SVG CELEBRATES ELECTION TO UN SECURITY COUNCIL ON JUNE 7TH 2019

NEWS


June 13th 2019


PRIME MINISTER GONSALVES ISSUES FORMAL ADDRESS ON SVG’S ELECTION TO THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL 


This country’s Prime Minister Dr Hon Ralph Gonsalves has issued a formal address to the nation on the occasion of St Vincent and the Grenadines’ election to the United Nations Security Council as a non-permanent member. 

St Vincent and the Grenadines won its bid on Friday June 7th 2019 to become the smallest country ever to sit on the UN Security Council with a total of 185 votes against El Salvador’s 6 in the group of Latin America and the Caribbean.


PM Gonsalves in his address reiterated that the country’s ten-year campaign paid off as he noted that it was not a partisan or personal quest but rather a national one.   Dr Gonsalves pointed out that this country remained optimistic and committed to the cause and worked diligently towards the achievement of being elected.


The PM further noted that SVG’s achievement now serves as an inspiration especially to the youths of the country. He indicated that it was quite heartening the show of pride and elation exhibited by the majority of Vincentians with regards to this achievement. 


PM again expressed gratitude to all the countries who voted for SVG as well as the endorsement by regional groupings such as CARICOM and the Group of Latin America and Caribbean States. SVG will serve on this body for a period for two years.


Prime minister Dr Hon Ralph Gonsalves has announced that he will leave the state today for a two week overseas official business trip.


Speaking on Star Radio this morning PM Gonsalves outlined that his trip will include business in the United Kingdom as well as an official visit to Seychelles. The PM said that he looks forward to and is quite optimistic about the trip.


SVG AND THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA SIGN COMMUNIQUE ON JOINT DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION


St Vincent and the Grenadines and the Republic of Ghana signed a communique on a joint development commission.  The signing took place at Cabinet Room on June 12th, and was done as part of activities to mark the official visit of Ghanaian President His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, to SVG. Prime Minister Dr Hon Ralph Gonsalves while speaking at the event explained what the communique signifies. 

President Akufo Addo expressed delight about the initiative as he also expanded on what it signifies.


President Akufo Addo again expressed his elation about his visit to SVG for the second time in seventeen years. He also spoke to the significance of SVG’s recent election to the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member.


The Republic of Ghana and St. Vincent and the Grenadines established diplomatic relations on August 1, 2008. Since then, our countries continue to strengthen the relationship to foster greater prospects for trade, people-to-people exchanges, and cooperation in oil and gas, agriculture, education, health and tourism, as well as investment opportunities. The President’s visit is part of his 5-day Caribbean region tour. His Excellency will also be visiting the Republic of Guyana, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and Jamaica.


PUBLIC SECTOR REFORM UNIT TO HOST PUBLIC SERVICE WEEK 2019 ACTIVITIES


Promoting Gender and Diversity Responsive Public Services to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals is the theme for Public Service Week 2019, which will be hosted by the Public Sector Reform Unit within the Service Commissions Department during the month of June.  The activities are being held to coincide with the United Nation’s Public Service Day, to be observed on – June 23rd.


The objectives of Week are: to create avenues for the exchange of experiences, ideas, innovations and good practices in the Public Service; to enhance professionalism and motivate Public Servants; to improve the quality of service delivery through the experience of citizens; and to sensitize Public Servants on the importance of streamlining gender and diversity. The activities are scheduled to commence on June 17th and culminate on June 23rd. 


The programme includes a Church Service at the Kingstown Seventh-Day Adventist Church on Monday, June 17th; Inter-Ministerial Internship on Wednesday 19th and Thursday June 20th and a Gender and Diversity Symposium at the Peace Memorial Hall on Friday June 21st.


