The UN Security Council during a meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, December 16, 2015. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Friday become the smallest country to be elected to the United Nations Security Council.

Kingstown received 185 of the possible 191 votes after a 10-year campaign. Two nations abstained from the vote.

SVG was the Group for Latin America and Caribbean (GRULAC)-endorsed candidate for the Security Council for the term 2020-2021.

The multi-island nation of 110,000 people had said its bid was “grounded in our respect for sovereignty, diversity of views, dialogue and peace and development”.

The Office of the Prime Minister said:

“We are committed to the bedrock foundations of the UN Charter, namely: sovereign equality, non-interference and non-intervention in domestic affairs, and collective cooperation in solving global problems.

We believe that solidarity, consensus-building, integration and multilateral cooperation are key to solving the world’s problems,” the Ralph Gonsalves government said in a statement ahead of the vote.

The council is composed of 15 members. There are five permanent members: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and 10 non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly.

SVG said its“international agenda for corrective action” includes:

1) Tackling terrorism (whether state-sponsored or not)

2) Stemming the spread of weapons of mass destruction

3) Dealing seriously with human trafficking

4) Taking a stand against illegal drugs and small arms

5) Treating appropriately with refugees

6) Doing all it takes to stop violence against women and children

7) Tackling scarcity of food and water and other humanitarian concerns

8) Continuing our war against diseases

9) Addressing Climate Change comprehensively

10) Righting historical wrongs through our decolonization efforts and our quest for reparatory justice for native genocide and African slavery

11) Working towards improving the working methods of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to make it a more legitimate, representative and effective body.

SVG first announced its candidacy a decade ago, when it initially withdrew its bid after some member of the 15-member regional bloc, CARICOM, indicated that they had pledged their support to another candidate. 

The statement said small size is no impediment to impactful contributions on the world stage.

“St. Vincent and the Grenadines has played a leadership role in the UN’s post-Financial Crisis response; in revitalization of the General Assembly; in Security Council Reform; in advancing the Law of the Sea; in Small Arms control; in ambitious measures to combat Climate Change; in the global response to Non-Communicable Diseases; and in pushing the agenda for reparations for native genocide and African slavery, Kingstown said.

Most recently SVG chaired the Administrative and Budgetary Committee of the United Nations, and currently serves as the president of the Economic and Social Council.

The bid also spoke about the “unique perspective of a small island developing state”.

“The perspectives of small states — inclusive of Small Island Developing States — have been historically the least heard in the Security Council. As the threats to international peace and security have evolved in diverse ways, so too, has the need for a diversity of viewpoints on the Security Council increased.

“Small Island States have largely solved — and solved spectacularly — the challenge of forging peaceful, harmonious societies amidst many of the social, ethnic, political, historical and cultural fissures that traditionally lie at the root of many breaches of international peace and security. 

“We have confronted these challenges not with a surfeit of weapons or dollars, but with mutual respect, dialogue, and an understanding that unique situations require not static ideological solutions, but flexibility and innovation geared towards the specificities of the issue at hand. We hope to bring this principled pragmatism to bear in the Security Council,” the statement said.

17 replies on “St. Vincent elected to UN Security Council”

  1. I have just read an article entitled “SVG At UNSC – History, Power And Our Coming Of Age” – by one Dominic Brisbane. Dominic who we are told is a Vincentian academic who studies Globalization and Global Governance. He writes

    “In this era of Climate Change, small island states have no choice but to expand their own political power to influence the decisions of the powerful. This is the only way that we can ensure that the interests of our peoples are given sufficient attention”. He makes no mention of free and fair elections and good governance but goes on to say,

    “This is also the only way that some of the previously mentioned historical wrongs could be systematically addressed”. Dominic Brisbane gives no attention to political plurality and competent government free on nepotism cronyism or corruption. Dominic Brisbane

    “A non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council gives small states the power to address Climate Change alongside some of today’s biggest challenges. Or at least it gives them the power to resist the bad decisions of the powerful through dialogue.” This is stretching his argument quite a bit!

    As of July 2011 there were 193 members of the United Nations. There are Ten non-permanent members elected for just a two-year term by the General Assembly of the U.N, that’s all, two years and the now existing members are Belgium, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Germany, Indonesia, Kuwait, Peru, Poland and South Africa.

    Indeed, ask any citizen of those member countries how their country being a member of that body, has affected their life chances and the answer would be a resounding… NOT ONE BIT, it did not in any way! Moreover, the U.N says that as things stands, more than 60 United Nations Member States have never been Members of the Security Council. Never! So what’ the big deal with all this coming of age stuff?

