The UN is a critical tool for advancing peace and development, says St. Kitts-Nevis senior foreign service official

Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 25, 2019 (SKNIS): The United Nations (UN) is an effective tool that allows St. Kitts and Nevis to fulfil its international obligations to advance peace, justice, security and development.

The value of the international organization to St. Kitts and Nevis was highlighted by Samuel Berridge, Senior Foreign Service Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Wednesday’s (October 23, 2019) edition of the radio and television programme Working for You.

Mr. Berridge appeared on Wednesday’s programme to commemorate United Nations Day, which is observed annually on October 24. He noted that the organization has 193 Member States and provides a forum for members to express views through various forums, such as the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, and other bodies. Topics at these meetings include peace and security, climate change, sustainable development, human rights, disarmament, terrorism, humanitarian and health emergencies, gender equality, governance, food production, and more.

“On the face of it, it is important for our dignity and sovereignty,” Mr. Berridge said. “In the United Nations, every single member has one vote so we are equal in that regard. As powerful as the United States is … it only has one vote. Japan has only one vote. They may have geopolitical power in the grander scheme of things, but when it comes to dignity and the universality of the United Nations, it is one country, one vote.”

Whenever UN meetings are held, secondary engagements, popularly known as fringe meetings, also take place. At these side meetings, diplomats, heads of state and other country representatives engage in bilateral discussions and consult on critical matters of importance.

“Our involvement in the United Nations relates to advancing the cause of development so anything to do with development, we are interested in it,” Mr. Berridge stated, adding that matters related to sustainable development are of particular interest. “We have to always be on guard and always look out for opportunities for engagement in order to leverage development for our country.”

On September 27, 2019, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris addressed the UN General Assembly and issued a clarion call for an increase in international assistance for small and developing nations struggling to cope with climate change and developmental challenges.

The United Nations was founded in 1945 and is headquartered in New York, USA. The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis joined the United Nations on September 23, 1983 as its 158th member.

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