deeply concerned by the humanitarian situation and highlighted the need for dialogue and participation of women, youth and ethnic minorities. We encouraged regional countries to enhance cooperation in order to create more stable conditions to promote peaceful settlement in Afghanistan and regional security. The A3+1 reiterated full support for the UN personnel deployed and efforts by neighbouring countries in hosting large numbers of Afghan refugees. Our delegations reiterated our unwavering solidarity with the people of Afghanistan during these uncertain times.
3. Climate Change: At a high-level Open Debate on Climate and Security SVG emphasized the need for the Security Council to address the security implications of climate change. We underscored that as the foremost way to avert climate-driven security risks is still significant mitigation action, major and historical emitters must honour their commitments made under the Paris Agreement and act to keep temperature rise to 1.5° Celsius above pre-industrial levels. SVG further emphasized that it is also crucial that developed countries meet Overseas Development Assistance commitments and provide greater support for climate adaptation and mitigation as part of a strategy to avert climate-related security risks. Scaled-up support to conflict-affected countries through concessionary loans, debt relief, and quick impact projects should also be provided to alleviate some of the challenges encountered.
4. The Situation in Libya: SVG maintained support for the United Nations multitrack process in Libya and the very important work of the African Union, the League of Arab States, the European Union and other international partners in advancing the political process. We also underscored the importance of respecting Libya’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. Libya is expected to hold critical national parliamentary and presidential elections in approximately three months. Our delegation reiterated concern about the human rights situation, especially the challenges facing the most vulnerable, specifically refugees and migrants, internally displaced persons, youth, women and girls.
5. Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT): The A3+1 recognized the 25th anniversary of the opening for signature of the Treaty and reaffirmed our commitment to upholding the global norm against nuclear testing. The Caribbean and Africa have, through meaningful action and partnership, remained unwavering in our call for the total elimination and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and nuclear testing. Our delegations underscored that a world without nuclear weapons is fundamental for the fulfilment of the legitimate aspirations of humanity such as peace, security and development
Meetings were also held to discuss the situations in the Middle East (Israel/Palestine, Syria and Yemen) and Somalia, as well as United Nations Peacekeeping Operations. Please visit svg-un.org for the full text of all statements and other updates.