Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is the Group for Latin America and Caribbean (GRULAC)-endorsed candidate for the Security Council for the term 2020-2021.
We are grounded in our respect for sovereignty, diversity of views, dialogue and peace and development.
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.
About Us/ Our Approach
We are a people who have confronted all past and current challenges – from invading armies to encroaching seas – with an indomitable spirit of verve and optimism. We believe that, whatever the future brings, our faith will see us through. A faith in God, in ourselves, and in the principles that bind us together as a nation and as a Caribbean civilization. We approach our multilateral engagements with a similar spirit.
Our International Agenda for Corrective Action includes:
- Tackling terrorism (whether state-sponsored or not)
- Stemming the spread of weapons of mass destruction
- Dealing seriously with human trafficking
- Taking a stand against illegal drugs and small arms
- Treating appropriately with refugees
- Doing all it takes to stop violence against women and children
- Tackling scarcity of food and water and other humanitarian concerns
- Continuing our war against diseases
- Addressing Climate Change comprehensively
- Righting historical wrongs through our decolonization efforts and our quest for reparatory justice for native genocide and African slavery
- Working towards improving the working methods of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to make it a more legitimate, representative and effective body.
A word on non-intervention and non-interference
“The principles of non-intervention and non-interference are of particular importance to Small Island Developing States. Lacking military might or economic wealth, and constrained within narrow borders, we owe our existence as nation states to a global recognition and respect for the principle that no other nation – large or small, rich or poor, near or far – should be allowed to interfere in our sovereign affairs or intervene in matters properly resident in our domestic jurisdiction.
Without strict adherence to those tenets, small states’ existence dangles precariously on the threads of great power intrigue or changing perceptions of our strategic significance. Without these principles, our international order reverts to a barbarism in which the strong are doing what they can and the weak merely suffering what they must.
This is unacceptable. Because of our undeniable reliance on this cornerstone of international law, Small States are among its staunchest defenders. Every violation of the principle of non-intervention – wherever it may occur – is an indirect assault on our own survival.” – Hon. Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph E. Gonsalves
Small size is no impediment to impactful contributions on the world stage
Saint 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. Most recently. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines chaired the Administrative and Budgetary Committee of the United Nations, and currently serves as the president of the Economic and Social Council.
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.
Focus on Africa
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is part of what is called the “6th region of Africa”, that is, the Caribbean. Our interconnected history, shared roots with our brothers and sisters in Africa and the fact that roughly 70% of the Security Council’s agenda deals with African issues, demand that we put a particular focus on African issues on the Security Council. Through close coordination with the A3, (three African seats on the UNSC) Member States concerned or specially affected, and other partners, our posture will be one of principled solidarity with Africa.
Climate and Security
The climate threat is unprecedented, urgent and unique. As a small island developing state, we know first-hand the effects of climate change and natural disasters. Its effects make it an existential matter of the highest order; it goes to the very existence of our country. On the Council, we will be a voice for SIDS, and for all, on the issue of climate and security.
“The rise of climate change as the existential threat of our era has not replaced the persistent peril of armed conflict across the globe. The human suffering in Syria, Yemen and Myanmar demands greater international attention and action. Similarly, the potential threats to international peace and security posed by tensions on the Korean peninsula, among the Gulf States and in the State of Palestine require persistent and prioritised diplomacy. And the historical injustices done to Africa must be made right as we navigate the myriad and complex peace and security issues on the continent.
But we must be careful not to present a false choice between these issues. We have to deal with them all, no matter how inconvenient climate-related security may be.” – Saint Vincent and the Grenadines at the Open Debate in the Security Council entitled “Addressing the impacts of climate-related disasters on international peace and security” 25 January 2019
Our Commitment to Development
“The link between development and peace is well-established; and the link between peace and the United Nations is immutable.”– Hon. Foreign Minister, Sir Louis Straker
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has embraced the Sustainable Development Goals and aligned our national planning with the SDGs. Our achievements to date include: zero hunger, universal access to education, improved healthcare, a marked reduction in poverty, and ambitious climate mitigation and adaptation measures, to name a few. Developmental constraints and conflict do not occur in siloes. As such, we hope to bring our experiences, lessons learned, and our acute awareness of development needs to bear in the deliberations of the Security Council.