Guyana commits to fostering peace, prosperity ahead of UN Security Council election

…lobbies support for non-permanent seat bid

Ahead of the United Nations Security Council’s elections next week, Guyana has been doing final rounds of lobbying to garner support in its bid for a non-permanent seat at the UNSC 2024-2025 term.
On Friday, Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Hugh Todd attended a reception hosted by the Permanent Mission of Guyana to the United Nations in New York in the lead-up to the United Nations Security Council elections, which will be held on Tuesday, June 6, 2023.

Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Hugh Todd speaking at the reception held ahead of Guyana’s UNSC bid

There are five non-permanent seats up for election, covering various regions across the world. Guyana is the lone candidate seeking election for the one Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC) seat, which is currently held by Brazil. The country has already received the backing of the GRULAC members for its candidacy.
In delivering the keynote address at the reception, Minister Todd outlined Guyana’s vision and priorities for membership on the Council. He also expressed Guyana’s commitment, if elected to the Security Council, to continue upholding the rule of law and the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

The Foreign Ministers of Guyana and Algeria meeting in New York ahead of the UNSC elections

Todd further noted that Guyana has always played an active role in United Nations and, as a Small State, is ready to contribute to the work of the Security Council in partnership with all Member States for peace and prosperity.
Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister, Oneidge Walrond; Guyana’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett; other UN Permanent Representatives; Ambassadors, and other representatives in New York were also at Friday’s reception.

Challenges faced
Meanwhile, earlier on Friday, Minister Todd met with Algeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and National Community Abroad, Ahmed Attaf, in New York.
Algeria is also seeking election for one of two seats for the African Group at the UNSC.
The two Foreign Ministers expressed that they look forward, if elected, to working together on the Security Council.
Todd noted that, as developing countries with a common understanding of the challenges faced, the two countries can make a valuable and purposeful contribution to the Council and the United Nations as a whole.
On the other hand, Minister Attaf said, if elected to the Council, this will be another opportunity for Guyana and Algeria to work together, noting that the two countries have a shared history in the Non-Aligned Movement and Group of 77 and China. He acknowledged that currently in the world, there is a complicated international order, including political and economic orders that have been severely shaken by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
The Algerian Minister also stated that membership to the Council would allow for the promotion of issues of development and international cooperation as well as contributions to peace and security.
Back in April, Minister Todd formally presented Guyana’s candidature for the UNSC seat to the Permanent Representatives of the GRULAC nations at the UN Headquarters in New York. During his presentation, the Guyanese Minister underscored the fact that the Latin American and Caribbean family have made significant contributions to international peace and security, including through the establishment of the region as a Zone of Peace.
Additionally, he noted that countries from the Region, big and small, that have served and are currently serving on the Council, have proven that the Region punches above its weight in this regard.
The Minister identified several priority areas that would engage Guyana’s attention as a non-permanent member of the Security Council including climate change, food insecurity and conflict; children in armed conflict; youth, peace and security; women, peace and security and; peacebuilding and conflict prevention.
Thanking the members of GRULAC that offered to share their experiences on the Council, the Minister stated that Guyana’s term will not be a national flag waving moment but a continuity of GRULAC’s contribution to peace and security. He emphasised the primacy of the United Nations Charter and the importance of multilateralism in safeguarding the independence and security of States, especially for Small States like Guyana.
Guyana, which has previously served at the UNSC for the 1975-1976 and 1982-1983 terms, has received the confirmed support of all 32 members of GRULAC.

UNSC Briefing Series
Last month, Ambassador Rodrigues-Birkett participated in the 2023 UNSC Briefing Series for non-contested candidates, where she presented Guyana’s vision and priorities for its term on the Council.
The Ambassador stated that Guyana’s service on the Council will be guided by a people-centred approach and will be informed by a firm commitment to multilateralism, collective action and to the noble principles and objectives of the United Nations Charter. She pledged that Guyana will work collaboratively with all Council members and the wider UN membership in addressing the issues on the Council’s agenda. She further outlined five areas that will be given special focus during Guyana’s tenure: (i) climate change, food insecurity and conflict; (ii) peacebuilding and conflict prevention; (iii) women, peace and security; (iv) protection of children in armed conflict; and (v) youth, peace and security.
According to a recent UN Security Council report, the five new members elected at next week’s election will serve from January 1, 2024 until December 31, 2025.
The report recognised that “As a member of GRULAC, Guyana could play an important role in Council discussions on Haiti and Colombia.”
The Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. It takes the lead in determining the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression. The Council also calls upon the parties to a dispute to settle it by peaceful means and recommends methods of adjustment or terms of settlement. In some cases, the Security Council can resort to imposing sanctions or even authorise the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security. (G8)