Samuel Berridge, Senior Foreign Service Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. SKNIS Photo.

The United Nations (UN) is an effective tool that allows St. Kitts and Nevis to fulfil its international obligations to advance peace, justice, security and development, said Samuel Berridge, Senior Foreign Service Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Wednesday’s edition of the radio and television programme Working for You. 

Mr. Berridge appeared on Wednesday’s programme to commemorate United Nations Day, observed annually on Oct. 24, noting that the organization provides a forum for of its 193 Member States and members to express views through various forums, such as the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, and other bodies.

Topics include peace and security, climate change, sustainable development, human rights, disarmament, terrorism, humanitarian and health emergencies, gender equality, governance, food production and more, he added.

“On the face of it, it is important for our dignity and sovereignty,” Berridge said. “In the United Nations, every single member has one vote, so we are equal in that regard. As powerful as the United States is … it only has one vote. Japan has only one vote. They may have geopolitical power in the grander scheme of things, but when it comes to dignity and the universality of the United Nations, it is one country, one vote.”

Whenever UN meetings are held, he said, secondary engagements, popularly known as fringe meetings, also take place, where diplomats, heads of state and other country representatives engage in bilateral discussions and consult on critical matters of importance.

“Our involvement in the United Nations relates to advancing the cause of development so anything to do with development, we are interested in it,” Berridge said, adding that matters related to sustainable development are of particular interest. “We have to always be on guard and always look out for opportunities for engagement in order to leverage development for our country.”

Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris addressed the UN General Assembly on Sept. 27, and issued a call for an increase in international assistance for small and developing nations struggling to cope with climate change and developmental challenges.

The United Nations was founded in 1945 and is headquartered in New York. The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis joined the United Nations on Sept. 23, 1983 as its 158th member.