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The UN Security Council during a meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, December 16, 2015. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
The UN Security Council during a meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, December 16, 2015. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
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Canada, having failed in previous bids to secure a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, is seeking lessons from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, says Prime Minster Ralph Gonsalves.

SVG has begun three months of observation of the Security Council in preparation for its January 2020 assumption of a non-permanent seat for a two-year term.

In June, SVG became the smallest nation ever, by landmass and population, to be voted onto the Security Council, the UN’s highest decision-making body.

Gonsalves told the media in Kingstown on Monday that he met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York last month, a Canadian delegation, headed by former prime minister, Joe Clark.
“Canada is wanting to, among other things, find out our own experiences in running for the Security Council and how we managed. The last time Canada tried, they failed,” Gonsalves said.

He noted that Ottawa failed in its bid, a decade ago, when it attempted to secure one of the two positions allocated for Western Europe and others, when the other candidates were Germany and Portugal.

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Germany won the first position and then there were several runoffs between Portugal and Canada, with Portugal eventually winning after Canada withdrew on the floor of the General Assembly.

Now, Canada is in a contest with two other countries for the Western Europe and others, Gonsalves noted.

“You can win in your group but lose at the General Assembly and vice versa,” Gonsalves said. “So you have to get two-thirds of the General Assembly vote, which means you have to get 129 votes minimum.

“So Canada was interested in that and, of course, they are interested in St. Vincent and the Grenadines giving their support but also to see if, given my own longevity as leader, to see what I can do in relation to other leaders in the Caribbean.”

Gonsalves, however, said there are three good candidates for the positions, namely Canada, Norway and Ireland.

He noted that the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg attended the last meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government Summit in St. Lucia in July, adding that he met her there and also in New York last week.

Gonsalves said he also met with the Prime Minister of Ireland, Leo Eric Varadkar.

“We have not indicated which are the two countries which we will be voting for out of those three and, as I say, they are all excellent candidates.”

He said being on the Security Council is so significant for Canada that, with elections coming soon there, Ottawa had appointed a former prime minister from both the liberal and conservative parties as lobbyists.

“And everybody is doing a lot of lobbying, which makes our achievement, what we accomplished all the more significant in respect of the smallest country ever (to sit on the UN Security Council). And Canada was keen to find out how we did ours.

“Of course, there are many bilateral issues between us other than those matters so there was a wide discussion on those,” Gonsalves said.

10 replies on “Canada seeking Security Council bid lessons from SVG”

  1. Ralph Gonsalves is undoubtedly excellent when it comes to geopolitics. I also believe his Foreign Policy is excellent. He undeniably has been gifted in guaging political climates in many jurisdictions. Sure there are things I disagree with and he has made mistakes (St. Kitts), but I would still rate him highly compared to other leaders in that category. His very weak area is his MACRO Financial and Economic actions. He has a very bad Economic Philosophy (Keynesian Socialist indoctrination) and the Financial Management is poor as well as our very terrible system (mostly our Customs Duties and Procedures) He has never changed to be more fair and efficient. Having and supporting a system that in truth guarantees the poverty of the nation makes me wonder why it has not been changed and it is seemingly not ever an election issue.
    We really do need to adopt policy that seeks to make PROSPERITY inevitable and poverty impossible.

    Instead we have policy that guarantees poverty and makes LEGAL prosperity hide in deep dark places that few are able to find.
    Based on the present global-regional and local situation, our Corporate tax should be no higher than 21% (which in my opinion is still too high) but instead it is around 30%. I would set it at 17%. They think they would lose too much revenue at 17%. In the short-term that is true, but other measures would also have to be enacted and we would have to let our people, other nations and investors know unequivocally that we are SERIOUS and open for business. In mid- and long-term lower Corporate tax (es) would obviously be positive. Those that are able to think and have not gone through Keynesian Indoctrination should seek me out and we can discuss how to transform Saint Vincent’s Economy.

    Why don’t we instead craft policy that would make an investor feel stupid if they did not invest here!

  2. To us the wretched “Medice, cura te ipsum”! Before giving advice to the world and engaging in righting it should we not fix ourselves and our own house first?

    Ah’ caar see we caar or ah’ naar see we naar see? Oh’ the extremities of ego! Ah’ “Physician, heal thyself” nuh!

  3. Please Sir, your duty is to SVG, there are more important issues at home, let your UN planted daughter do her thing at the UN, I am that will serve the dynasty much better.

    We do not want to be part of the worlds greater politics, we just want to be a nice little island where we all live a nice life without affiliation to all your crony communist countries. It is them that you are representing at the UN not SVG, you are the ALBA representative, nothing more nothing less.

    Did you explain to the Canadian PM why you have not been to Canada for many years and what you fear of going there.

  4. All these negative comments around this topic on Facebook only display our lack of nationalism and crab in the barrel mentality.
    Let me remind you people that you were just as negative when the PM first mentioned the proposal for SVG to be the smallest nation on the UN Security Council. Let’s NOT underestimate the intelligence and creativity of many of our people. ‘Politics is the activities of governments concerning the political relations between countries’ similar to your votes are valued for the SVG upcoming election, likewise is SVG’s as a now member on the UN Security Council.

  5. To quote Tennessee Williams, Quote; “The only thing worse than a liar is a liar that’s also a hypocrite”! Just compare our GDP per capita with Canada’s and reality is sure obvious. Therefore, Canada’s place on the UN’s non-permanent Security Council is surely assured, once that revolving door of this talking shop turns its way, but guiding advice from SVG? Pull the other one, it has bells on!

    CANADA GDP per capita
    Gross domestic product 1.653 trillion USD ‎(2017)
    Population 36.54 million ‎(2017)
    Life expectancy 82.30 years ‎(2016)

    St Vincent & the Grenadines GDP per capita
    Gross domestic product 789.6 million USD ‎(2017)
    Population 109,897 ‎(2017)
    Life expectancy 73.18 years ‎(2016)

    St Vincent & the Grenadines GDP per capita
    Gross domestic product 789.6 million (USD ‎(2017)

    Grenada 10376.23 million (USD ‎(2017)
    St Lucia 9574.30 million (USD ‎(2017)

    Listen to Mark Twain “A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar”.

    Canada can sure afford the time, money and effort wasted in that talking shop, chin wagging on global affairs, that may one day have an impact on its worldwide interest but what worldwide interest has SVG, where the time and money expended for two and a half years, could be somehow justified, when we can’t even keep our streets clean nor help our sick in hospital?

    Well my dear ELMA GABRIEL perhaps some of us are aware that blind nationalism does not put food on the table, nor clear the rats from our unhealthy streets in Kingstown, nor provide wellness in the nation’s hospital!

    Here is a thing ELMA, it would appear that President Trump has stabbed the Kurds in the back by abandoning them to potential Turkish brutality. Should that fact be of concern to us in our “political economy”, over and above gainful employment for the unemployed in SVG or food on our tables? What do you think should take precedence both now and in the future?

  6. James H is always other extreme right. He is entitled to his free choice . Freedom of expression must not be curtailed once it’s not tortious or cause injuries to another.

    1. JB, how nice of you to give your consent and approval of James’s contributions here. How you arrive at describing him as extreme right I do not know. Unless perhaps you have decided that those that tell the truth and expose wrong doing as extreme right and those that tell lies and bring nasty behaviour here as extreme left wing. Which will make you and your plantation owning dynastical master extreme left wing, James on the right and me in the middle.

  7. The Canadians are not able to follow the kind of path Gonsalves took to get elected to the Security Council.

    Little island leaders can do it but not big countries who must answer to their citizens.

    There is just about no oversite of any of the comrades actions.

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