REGIONAL 


VENEZUELA TO INTRODUCE BANKNOTES WITH LARGER DENOMINATIONS


Venezuela is planning to introduce banknotes with larger denominations to cope with hyperinflation which shows no signs of slowing.  The central bank says the new Bolivar bills of 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 will gradually start to circulate on Thursday as a way to make payments and transactions "more efficient."


The biggest new bill is about the equivalent of US$10, which is more than the monthly minimum wage in a country whose economy has been shrinking drastically for years. Until now, the biggest denomination was the 500-bolivar note.


Debit cards are a common form of payment in Venezuela, where the currency is worth so little that big piles of already scarce cash are needed for even relatively small transactions.


 June 12th 2019 


SVG OFFICIALLY WELCOMES  THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA


The government of St Vincent and the Grenadines has officially welcomed His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana on visit St. Vincent and the Grenadines for a period of two days from June 12 – 13, 2019.


His Excellency President Akufo-Addo and delegation, which include the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Ghana, the Hon. Shirley Ayor-kor Botchwey were greeted by a Guard of Honour and Welcome Parade at the Argyle International Airport.


His Excellency President Akufo-Addo delivered a public lecture at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College to an audience comprising students, business executives, representatives of the Civil Society and the Ghanaian Association in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, under the theme the The historical linkages between Ghana, Africa and the Caribbean, as Ghana celebrates the ‘Year of Return’ to commemorate 400 years since the first slaves left Ghana for the Americas. His Excellency spoke to the strides made in Ghana’s education sector and providing access to educational opportunities to young Ghanians.


A Special Sitting of Parliament is scheduled to take place at the House of Assembly at 2:15 pm. His Excellency will also visit the St. Vincent Botanical Gardens for a tour and tree planting ceremony at 3:20 and at 5pm there will be a joint press briefing between the President and Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves to be followed later by a reception at the official residence of the Prime Minister. On June 13th the President and his delegation will tour the Argyle International Airport before leaving the country.


The Republic of Ghana and St. Vincent and the Grenadines established diplomatic relations on August 1, 2008. Since then, our countries continue to strengthen the relationship to foster greater prospects for trade, people-to-people exchanges, and cooperation in oil and gas, agriculture, education, health and tourism, as well as investment opportunities. Prime Minister Gonsalves made an Official Visit to the Republic of Ghana in November, 2018 as part of the process of cementing deeper cooperation with the African continent. The Ghanaian President’s visit to this country will seek to further deepen existing diplomatic relations. This is of particular significance as the Government of the Republic of Ghana celebrates the “Year of the Return”, four hundred (400) years after the start of the slave trade.


The President’s visit is part of his 5-day Caribbean region tour. His Excellency will also be visiting the Republic of Guyana, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and Jamaica.


POLICE NEWS


Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of Shakiel Ellis, 23 years old Vendor of Belair/ Ottley Hall which occurred on 10.06.19.  According to investigation, Ellis’ body was discovered unresponsive in the vicinity of the public bath at Bottom Town, Kingstown with a gunshot wound approximately 11 p.m. He was later pronounced dead.


Ellis’ death marks the 3rd murder recorded in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for 2019.  The police are soliciting the assistance of the public in divulging any information that can lead the swift investigation and prosecution of this case. Persons with information are asked to contact the Officer I/C Major Crimes Unit at 1-784-456-1810, the ACP I/C Crimes at 1-784-456-1339 or any police station.


PHASE TWO (2) OF EXERCISE TRADEWINDS TO COMMENCE ON JUNE 14TH


After the successful completion of Phase One (1) of Exercise Tradewinds in the Dominican Republic from May 30 – June 8, 2019, St. Vincent and the Grenadines will host Phase Two (2) of the exercise from June 14 – 21, 2019.   The official opening ceremony will take place on Friday June 14, 2019 at the Car Park of the decommissioned E.T Joshua Airport commencing at 10:00 am.


Exercise Tradewinds is a combined, joint exercise conducted in three phases focused on building the capacity of US and Caribbean forces to better respond to natural disasters, as well as land and maritime threats. Participating countries look to improve security-mission and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief responses through an exchange of knowledge and expertise. 


