By Nelson A. King
UNITED NATIONS (CMC) — St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ambassador to the United Nations, I. Rhonda King, says a clerical error has led to her country’s inability to vote in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
“It was merely an error,” King told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) as she responded to last weekend’s decision by the General Assembly to suspend the Caribbean island’s voting rights due to what it said were arrears in paying dues.
“I am unclear about how the error came about, but I do know it was an error,” the envoy said, noting that when the “error” was discovered, her Mission immediately notified the UN and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nathaniel Williams, also “immediately set about” to address the issue.
The UN General Assembly identified SVG among nine countries that are not allowed to vote because of what it claimed were arrears in paying their dues.
“Under Article 19 of the Charter, a Member State in arrears in the payment of its dues in an amount that equals or exceeds the contributions due for two preceding years can lose its vote in the General Assembly,” said the UN General Assembly in a statement.
“An exception is allowed if the Member State can show that conditions beyond its control contributed to this inability to pay,” it added.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last week informed the General Assembly that 15 countries, including oil producer Venezuela, were in arrears in paying their annual contribution to the UN regular budget.
SVG was reported to be in arrears of US$2,155 and King said that the nation had paid US$39,313, instead of the US$41,557.00 owed to the UN.
She said the balance of US$2, 287.00 will be paid shortly.
“Once paid, St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ voting rights will be restored. And I expect that to be done within 48 hours, but certainly before the end of this week,” she said, adding that the entire issue was “much ado about nothing”.
It could be tricky to work in and lay blame for the “much ado” at the feet of ordinary Vincentians seeing that it was not “the people” who disclosed the lapse. They only repeated what they heard. Clearly, someone whose business it was decided it bring the matter to the fore in the way that it was brought. It is becoming easy to tire of trite declarations that serve mainly to highlight the obvious and to prop up traditional inattention. All hands on deck to bail.
Politicians don’t take blame for anything they only take credit so it incumbent on civil servants to do the right thing and do not allow themselves to be used because you will be blamed.
An occasional clerical error is to be expected. The real problem is that our clerical and related errors are both chronic and acute in SVG, part of the low productivity our country suffers from, a issue out Prime Minister often refers to but does nothing about in so far as it effects the public service that he absolutely controls.
Great story but I doubt its truth. There is no way that the UN would cut off our voting rights by such a small shortfall in payment. They most certainly would have notified us of doing so before they did it.
I suppose latter than sooner we will learn the truth, because all these kind of situations become actual history.
What we do know is that the ULP during its whole life in power has stumbled from one crisis to another on an almost weekly basis. If all these people were working for a corporation they would have been sent packing a long time ago
He will quite simply blame her, wait and see.
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