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CARICOM envoys support Ambassador Gonsalves

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – The chair of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ambassadors at the United Nations, Delano Bart, QC, has written to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other members of the diplomatic corps expressing the group’s “deep concern” about the arrest of Vincentian ambassador, Camillo Gonsalves last week.

Bart, the St. Kitts and Nevis ambassador to the United Nations, in a letter last Thursday, said that a New York City Police Department officer last Wednesday “rudely questioned” Gonsalves, who had disembarked his official vehicle — bearing diplomatic license plates — and walked through a barricade to access his office, as he had done for the past five years.

“On his way to the elevator, he was shouted at and confronted by a police officer who rudely questioned his action and then grabbed him by the neck and shoulder, displaying undue physical harassment against the ambassador,” Bart wrote in the letter that was also copied to Susan Rice, ambassador of the United States to the United Nations.

The letter further said, “The police officer’s provocative and uncivilised treatment of Ambassador Gonsalves reflects blatant contempt for the human dignity of the Ambassador, and abandoned basic principles of civilised behaviour.”

The development, the letter further stated, “constitutes a very serious and flagrant violation of obligations under the United Nations Headquarters Agreement and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations”.

Bart said that the United States, as host country of the U.N. Headquarters, “must ensure that such cases are thoroughly investigated and remedied, in accordance with the applicable international law.

“We call for immediate action to address these violations since such adherence could have prevented the physical and psychological distress which Ambassador Gonsalves suffered without any justification,” Bart said in the letter copied to Cyrus U.N Ambassador Minas A. Hadjimichael, chair of the U.N. Committee on Relations with the Host Country.

Bart said that the observance of privileges and immunities is of great importance to the normal functioning of the diplomatic community.

“We are therefore bringing this most unfortunate incident experience by Ambassador Gonsalves to the attention of the Host Country, with the expectation that the matter will be fully addressed to improve the conditions and to promote the required and expected compliance with international norms relating to diplomatic privileges and immunities,” the letter further said.

The letter was also copied to Commissioner Marjorie B. Tiven, New York City commissioner for the United Nations Consular Corps and Protocol and Desmond Parker, chief of protocol, U.N. Headquarters.

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Discussion

3 thoughts on “CARICOM envoys support Ambassador Gonsalves

  1. What is the norm of operation at the UN office relative to security? Is it that all police must automatically know who is ambassador and who is not, without identification. So that, if the police see a man dressed in a 3-piece suit, and coming out of a diplomatict car, breaking through a barricade erected for security, and refuse to stop when directed
    (whether rudely or nice), the police should just suck his teeth and say to him/herself… “well that must be an Ambassador” and go back to his/her post and way happen, happen? Is that how it should work at the UN offices for security?

    If not, then someone needs to explain to us what is the protocol for the police to follow if the police see an unidentified person breaking through a security baricade and refuse to stop when ordered to so do. Because this whole thing makes no sense if the police was supposed to do nothing at all under such circumstances. If the police are not suppose to act offensively, then why do they have security at the Embassy offices at all? Why don’t let poeple come and go as they please? I am confused.

    Posted by wehha | April 5, 2012, 13:04
  2. if the police thought the israelis were in danger,it would have been “shoot to kill”,people who compare this to Trayvon martin are wrong,in that there’s also a class aspect,in this case the “victim” is a lot wealthier than the “perpetrator” and probably expected the perpetrator to kneel as the king of the UN entered.How was the police office to know it was a diplomat from St.Vincent,does camillo’s car carry they “Own De Government”,”Own De Campaign” sticker expected of all diplomats under this administration?

    Posted by Jahu | April 5, 2012, 20:25
  3. Another comment. I mean I have no problem for: “CARICOM envoys support Ambassador Gonsalves. If is is just moral support then that is fine. We are all Caribbean people. But, this explanation given in the article is calling for blind support. That is unfair. Take for example the following:

    “…. Bart, the St. Kitts and Nevis ambassador to the United Nations, in a letter last Thursday, said that a New York City Police Department officer last Wednesday “rudely questioned” Gonsalves, who had disembarked his official vehicle — bearing diplomatic license plates — and walked through a barricade to access his office, as he had done for the past five years”.

    My questions to Bart are these:
    – Is there some kind of rule which says that Ambassadors must not respond or cooperate with law officer if they are rudely question? if there is, show us where it is written.

    – Is it the rule that anyone who disembarks a vehicle – bearing a diplomatic license plate is indeed an Ambassador? and the police should not interfere with such a person at all? …..If this is so, this must be good news for the terrorist.

    – Is it the custom that ambassadors can walk through a barricade?… That the police must understand that anyone who walk through a police barricade is indeed an ambassador and should do nothing? Because anyone who does this was doing this for 5 years?

    This explanation by Bart is shear bullsh*t. It makes no sense. No disrespect intended, but it is, what it is.

    Bart.. are you trying to insult our intelligence? Are you saying that because we are Caribbean people we must all rally around anything Caribbean people do even though it arrogant nonsense?

    If this is how Caribbean Ambassador are expected to operate, then I am calling for the recall of the” whole ah dem”. Because, it is clear that these ambassadors lack good leadership, humility and are irresponsible. If this is the expected behaviour of Caribbean Ambassador, then we are wasting our tax money on some arrogant bastards.

    Posted by wehha | April 6, 2012, 14:40

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