Exercise Tradewinds is approved by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and is sponsored by the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM).


RSVGPF TO HOST CARNIVAL CRIME PREVENTION SHOWCASE


The Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force will host a Carnival Crime Prevention Showcase later this month.  The Crime Prevention Unit says in an effort to enlighten and edify the general public on crime prevention tips for the Carnival Season, it will host a week of activities commencing on Sunday, June 23, 2019 with a church service.


The week of activities will climax on Friday, June 28th, 2019 with its annual Carnival Crime Prevention Exhibition outside the Central Police Station.


The event will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. under the theme; “Securing citizens and visitors through innovative policing!”   As part of the activities, a whistle stop will be held on Tuesday June 25th, 2019 around Kingstown and its suburbs.


WORLD ACCREDITATION DAY TO BE OBSERVED IN SVG ON JUNE 9TH


Several activities were held here to coincide with World Accreditation Day, which was observed on Sunday June 9th.  The National Accreditation Board of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Accreditation Unit in the Ministry of Education joined with the International Accreditation Forum in observing the day under the theme Adding Value to the Supply Chains.


Senior Education Officer at the Accreditation Board, Descima Alexander said the Unit will host a caravan to sensitize Secondary School Students on issues relating to accreditation.


World Accreditation Day is a global initiative, jointly established by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), to raise awareness of the importance of accreditation.


REGIONAL 


CARICOM REPARATIONS COMMISSION EXPANDS THE LIST OF COUNTRIES TO BE TARGETED


CARICOM Reparations Commission has expanded its list of countries to be targeted for reparations.

The Vice-Chair of the CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC), Professor Verene Shepherd announced at a press conference held at the Regional Headquarters of The University of the West Indies (UWI) on June 10 that CARICOM Reparations Commission has expanded the list of countries to be targeted for reparations.

Prof Shepherd also revealed that the CRC was in the process of preparing a new round of letters of demand to be presented to additional countries identified as participants in the trafficking of enslaved Africans to the Caribbean.


The Press conference was called by the Centre for Reparation Research (CRR) at the UWI to share with the Caribbean public, findings from the 2018 expanded Slave Voyages Database created by Prof David Eltis and his team of researchers. This database 2.0 created in 1999 and updated in 2008 and 2018, has revealed 1,000 additional voyages undertaken by slavers from European states that were participants in one form or another in the trade in Africans to CARICOM member states and Cuba and or slavery. Among the less-publicised names are Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, Norway Hanse Towns Brandenburg and the Duchy of Courland (Latvia).


The Slave Voyages Database brings together the work of scholars over four decades and across five continents to track the movements of ships, their countries of origin and the numbers of people who were forcibly taken halfway across the world to the Caribbean.


In a graphic and compelling presentation, CUNY historian Dr Ahmed Reid who is also Chair of the United Nations Working Group of Experts, introduced the latest 2018 findings, highlighting details of over 36,000 voyages between Africa and the Americas, as well as information on 11,400 voyages between the countries of the Caribbean and the Americas. It identifies colonial Kingston, Jamaica as a major trans-shipment port in the 19th century in the trafficking of enslaved Africans mainly to the Spanish Caribbean and reinforces the fact that the trafficking was a global enterprise.


Dr Reid’s presentation also identified the major players and their percentage participation in the trans-Atlantic trade in enslaved Africans; the total  number of Africans that were captured and transported – numbering some 12.5 million and the mortality rate which, he said, was an average of 14%. Included in the expanded database are the names of over 92,000 Africans who were actually trafficked, identifying them by sex but more shockingly by ages that ranged from infants as young as a year old to men as old as 77 being captured, sold and relocated far away from their homeland. As Prof Shepherd reiterated, these names not only represent a digital memorial to the lives of the enslaved but personalizes the crime against humanity.