The Permanent Mission of Saint Lucia represents the Government of Saint Lucia at the United Nations.
The Mission is the principal channel of communication, cooperation and collaboration between the Saint Lucia Government and the United Nations (UN) in New York, USA. In this regard, the Mission assists other Saint Lucia Government Ministries and Departments to facilitate their interaction with U.N. programmes, activities and conferences to maximize Saint Lucia’s participation and input including hosting and supporting official delegations from Saint Lucia for conferences and special events such as the opening of the General Assembly each September.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Cosmos Richardson as Saint Lucia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, is the official spokesperson for the Government of Saint Lucia, and heads the nation’s Delegation which is supported by a staff of professional Foreign Service Officers, and Assistants. Saint Lucia’s diplomats represent Saint Lucia in the General Assembly, on the many specialized UN Commissions, Committees and at Conferences.
The U.N. Mission is a critical component in the nation’s engagement with the international community, and is especially important in this era of shifting global trends. The U.N. Mission is on the front line of multilateral diplomacy in the most inclusive of international institutions. The role of the U.N. Mission is unique in character, and performs both a highly complex multilateral function whilst also serving as an important venue for bilateral contacts on business, diplomacy and technical co-operation. (Above paragraph quoted from 2012 Review of the External Relations Policy of Saint Lucia)
The Mission engages with representatives of the other 192 member states of the United Nations, as well as observer missions, non-governmental organizations, and U.N. Secretariat in furtherance of Saint Lucia’s multilateral interests. The Mission also collaborates with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Caucus of Ambassadors, the Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC), the Group of 77 and China, the Non Aligned Movement (NAM), the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), the Forum of Small States (FOSS) and other relevant bodies.
The Mission also works closely with the respective United Nations programs and specialised agencies such as the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and others to facilitate assistance, cooperation, training and other U.N. support to Saint Lucia and the broader Caribbean.
Working in collaboration with our CARICOM colleagues, specific issues have been identified for priority focus including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Climate Change and the environment, Reform of the United Nations Development System, Financing for Development(FFD), Security Challenges of Small States, control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), Oceans Governance and Management, Reform of the Security Council, Disaster Risk Reduction and Building Resilience to Climate Change among others.
By negotiating the resolutions and international treaties that guide state behavior we participate and contribute to the international development agenda, promote peaceful relations between states while ensuring that Saint Lucia’s positions are reflected.
OVERVIEW OF THE UNITED NATIONS
The United Nations officially came into being on October 24th, 1945.
The UN replaced the League of Nations, which had been created by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.
The actions of the UN are guided by its Charter, which defines the United Nations purposes as follows:
- to maintain international peace and security;
- to develop friendly relations among nations and
- to achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian nature, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights.
The actions of the UN are based on the following principles:
- all members are equal;
- all members must fulfill their Charter obligations;
- international disputes are to be settled by peaceful means;
- members may not use force or the threat of force against other members;
- members must help the UN in any action it might take in accordance with the Charter;
- the UN may not interfere in the domestic affairs of any state.
Currently there are 193 Member States. Although UN Member States do not legislate in the manner of a national parliament through their actions and their votes, they help set international policy.
The UN has six main organs established by the Charter, namely:
- The General Assembly
- The Security Council
- The Economic & Social Council
- The Trusteeship Council
- The International Court of Justice
- The Secretariat
They all act in concert with dozens of related specialized agencies, funds and programmes in order to develop increasingly coordinated but diversified actions in the spheres of peace and security, humanitarian assistance, human rights and economic and social development.
The United Nations System of Organizations are made up of the UN Secretariat, the UN Programmes & Funds and the Specialized Agencies.
The Programmes, Funds and Agencies have their own governing bodies and budgets and set their own standards and guidelines. Together, they provide technical assistance and other forms of practical help in virtually all areas of economic and social endeavor.
There is currently a major reform process underway within the UN including the United Nations Development System which is aimed at enhancing efficiency, eliminating duplication and making the UN and its affiliate bodies more “fit for purpose”.