The national flag of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) was, on Thursday, installed at the United Nations Security Council as the nation begin its historical two-year term as a non-permanent member.
In June 2019, SVG became the smallest nation ever, in terms of landmass and population, to be elected to the UN’s highest decision-making body.
Speaking at the flag installation ceremony at the UN headquarters in New York, I. Rhonda King, SVG’s permanent representative to the UN said:
“All over the world, there is a growing disquiet. People are rising up. Many, if not most, are young and they are calling on those with power to correct the current trajectory of our planet and our politics.”
She said that SVG, a small island developing state, a mere 40 years after reclaiming its independence from colonial powers, was taking up its seat for the first time as an elected member of the Security Council.
“This day is a historic one, not only because we are the smallest nation ever to sit on the security council but also perhaps because the urgency of now calls for fresh, disinterested and impartial perspectives on the seemingly intractable problems of our day,” King said.
She said that SVG has no “geopolitical axe to grind”.
“We are just a young nation that yearns for a better world. We come to the task with a team that largely comprises young, well-educated, enthusiastic and creative thinkers,” King said.
She noted that she, Kingstown’s permanent representative to the UN, is female, as are the two deputy permanent representatives, political coordinator, and legal advisor.
“Indeed, we are a team that is two-thirds female,” she said to applause. “That, too, is probably historic.”
The envoy, however, said that above all, “we are a Caribbean people”.
She said that according to SVG’s Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, “We, metaphorically speaking, comprise the sounds of Caribs — our indigenous people — the rhythm of Africa, the chords of Asia, the melody of Europe and the lyrics of the Caribbean itself.
“With this uniquely blended psyche, we go forth with the audacity and the hope of making a small contribution toward the creation of transformative, resilient new realities,” King said.
She thanked the member states of the UN General Assembly for placing their trust in SVG.
“We will endeavour every day for the next two years to maintain that trust by discharging our duties and responsibility with integrity, steadfast adherence to the rule of law, the values and principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter,” the envoy said.