The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (GOSVG) endorses the statement of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) issued on October 9, 2023, on the current attacks and counter-attacks by Hamas and Israel, both in Israel and in the Palestinian territory of Gaza.
The GOSVG further states that:
1. We reiterate the foundational principles for settlement of the conflict as contained in the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 242, which was adopted on November 22, 1967, following the Six-Day War in June 1967 between Israel, on the one hand, and Arab nations, including the Palestinians, on the other hand. This Resolution emphasizes, centrally, among other things, “a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security”, and acknowledges “the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force”. This Resolution has become a pivotal cornerstone of Middle East diplomatic efforts since then.
This UNSCR 242 is attached for ease of reference.
2. The UNSCR 242 premises “a two-State solution” for Israel and Palestine to live alongside each other in peace within secure and recognised boundaries free from threats or acts of force.
3. Successive governments of Israel, more particularly those headed, or unduly influenced, by right-wing and ultra-nationalist forces, including the current government, have refused repeatedly to ensure the practical implementation of “a just and lasting peace”. Indeed, Israel has imposed a veritable colonialism, including a harsh settler-colonialism and a forceful, illegal occupation of Palestinian lands, which has given rise to intense Palestinian resistance and a brutal Israeli response. Sadly, innocent lives are being lost, needlessly.
4. We repeat CARICOM’s expression of abhorrence at the recent attacks and counter-attacks of the combatants (the Israeli Defence Force and Hamas), and their savage nature, in Israel and Gaza. War crimes, contrary to international law, are evidently being committed with impunity. A day of reckoning on these crimes surely must come.
5. We call for a cessation of hostilities on all sides and the embarkation of a quest for a just and lasting peace in accordance with the principles and provisions of the UNSCR 242.
6. We demand the urgent, just, and merciful intervention of the United Nations Security Council to assist in bringing hostilities to an end and to ensure that international humanitarian law is upheld in Gaza for the sake of humanity. Accordingly, three of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — USA, Britain, and France — who routinely support Israel and its colonizing policies, bear an especial responsibility to facilitate an immediate cessation of hostilities and to insist on the upholding of international law.
7. We embrace the Psalmist’s injunction: “Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” [Psalm 34:14]. We acknowledge that seeking and pursuing a just peace, in the current circumstances, is a difficult path; but there is no other way that will endure. We thus implore the responsible international community and the parties to the conflict to act accordingly, urgently.
Dated the 13th day of October, 2023.
Office of the Prime Minister