St. Vincent and Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. The country became the smallest nation elected to UN Security Council on Friday.

St. Vincent and Grenadines made history on Friday, becoming the smallest nation to be elected to the United Nations Security Council.

Speaking to the press outside the General Assembly Hall, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said the election of his country was a “historic occasion”.

Gonsalves added that the country of 110,000 people is committed to the principle of sustainable development and, as a Small Island Developing State in danger of inundation by rising seas, is very concerned about the consequences of adverse climate change. He said they plan on working closely with other members of the Security Council.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines were elected by the UN General Assembly along with Estonia, Niger, Tunisia, Vietnam.

The five states will take up their seats as non-permanent members of the Security Council in January 2020, replacing Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Kuwait, Peru and Poland.

Every year, five countries are elected to the 15-member Council for a two-year term, according to a geographical rotation set by the Assembly in 1963, to ensure fair regional representation.

Whilst Niger, Tunisia and Vietnam were elected unopposed, two of the five seats were contested: El Salvador competed with Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to represent the Latin American and Caribbean group; and Romania lost out to Estonia in the East European group.

Following a 2014 General Assembly resolution, elections to the non-permanent Security Council seats were moved from October to June, to give incoming countries more time to prepare for their terms, before assuming their responsibilities.