    Moreover, the UN says that a State which is a Member of the United Nations but who is not a member of the Security Council may participate, without a vote, in its discussions when the Council considers that country’s interests are affected. So again one ask what is the big deal.

    Both Members and non-members of the United Nations, if they are parties to a dispute being considered by the Council, may be invited to take part, without a vote, in the Council’s discussions; the Council sets the conditions for participation by a non-member State.

    Indeed what security issue that St Vincent and the Grenadines may have that needs the attention of the UN Security Council? Why is the Ralph Gonsalves Government so desirous for one of those non-permanent seat, other than to further the interest of Cuba, Venezuela, Niangua and Taiwan while at the same time here at home in SVG more than half of our working population are out of work and scrunting?

    Which is more important to us as a nation other than our government expending all possible energy trying to implement a friendly environment for the creation of jobs here at home in St Vincent and the Grenadines or they sitting at the U.N for two years furthering the interest Cuba, Venezuela, Niangua and Taiwan? Are those countries not big enough to further their own interest in the world?

    This “Coming Of Age” rubbish is just what it is, foolishness, for us Vincentians would be even more so out of work at the end of the two year period, begging our way about the place for income support the world over, unless our good for nothing government get a grip of themselves and pay more attention to the needs of our Vincentian populace.

  2. Vincy Lawyer says:

    Congratulations to the Land of my birth….

    Its no small feat that our nation commanded the respect of many other sovereign nations.

    I truly hope we stick to our promises made during the campaign for membership and we can make a difference.

    Congrats once more to the Government and People of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

  3. C. ben-David says:

    Congratulation to all the people of SVG, at home and abroad!

    This is the best news I have heard about SVG for years.

    This is a glorious global recognition of our tiny country that would propel us to one of the better known countries of the Caribbean which would, in turn, help our tourism and other developmental efforts.

    To be sure, I have been unrelentingly critical of our politics, people, and country’s development prospects. But today is nevertheless the proudest day in my long life as a Vincentian citizen. God bless us and our country!

    But this must be a devastating shock, no a death blow, to the opposition NDP which just lost any chance of being propelled to power in 2020 or earlier with this announcement. Who could vote against a Party that has been recognized and honoured in this way by the community of nations?

    Combine this with the fact the ULP is hopelessly fighting the 2015 election result and you get a Party of pathetic and bitter losers who deserve to be kept in the political wilderness until they get their act together. These dimwits are not ready by a long shot.

    1. EPIPHANY?

      ” . . . God bless us and our country! . . .” INDEED.
      And, C. BEN-DAVID – – – I had recently been considering that maybe you were an atheist, or at least an agnostic. i am genuinely PLEASED with your proclamation – – – even if it were a transformation.
      And, EVEN if it were only occasioned by SVG’S unprecedented election to the United Nations’ SECURITY COUNCIL.
      Oh, better late than never – – – whether my gullible realization or your ebullient transformation.
      Right on, Vincy!
      Always,
      Your SVG Compatriot,

      Steve Huggins.

  4. HISTORIC, but, OF COURSE, partially engineered by the ultra-leftists in the region to SINGING FOR OUR SUPPER FROM THE CASTROITE MARXIST-LENINISTS [Communist] and ex-Soviet Union [neo-Czarist] imperialists,
    World, and fellow Vincentians: SEE HOW ‘WE’ IN SVG, as newest temporary members of the UNO’s SECURITY COUNCIL, from now and henceforth BEHAVE AS THE PAWNS AND SLAVE LACKEYS of Czar Vladimir PUTIN’s and COMMUNIST SLAVE-COLONY CUBA’s.
    LOOK for the DISCIPLES OF E.M. Fosters’ ANIMAL FARM and the bleeting sheep of “NAPOLEON IS RIGHT!”
    Expect NO INDEPENDENT “THOUGHT” OF OUR OWN.
    NO INDEPENDENT FOREIGN POLICY.
    NO NATIONAL SELF-RESPECT.
    LOSS OF SVG’S NATIONAL DIGNITY.
    Mere PARROTS of the worn, discredited, old Soviet Union agenda.
    This great event will redound to SVG’s detriment, as IT WILL NOT BE USED IN OUR SVG NATIONAL INTEREST. Even though, these old-style STALINIST wanna-be despots will try to entice us with THE PROSPECTS OF MORE INTERNATIONAL BEGGING AND ROGUE STATE LARGESSE.
    Always,
    Toward GENUINE NATIONALISM,

    Steve Huggins.
    TRUE VINCENTIAN NATIONALIST.

