Geographic and Governmental Profile of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Background
Resistance by native Caribs prevented colonization on Saint Vincent until 1719. Disputed between France and the United Kingdom for most of the 18th century, the island was ceded to the latter in 1783. Between 1960 and 1962, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was a separate administrative unit of the Federation of the West Indies. Autonomy was granted in 1969 and independence in 1979.
Location
Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago
Geographic coordinates
13 15 N, 61 12 W
Continent / Subcontinent
Central America and the Caribbean
Area
total:
389 sq km (Saint Vincent 344 sq km)
rank:
203
land:
389 sq km
water:
0 sq km
Area - comparative
twice the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries
0 km
Coastline
84 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm
contiguous zone:
24 nm
exclusive economic zone:
200 nm
continental shelf:
200 nm
Climate
tropical; little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season (May to November)
Terrain
volcanic, mountainous
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point:
La Soufriere 1,234 m
Natural resources
hydropower, cropland
Land use
arable land:
17.95%
permanent crops:
17.95%
other:
64.1% (2005)
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Irrigated land
10 sq km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
0.01
per capita:
83 cu m/yr (1995)
Natural hazards
hurricanes; Soufriere volcano on the island of Saint Vincent is a constant threat
Environment - current issues
pollution of coastal waters and shorelines from discharges by pleasure yachts and other effluents; in some areas, pollution is severe enough to make swimming prohibitive
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
the administration of the islands of the Grenadines group is divided between Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is comprised of 32 islands and cays
Country name
conventional long form:
none
conventional short form:
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Government type
parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
Capital
name:
Kingstown
geographic coordinates:
13 08 N, 61 13 W
time difference:
UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
6 parishes; Charlotte, Grenadines, Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint Patrick
Independence
27 October 1979 (from the UK)
Constitution
27 October 1979
Legal system
English common law
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Sir Fredrick Nathaniel BALLANTYNE (since 2 September 2002)
head of government:
Prime Minister Ralph E. GONSALVES (since 29 March 2001)
cabinet:
Cabinet appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
elections:
the monarchy is hereditary; the governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party usually appointed prime minister by the governor general; deputy prime minister appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister
Legislative branch
unicameral House of Assembly (21 seats, 15 elected representatives and 6 appointed senators; representatives elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections:
last held on 13 December 2010 (next to be held in 2015)
election results:
percent of vote by party - ULP 51.6%, NDP 47.8%; seats by party - ULP 8, NDP 7
Judicial branch
Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (consisting of a High Court and Court of Appeals; based on Saint Lucia; two judges of the Supreme Court reside in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines)
Political parties and leaders
New Democratic Party or NDP [Arnhim EUSTACE]; Unity Labor Party or ULP [Ralph GONSALVES] (formed by the coalition of Saint Vincent Labor Party or SVLP and the Movement for National Unity or MNU)
Political pressure groups and leaders
NA
International organization participation
ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (subscriber), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OECS, OPANAL, OPCW, Petrocaribe, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador La Celia A. PRINCE
chancery:
3216 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
telephone:
[1] (202) 364-6730
FAX:
[1] (202) 364-6736
consulate(s) general:
New York
Diplomatic representation from the US
the US does not have an embassy in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; the US Ambassador to Barbados is accredited to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Flag description
three vertical bands of blue (hoist side), gold (double width), and green; the gold band bears three green diamonds arranged in a V pattern, which stands for Vincent; the diamonds recall the islands as the "Gems of the Antilles"; blue conveys the colors of a tropical sky and crystal waters, yellow signifies the golden Grenadine sands, and green represents lush vegetation
National anthem
name:
"St. Vincent! Land So Beautiful!"
lyrics/music:
Phyllis Joyce MCCLEAN PUNNETT/Joel Bertram MIGUEL
adopted 1967
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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