The United Nations (UN) Special Committee on Decolonization, Caribbean Regional Seminar, came to a close on Thursday, 18th May at the National Insurance Services (NIS) conference room.
To this end, Prime Minister, Dr. The Hon. Ralph E. Gonsalves, and his wife, Mrs. Eloise Gonsalves, hosted a cocktail on the same evening, in their honour, at his official residence at Old Montrose.
Acting Chair of the UN Special Committee on Decolonization, Caribbean Regional Seminar, Mr. Stanislav Alexsaev, stated that the delegates were very grateful to Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Gonsalves, for his insightful remarks at the opening ceremony of their seminar which, indeed, set the tone for the conversation. Mr. Alexsaev thanked the Government for the dedication and professionalism that helped them a lot to move forward. Also, he thanked the people of this country for being a tremendous host to them.
The Chair of the UN Special Committee on Decolonization and Permanent Representative of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United Nations, Ambassador His Excellency, Rafael Darío Ramírez Carreño, described the UN Special Committee on Decolonization, Caribbean Regional Seminar, as a “complete success”. Ambassador Carreño was regrettably absent due to an urgent matter he had to attend to in New York. Thus, Minister Counsellor, Permanent Mission of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the UN, Mr. Douglas Arcia Vivas, presented an address on his behalf.
Ambassador Carreño attributed the success of the UN Special Committee on Decolonization, Caribbean Regional Seminar, to the fulfillment of its main goals of promoting dynamic debates about the prospects for the future of decolonization in the Non-Self-Governing Territories, along with the question of Puerto Rico.
In his address, Prime Minister Gonsalves said that he and his wife were very happy to host the delegates of the UN Special Sitting on Decolonization at his official residence. The Prime Minister used the opportunity to voice his concerns about the situation in Venezuela, and stressed the need for continuous dialogue: "We have to always have dialogue and we must have conversations. In the case of Venezuela, we must do so. In the case of countries which are still subject to colonial rule, whether in its pure form or in some modified form of dependency. At the end of the day we have to talk because we have to all live together in this very small, interconnected world,” Dr. Gonsalves stated.
The Prime Minister also appealed to the delegates to promote investment in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. “I want to ask all of you who are from your respective countries to encourage investors in your countries to invest in my country. I want you to help us”.
Dr. Gonsalves also spoke of upcoming travel plans, “I am hoping to see my dear friend Michelle Bachelet [President of Chile], in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines sometime in August, and at the end of June, I am hoping to go and visit my friend in the Seychelles, a small island developing country. We have to build these links, and help one another in developing our countries”.
After three days of deliberation, delegates were treated to a cultural package inclusive of steel pan music by Mr. Rodney Small; songs from local Soca Artiste, Mr. Hance John; and a costume display from the Metrocint General Insurance High Voltage carnival mas band with their presentation entitled: ‘This is politics’.
The theme for the 2017 UN Special Committee on Decolonization, Caribbean Regional Seminar, was “Implementation of the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism: the future for decolonization in the Non-Self-Governing Territories: what are the prospects?”