    1. Arnold Thomas says:

      KEEP ON BRAYING STEPHEN HUGGINS, 185 SOVEREIGN NATIONS STILL DEAF AND CAN’T HEAR YOU

      1. LEADER OF PEOPLE OF INDIAN ORIGIN.

        Hi, Dr. Arnold Thomas. Welcome back to the fray. Great hearing from you once again.
        Incidentally, my dear, dear cousin, BY UTILIIZING THE TERM “BRAYING”, are YOU REALLY SAYING THAT I AM A “JACK-ASS”. Thank you, Bro., for such auspicious RECOGNITION by such high-level personnel. You have my blessing.
        Just a clarification: Do you favour the PUTIN russian regime, or the European Union? As Jimmy Cliff forecasted – – – TIME WILL ALWAYS TELL…

  5. Elma Gabriel says:

    It is a great opportunity to be within the loop of International Voices, our opportunity as a people to position ourselves where we can be understood and respected; us being a small nation within the worlds United Front.
    I have no doubt that with the experience and wisdom of our SVG PM, much will be gained by being an insider on this powerful Security Council of the UN.

  6. David Wilson says:

    St Vincent oh st Vincent how have we forgotten who we are and the true reason why we are call land of the blessed. You are one of smaller Christian nations establish by Jehovah God why ? The God of this country st Vincent and the grenadine is Jesus Christ. You are part of Israel God great body of Christian belivers our Heavenly father scattered the forefathers the ten tribes of isreal for their sins and kept his promise to Abraham that he will be the father of many nations we st Vincent and the grenadine was established by the greater or largest tribe that was over the rest of house or tribes of Israel great Britain these are the Christian nations we are known as the Commonwealth countries why are we blinded this very act and achievements goes against your God and Heavenly father Jesus Christ do you not know That our father power is in. Nature the Natural elements the forces of nature this is a very big mockery and a shame yet you rejoice ! Your leader is set very much on destorying this Christian island the climate change is a believable lie created by Al Gore then vice-president of the U S A this is all part of the United Nations Satan , lucifer last world Government power this United Nations or one world political Government is his final Stand and it is a Deception pretending to be mankind Saviour and peace maker with out. Jehovah God. Or replacing God who is our everything can you see the bigger picture Christian family this is pure Evil and everything Evil and unholy unGodly that goes against Almighty Heavenly father Jehovah God is allow worship , pratice, exist under this Satanic one world political government. call the United Nations against God. this is a time for praying not rejoicing for your leaders just lead you against your Heavenly Father!!.

  7. David Wilson says:

    Would this Godless evil satanic United Nation last for long no God Jesus christ say so it will recieve it deadly wound soon Satan has to head of world power in the endtimes one political United Nation and one to come the Religious head when he himsel arrive to decieve and rule this world as God

