UN General Assembly President looking to a better future for SVG
A HIGH level official of the United Nations General Assembly is looking towards a better future for St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) as the Government and people rebuild after the devastation caused by the Soufriere Volcano eruptions in April.
This upbeat outlook was shared by Volkan Bozkir, the current President United Nations (UN) General Assembly who paid a four day visit to the country (July 24-27) “to see this place and to share my regrets and my sorrow on what happened to this beautiful country and wonderful people here.”
He said the devastation caused by the eruptions was “more than I thought” and commended the government for its management of the evacuation exercise, a release from the Agency for Public Information (API) states.
“It’s also good to see that the government is handling the situation with whatever capacity they have,” adding “I am very glad to see that nobody died and it’s also a success of the government to organise smooth evacuation so that nobody has died – lives are more important than anything else, everything can be recovered but… lives cannot.”
The UN official was taken as far north-east as Sandy Bay with a stop made at the Rabacca Dry River as he obtained a first hand view of the damage done by the eruptions.
“It’s a fight against nature and I am sure that in a very short while all these blocked bridges and mud flowing rivers will come back to life and people evacuated will come back to their homes,” the UN President said.
He expressed thanks to Deputy Prime Minister Montgomery Daniel who led the tour of the volcano red zone noting that, “He’s one of the experts and who has dedicated himself to the welfare of this region.”
Bozkir also thanked the UN’s regional co-ordinator who he said, “immediately organised the United Nations and the world international community to come to the help of this wonderful country and beautiful people and I am sure that this will continue.”
While in the red hazard zone, the UN President took several photographs which, along with messages, he said will be taken “back to New York, to the United Nations, [to]share it with the world family.”
Also included on his itinerary was a visit to Canouan and the Tobago Cays which he observed are “the most beautiful place in the world… I spent a very good time, also had contacts with local people. We even caught a barracuda,” he commented.
Bozkir said that “this country deserves the tourists it saw two years ago. You have a wonderful airport. I think it’s a success story. It’s the biggest investment in this country. I have visited the airport, went through it. It is capable of, in good times, to handle all the tourists coming.”
Describing the port infrastructure as very good, he said that “tourists need sunshine, resorts, friendly people and friendly country – you have all of it.”
While in SVG, the UN General Assembly President and his delegation met with Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and other members of Cabinet and also visited the Logistics Hub which has been set up on the tarmac of the former E.T. Joshua Airport.