St. Vincent diplomat remains reformer of UN Security Council

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ambassador to the United Nations, Inga Rhonda King, who will chair the UN Security Council for November (CMC Photo)

 St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ambassador to the United Nations, Inga Rhonda King, Monday said she remains committed to a reform of the United Nations Security Council, as her country assumed the UN’s chairmanship body.

In a briefing on St. Vincent and the Grenadine’s Presidency of the UN Security Council titled “A Civil Society Dialogue,” Rhonda King also said that the situation in Venezuela, where the United States is pushing to remove President Nicholas Maduro from office, is not the agenda for the month-long session of the UN Security Council under her chairmanship.

Rhonda King, who has been at the UN for the past seven years, said she is also the chair and spokesperson for the group L-69, “a large group of reformed member states…all developing states.

“We are largely small states, island states. So I am very familiar with the discussions as they evolve over the years about the Council’s reform. I have a very healthy understanding of what the perceived weaknesses are about the Council, and nothing has happened since to change that view.

“Nothing has happened to change the view as a reformer going into the Council since I have been there,” she told the dialogue.

Reform of the United Nations Security Council encompasses five key issues and must be ratified by two-thirds of member states. All of the permanent members of the Security Council, which have veto rights, must also agree.

The argument of many critics of the United Nations Security Council is that it isn’t effective and needs to be fundamentally reformed. The loudest calls for reform come from those who believe that the inclusion of a host of new permanent members is the answer to the effectiveness deficit. Others argue that it is folly to suggest that the addition of new permanent members would amount to meaningful reform.

Since the end of the cold war, these reform debates, contorted by politics, have circled endlessly without any prospect of conclusion. With the creation of the ‘Open-ended Working Group on the Question of the Equitable Representation on and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Other Matters Related to the Security Council’ (the UN committee with the longest title), the debate became formalized, and reform plans subsequently proliferated.

Perhaps the most well-recited argument for an expanded Council (with up to six new permanent seats) is the argument that the Council does not reflect contemporary power realities and should therefore be reformed to reflect the so-called new realities of the 21st Century.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines were officially elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security. They officially assumed its position on January 2, 2020, which will run for a period of two years, culminating on December 31, 2021.

On the situation in Venezuela, Ambassador Rhonda King said to the best of her knowledge, “there have been no discussions in the back room, in the corridors to treat Venezuela under our presidency.

“So, I will leave it at that, it is not on the agenda, and it isn’t an issue that will be treated with during our presidency,” she maintained.

Washington has been seeking to support Maduro’s removal, whom it accuses of human rights violations, engaging in fraudulent elections, and supporting the Opposition leader Juan Guido as his replacement.

While Washington has the support of many countries in Europe, Russia, China and Cuba are backing Caracas, and the 15-member regional integration grouping, CARICOM, has said it abides by its policy of non-intervention and non-interference in the internal affairs of the South American country.


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