    Révélation 13 vs 11 read it

  8. The ‘United Nations’ IS [?] The ANSWER???
    The Almighty CREATOR have mercy upon us all, IF SO.
    EVEN “Do So” nah woulda like SO !
    The percursor of the “disunited” ‘nations’ was the LEAGUE OF NATIONS. Among its PRIME PURPOSE was to give solace to EVERY NATION and give EVERY NATION, NATIONALITY, or PEOPLE a land or sovereign country of its own. Essentially, this LEAGUE was the brain-child of the classical liberal Professor and University administrator, US President WOODROW WILSON.
    What became of THAT GOAL or PURPOSE/MISSION?
    The KURDS were HYPROCRITICALLY SHUNTED ASIDE! Near-criminal BREACH OF PROMISE !
    Abject “international” failure !
    Absolute BETRAYAL OF A PEOPLE !
    Then, AGAIN, it was intended to STOP ALL WARS, after the then-recent MADNESS of WORLD WAR i.
    It, this grandiose “League” of Nations, DID NOT STOP WARS as intended and loudly proclaimed.
    We had HITLER, GERMAN RE-MILITARIZATION, and the total HORROR of WORLD WAR II.
    Many of the more conservative estimates generally agree that some SIXTY MILLION human beings lost their lives in THAT CONFLICT.
    But, we had the august, grandiose, enlightened “League of Nations” vaunted as “THE REAL SOLUTION TO GLOBAL CONFLICT”, and INEQUITY among the world’s peoples!
    WHAT A DIPLOMATIC BROKEN TOOTH to forlornly rely on.
    A damnable disgrace and abject disappointment.
    SO, then again, WE FINALLY ESTABLISHED the UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION.
    CERTAINLY, eureka, THIS u.n.o. was the long-awaited SOLUTION TO MAN’S CONSTANT WARFARE.
    Incidentally, I have quite a few KAREN PEOPLES who tell me in anquish of their DIRE NEED for a homeland, and of the horrors, and GENOCIDE, in being FORCED OUT OF THEIR NATIVE COUNTRY.
    Appallingly, their very LANGUAGE is fast DISAPPEARING.
    The ‘GREAT’ United Nations apparently STILL hasn’t heard about my beloved KAREN friends and other negatively impacted human beings in the former BURMA.
    All HAIL to the disunited nations!
    What a farce!
    YET, again and again, the so-called UNITED NATIONS has NOT prevented the untold MILLIONS OF PEOPLE killed in OVER A HUNDRED WARS and other military conflicts SINCE ITS FOUNDING.
    We have had FAR MORE PEOPLE KILLED in wars and military conflicts SINCE WORLD WAR II than have been killed in ALL OF WORLD WARS I AND II.
    So much for the over-rated UNITED NATIONS, or its poor cousin, the League of Nations.
    This is the 21st Century. It is 2019. The KURDS still haven’t been granted or settled in their native homeland as a sovereign nation.
    The KAREN are HOMELESS, wandering in refuge camps in THAILAND, INDIA, and friendly Western countries [principally the United Kingdom, the USA, and Canada and other British Commonwealth countries.
    The United Nations did NOT prevent: the KOREAN WAR, the VIETNAMESE WAR, the KILLING FIELDS OF COMMUNIST CAMBODIA, the Asian BOAT PEOPLE.
    Did the United Nations or its SECURITY COUNCIL prevent the MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS of PEOPLE MURDERED IN COLD BLOOD BY THE MAOIST COMMUNIST REGIME IN CHINA???
    Did the UN SECURITY COUNCIL save the PEOPLE OF waTUSI-HUTU GENOCIDE?
    HOW is the UNO and its GREAT Security Council doing with the ATROCITIES in VENEZUELA, or, for that matter, SUDAN?
    About a decade ago, the Communist and neo-Czarist bloc encouraged SVG to join the rush of MARXIST-LENINIST vassal states to gain admittance to the SECURITY COUNCIL in order to foster and continue their cynical OBSTRUCTIONISM in the UNITED NATIONS.
    SVG’s “communistic” regime was at times asked to hold back in favour in more strategic leftist allies and cronies. Not, using the still mostly moderate, slightly left of center regimes in my Latin American and Caribbean region, as strategically pre-planned, they have supposedly achieved their aim.
    I say: they are badly MISJUDGING the geo-political situation.
    VENEZUELA should have opened their left-blinded eyes to the up-coming ECONOMIC AND MILITARY CONFLICT between the Communistic forces AND the European Union nations. Russia, Cuba and the Chi-Coms have gone too far. They have crossed the forbidden line. The rise of BRAZIL’s current President is a serious sign of this. Prepare to observe the geopolitical machinations unfold.
    Much blood will flow. Innumerable economies will SUFFER.
    Poor, small SVG should NOT go in a fowl-cock party. We are far too small, fragile and vulnarable to so purblindly LET OURSELVES BE CAUGHT UP IN THIS MAD TO FURTHER OTHER BIG NATIONS CRAZY POWER-POLITICS.
    IT WILL ALL END IN DISASTER.
    After all, PM Gonsalves was my First Year BRITISH AND EUROPEAN HISTORY teacher. He should have garnered these lessons of history, by now.
    Those who fail to learn the bloody lesson of history, are DESTINED TO REPEAT IT.
    Frankly, punty St. Vincent and the Grenadines is NOT in this league. We will suffer.
    And, all the sycophant, choir-boys, and band-wagon riders will have proved poor guardians of SVG’s integrity, independence and sovereignty.
    Oh, how I love the insights of Brother JIMMY CLIFF: “TIME WILL ALWAYS TELL …!!!”
    I part with the words of a great GRENADIAN political founder: “The RIGHT IS ALWAYS RIGHT!”
    Quo Vadis, SVG? My most beloved St. VIncent and the Grenadines – – – Whither Goest Thou?

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