SVG expands its diplomatic relations

Continuing what it has described as its “global diplomatic outreach,” St. Vincent and the Grenadines has formalized diplomatic relations with Moldova, Serbia and the Solomon Islands.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ United Nations Ambassador Camillo Gonsalves signed the necessary instruments in New York with those countries’ U.N. ambassadors.

Moldova, a country of less than 4 million people, is located in Eastern Europe. It declared its independence in 1991 following the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Alexandru Cujba, the Permanent Representative of Moldova to the United Nations, noted that, as small countries, with economies based on services, agriculture and tourism, Moldova and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have many issues on which they could cooperate for the mutual benefit of both countries.

He suggested that technical cooperation, as well as coordination of activities at the United Nations, could be a good basis for solidifying the relations between Moldova and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Also in Eastern/Central Europe, Gonsalves signed documents establishing diplomatic relations with Feodor Starčević, the Permanent Representative of Serbia to the United Nations. Serbia was formerly a part of Yugoslavia. Like Moldova, Serbia aspires to membership in the European Union.

Gonsalves told the Serbian envoy that St. Vincent and the Grenadines was “heartened by Serbia’s commitment to bring accused criminals to justice, as well as their peaceful negotiation of its dispute with Kosovo.”

The Vincentian envoy said he saw “ample areas for cooperation between Serbia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, particularly in the areas of agriculture, technical support and education.”

The two ambassadors pledged to explore other avenues of cooperation between the two countries.

The Solomon Islands, like St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is an archipelago of small islands. The Solomon Islands are located in the Pacific ocean.

Gonsalves, in signing diplomatic relations with Ambassador Colin Beck, pointed out the many similarities between the two nations – both small, multi-island states, members of the Commonwealth, and affected by climate change.

He also noted that both St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Solomon Islands maintain strong relationships with Taiwan, and have similar interests and perspectives on a number of global issues.

Beck noted that while the two countries were just getting around to formalising their relations, he was ‘proud of the solidarity and cooperation that they had already displayed in a variety of ares at the United Nations.’

He expressed the hope that the leaders of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Solomon Islands would have the opportunity to collaborate more closely on matters of mutual interest.

“The establishment of diplomatic relations is a key pillar of the foreign policy of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which, as a small country, seeks to increase its diplomatic space by building beneficial relationships with countries around the world,” Gonsalves said.

In addition to Africa, Gonsalves said St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been concentrating on building relationships with Gulf States, Eastern European countries, and other Small-Island States.

Meantime, the Vincentian envoy last week was unanimously elected President of the 21st Meeting of States Parties of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The 162 countries that are signatories to UNCLOS elected Ambassador Gonsalves by acclamation on June 13.

The Meeting of States Parties takes place over two weeks at the United Nations headquarters in New York, and governs the activities of the International Seabed Authority, the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

During the meeting, Ambassador Gonsalves presided over negotiations regarding the workload and budget of these bodies.

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