December 14, 2012

SVG restates intention to go after UN Security Council seat

St Vincent and the Grenadines has not abandoned its intentions to bid for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the 2019-2020 term.{{more}}

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who is also Minister of National Security, reiterated his government’s intentions when he addressed the Unity Labour Party’s (ULP) convention on Sunday.

The ULP government had initially signalled its intention to bid for the 2011-2012 term, but abandoned the plan amid criticism by the Opposition that Kingstown was being used as a proxy for Venezuela and its president, Hugo Chavez.

At that event Gonsalves said that as long as he was still prime minister that this country would once again be making a bid to sit on the council.

Gonsalves, who was unopposed as leader of the ULP at the convention on Sunday, has said that he will lead the party at the next general elections, constitutionally due in 2015.

“Two years ago this country was thinking about going forward to put its name for a two-year stint on the United Nations Security Council,” he told convention goers.

And on November 30, as the Government signed two agreements to further develop its relationship with Chile, Gonsalves again signalled his administration’s intention to bid.

The prime minister further explained that had the bid for the 2011 to 2012 term succeeded, this country would have been the smallest in the history of the UN to sit on the Security Council.

He further said the country was making its bid as a CARICOM candidate and that it had already signalled its intentions to the member states of GRULAC, the group of Caribbean and Latin American States at the UN.

“Unfortunately, one country was already committed to Colombia,” Gonsalves said.

When word of the Government’s intention to bid two years ago became public, the opposition New Democratic Party accused Gonsalves of piloting St Vincent and the Grenadines in an anti-Colombia move by seeking to get on the council itself.

Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace said he believed Chavez was using Gonsalves to challenge Colombia.

However, Gonsalves said SVG’s bid for the Security Council seat was not to be viewed as anti-Colombian.

The government indicated that it was withdrawing its bid after other CARICOM member states had indicated that they already would have been supporting Colombia, he said then. (DD)