September 27, 2011
PM Gonsalves leads delegation in successful week of activities at UN

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves returned to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on Sunday, having completed a packed and productive week of activities in New York.{{more}} In addition to addressing the United Nations twice, Prime Minister Gonsalves met with a number of world leaders who either reaffirmed previous commitments to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, or made new pledges of cooperation with the government. The Prime Minister was also invited to make official visits to Kuwait, Georgia and Palestine to explore additional avenues of support and solidarity.

The Prime Minister addressed a packed house in a Brooklyn Town Hall Meeting with members of the Vincentian Diaspora.

The Prime Minister and his delegation, which included Health Minister Cecil McKie and the staff of the Permanent Mission of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to the United Nations, held private bilateral discussions with a record 11 heads of state or government, one foreign minister and one former President of the United Nations General Assembly. Prime Minister Gonsalves met with Presidents Tarja Halonen of FINLAND, Mikheil Saakashvili of GEORGIA, Pál Schmitt of HUNGARY, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of IRAN, Mahmoud Abbas of PALESTINE, Danilo Türk of SLOVENIA, and Jacob Zuma of SOUTH AFRICA. The Emir of QATAR Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and the Prime Ministers of KUWAIT (Nasser Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah), PORTUGAL (Pedro Passos Coelho) and TURKEY (Recep Tayyip Erdogan) also met with Prime Minister Gonsalves, as did the Foreign Minister of VENEZUELA (Nicolas Maduro) and Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, a former President of the UN General Assembly.

On the margins of the official United Nations events, Prime Minister Gonsalves also had brief informal meetings with leaders of a number of other States, including Nigeria, Kyrgyzstan, Cyprus, Gabon and Sri Lanka.

Additionally, the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines delegation participated in meetings to commemorate the Durban Declaration against racism and xenophobia, as well as meetings of CARICOM’s Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR), the Group of 77 and China, the Commonwealth, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), ALBA and the African Union. Led by the Minister of Health, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was also an active participant in meetings and events surrounding the UN’s High-Level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases.