Secretary General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Irwin LaRocque, has welcomed the election Friday of St Vincent and the Grenadines to the Security Council of the United Nations (UN).
St. Vincent and the Grenadines has become the smallest state ever to be elected to the Council.
LaRocque said in a statement that the country’s election is an opportunity for a small state to bring a unique perspective to threats to international peace and security.
The CARICOM Secretary General said he is confident that St. Vincent and the Grenadines will be a strong advocate on behalf of the Region and the wider Small Island Developing States (SIDS) community, particularly for the issues that are important to them.
St Vincent’s candidature was endorsed by the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean at the UN,(GRULAC).
The country became the fourth CARICOM Member State to be elected to the Security Council.
It garnered 185 votes of the 193 available for the non-permanent seat reserved for the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States for the two-year term 2020-2021.
The other four countries that have been elected to the UN’s most powerful body are Estonia, Niger, Tunisia and Vietnam.
The 15-member United Nations Security Council has five permanent members: China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Ten non-permanent members are elected for staggered, two-year terms by the General Assembly.
Speaking to the press outside the General Assembly Hall, a beaming St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister, Doctor Ralph Gonsalves, described the election of his country to the UN Security Council as a historic occasion.
“We stand steadfast on the fundamental principles off this organisation which was founded in the aftermath of the second World War to bring about peace and security,” Gonsalves told reporters.
He said his country is committed to the principle of the equality of states; non-interference and non-intervention in the internal affairs of other countries; defence of sovereignty and independence and overall sustainable development.
He said as a Small Island Developing State his country is concerned about the security consequences of adverse climate change.
“We intend to work very closely with the other members of the security council,” Gonsalves stated.