[Source: The Searchlight Newspaper – searchlight.vc] “AS CARIBBEAN-Africa relations deepen, St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) can now boast of being part of a grouping at the United Nations called the “A-Three Plus One”.
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves during a recent press briefing told reporters that the “A Three Plus One” group emerged at the Security Council.
The A refers to Africa and the three means the Africa three (three countries from Africa that are always on the Security Council, currently South Africa, Tunisia, and Niger).
“The Africa three plus one, the plus one is St Vincent and the Grenadines because as you know, our Caribbean region is seen as the sixth region of the African Union,” Gonsalves said while adding that the five regions of Africa are North, South, East, West and Central.
He said that some countries are asking where this is going and his answer is, “in a progressive direction.”
The Prime Minister noted that the CARICOM African Union Summit will take place in Nairobi, Kenya later this year, and from there, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda.
“Before that, there is also going to be a South South Summit chaired by Guyana, which will take place in Kampala, Uganda. I am very pleased to see us advancing this link in a structured way between Africa and the Caribbean,” Gonsalves said.
He said that in Kenya, during the CARICOM African Union Summit, the suggestion he made for an Africa, Brazil, Caribbean Diaspora Commission (ABCD Commission) will be part of the agenda.
He added that a relationship with a continent, which is awash with resources and 1.3 billion people and which has a large Diaspora in Brazil, can be good for small countries like SVG.
“We have to shape, help to shape our own destiny. The world is changing. Once upon a time you had a bipolar world, between Western capitalism and the Soviet socialism,that no longer exists.
“You had a for one short period of time, a sort of triumphalism by the US, and Western Europe, then we see the rise of China. We see now the rise of India…” Dr. Gonsalves said.
Gonsalves said also that the President of India is interested in visiting the Caribbean and one of the three or four countries which is being suggested for him to visit is SVG, so he is looking at how this will pan out.
“Some countries can try to lock themselves off, because they’re strong and powerful and they want to make themselves great again and that they alone can make themselves great alone because they have all of these resources.
“Well some people not so fortunate. Some nations not so fortunate and you need to have a vision and leaders must see further and clearer than those who are following them but of course you mustn’t go so far ahead that you lose them. You have to keep in touch with them and bring them along,” Gonsalves commented.
He added that unfortunately, in SVG there is still a significant number of persons, who for purely political reasons, are trying to lead people in a backward way.
“But I’m sorry. I’m not going there with them. I’m offering a progressive agenda…this is where we going. Doesn’t mean that you’re forsaking anybody. We are friends of all, we are striving for a better world, but you can’t ignore large parts of the world. Cannot ignore it,” Gonsalves said.”