ST. VINCENT: – St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) has not announced candidacy for a non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council, for the 2011-2012 term, contrary to statements by Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace on radio on Thursday.
SVG’s Permanent Mission to the United Nation, in debunking Eustace’s claim, also responded to his comments about the ramification of such candidacy on the nation’s relationship with Taiwan.
Eustace’s “false statements … have the potential to adversely affect the implementation of the foreign policy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and our country’s international standing,” the Mission said in a press release on Thursday.
It said that the former prime minister and former member of Cabinet should be familiar with the fundamental principles of UN Security Council elections. (Follow I Witness-News on Facebook)
The Mission questioned whether Eustace’s statements “were made in ignorance, made to mislead the general public, or made to damage the standing of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines with Taiwan, its close friend and ally”.
It requested that Eustace “retract his false or misinformed statements in a public forum similar to that which he uttered his inaccuracies…
“The international image of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines demands no less,” it said.
The press advisory explained that to date Columbia was the only country from the 33-member “Group of Latin American and Caribbean” states (GRULAC that had announced candidacy for the revolving United Nations Security Council seat.
The Mission said a country announces its candidacy for a non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council by an official note verbale to the current chair of the GRULAC states.
“Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has not done so. Similarly, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ candidacy for a Security Council seat was not “announced” to any other group of countries,” the mission said.
“As such, any conjecture by the Honourable Leader of the Opposition regarding the manner in which the alleged “announcement” took place is premature at best, and reckless at worst,” the Mission said.
The Mission also said Eustace was wrong in stating that any candidacy for the Security Council by SVG would involve a switch from its recognition of the Taiwan to China.
China considers the self-governed Taiwan a renegade province, to be reunited with the mainland, by force if necessary.
The Mission said Eustace had falsely asserted that “China has a veto” and would not allow a country that supports Taiwan to enter the Security Council.
“While China can veto the decisions made within the Security Council, it does not have any veto power over which states are elected to the Council. In the elections for membership on the Security Council, China has one vote, as does every other UN Member State,” the Mission explained.
It noted that at least five countries — Burkina Faso, Gambia, Honduras, Panama, and Paraguay — have been members of the Security Council even as they maintained relations with Taiwan.
The mission further said Eustace’s question regarding the logic of SVG competing with another state in the region for the Security Council seat “exhibits a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of elections to the Security Council”.
“In an election for a non-permanent seat on the Security Council, all members are elected based on the regional group to which it belongs. As such, unless a country is running unopposed, it will always be competing against a country from the region,” it said.