United Nations Vote Let Down


By Michael Headley
The November 29th abstention, by the Barbados delegation, on the vote for the non-voter member status of Palestine in the United Nations General Assembly, reeks of the perceived inertia, by some,  of the country's current leadership decision making.  Coincidently, the abstention was on the eve of Barbados' 46th year of Independence.
 
Ambassador Mr. Joseph Goddard
According to Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, to abstain is to refrain deliberately and often with an effort of self-denial.   What plausible reason could Barbados have for denying itself a chance to help a displaced people get a better seat at the international table?    Only recently, Minister Louis Farrakhan was in Barbados and he intimated that Barbados should be leading the Caribbean.  My question is, how can we lead when we don't have the guts, to vote, to give another nation some rights?  Whereas Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname all voted in the affirmative.  With such indecision, on Barbados' part we may be leading  the Caribbean from behind.  Although the nine countries that voted against the resolution, will eventually come down on the wrong side of history, they should be respected for exercising their right to vote. 
 
Recently, some have been vocally calling for Rihanna's recall, as Ambassador, because in their minds, her behaviour is too risque to warrant an Ambassadorship.  Albeit she is trying tirelessly to perfect her art.  However, there is  a deafening silence, for the recall of the U N delegation that cannot make a decision.  The opposition party has also been silent as though they have given tacit approval to the abstention?   It is appaling that the UN Ambassador, Joseph Goddard did not give an explanation and apparently he is not required to. 
 
My only hope is that Barbados' inaction was not influenced by any outside pressure, or any other promise of a reward, if they tow the line. The non-vote could result in hampering advancement for any  Barbados delegate who needs the other voting country's assistance to aspire to higher office at the United Nations     
 
As a tourist destination we might be walking a tight rope as we try to be 'friends of all and satellites of none', but if our Independence means anything to us, and if we are going to set an example for the youth, we should not miss out on letting our voice be heard on such an historic and meaningful vote. 

Michael Headley is a commentator on social and political matters  
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