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Former PM explains Saint Lucia's abstention on Russian-Ukraine vote
Published on April 10, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

CASTRIES, St Lucia -- Former prime minister of Saint Lucia and foreign policy advisor to the current government, Dr Vaughn Lewis, said that, while Saint Lucia's decision to abstain in a vote on the Russia/Ukraine issue may have drawn responses based on excitement, there are greater considerations that weigh heavily on a country's position in such matters.

Dr Vaughn Lewis
Lewis said on Tuesday that the world has changed, interests have changed and so each country has a responsibility to project and protect its own interest.

The foreign policy advisor explained that all governments must consider whether there is a national interest in going in to one camp or another, on the basis of ideological sentiment.

"There is almost a negative connotation to abstention but abstention is not a dishonorable activity. It simply says that the interests of those who are in contention do not operate on me so intensely that I am forced to make a decision.

“There are two aspects of international relations. There are beliefs and there are the realities of interaction that has to do with the assistance we want from institutions and countries. Government has to decide whether it is worth the effort sometimes, going into such convoluted and involved discussions to find our way between two parties, when the essence of their discussion does not have an immediate or even long term impact on us.

“We also have to make a judgment as to whether abstention on a particular issue will affect our future relations with those involved. When matters like these arise, consideration is given to our relationship with our allies and the impact of their decisions over time," said Lewis.

Contrary to the popular view that the positions of small countries do not make a difference in the wider world, Lewis said the increasing diversity of the world places equal emphasis on the vote of small states.

Melanius Alphonse is the Lucian People’s Movement (LPM) spokesman on youth initiative, infrastructure, economic and business development
In response, Lucian People’s Movement (LPM) spokesman, Melanius Alphonse, said that Saint Lucia’s foreign policy is not understood and has yet to be defined after 34 years as a sovereign nation; as well as how it compares to the new world referred to by Lewis; and its inability to advance Saint Lucia’s position to take advantage of such global, social and economic trends.

According to Alphonse, the government should be presenting a new proposition to Saint Lucia’s problematic foreign policy.

“A new foreign policy model that hedges economic development with the capacity of a growth metric that can give credibility to many new challenges as they arise,” he said.
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Peter Binose:

Same crap different ALBA member. The pretence that the way Lucia abstained from voting was anything other than a political action, is a sad untruth.

Saint Lucia abstained from voting because they were told, ordered to by ALBA, and that was agreed also by all the Non-aligned movement who voted in the same way.

To vote in any way that supported Russia will also be seen by the Americans as an anti American vote.

To vote in the UN motion against Russia, you must vote against the motion, or abstain, or be absent during the vote, all those actions had the same affect, it supported Russia.

Lucia has been bribed by the Russians, just like Vincent and all the other ALBA ragamuffin leaders have been bribed by Russia.

Not one ALBA member voted against Russia, the ALBA whip insisted on that.

See this, it applies to Saint Lucia.


ALBA Members
Antigua & Barbuda [abstain motion]
Bolivia [against motion]
Cuba [against motion]
Dominica [abstain motion]
Ecuador [abstain motion]
Nicaragua [against motion]
Saint Lucia [abstain motion]
Saint Vincent & the Grenadines [abstain motion]
Venezuela [against motion]

ALBA Observer Status Associates
Iran [absent from Assembly]
Syria [against motion]
Haiti [approve motion]

ALBA Special Guest Member/s
Suriname [abstain motion]

Friends of ALBA
Armenia [against motion]
Argentina [abstain motion]
Belarus [against motion]
Grenada [absent from Assembly]
North Korea [against motion]
Russia [against motion]
Saint Kitts and Nevis [abstain motion]
Sudan [against motion]
Uruguay [abstain motion]
Uzbekistan [abstain motion]
Zimbabwe [against motion]


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The Caribbean Writer 2014

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