St. Vincent and the Grenadines is ramping up its campaign for its 2019 bid to sit on the United Nations Security Council.
“… we began to do it in a meeting under the radar, so to speak, for the election the middle of next year for the two-year period 2020 to 2021 to be a member of the United Nations Security Council, a non-permanent member,” Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves told a recent press conference.
“If elected, we would be the smallest country ever to have been elected to that position to deal with issues concerning war and peace,” he said of SVG’s efforts to occupy one of the revolving, non-permanent seats on the council.
“St. Vincent and the Grenadines has a particular perspective and we are selling ourselves on the basis of small island exceptionalism, which has a voice to carry on issues relating to climate change, issues relating to world peace, issues relating to nuclear weapons, issues relating to solving conflicts by peaceful means,” he said.
The prime minister said climate change is an existential question for small islands and countries all over the world.
In 2010, SVG put forward its name for consideration for a UN Security Council seat.
However, it withdrew its potential candidacy after one CARICOM country indicated that it has already given a commitment to support Columbia, which was SVG’s competition in the group for Group of Latin America and the Caribbean, Gonsalves said.
He said that Kingstown wanted its candidacy to he supported by all CARICOM nations.
The prime minister said that another government, which is no longer in office, was going around saying that SVG was going to be a “stalking horse for Venezuela”.
He said that, in reality, at the time Venezuela was having a rapprochement with Columbia.
However, once one CARICOM country had already committed to support Columbia, having given its commitment in writing prior to SVG’s announcement, SVG decided to withdraw its candidacy.
Gonsalves said that the assessment of SVG’s ambassador to the United Nations at the time, Camillo Gonsalves, was that SVG would have beat Columbia.
“But, my own mature judgment and understanding said that we would pull back and we select the year 2019 to go after it again,” the prime minister said.