Give Africa a voice, President tells UNGA

By ZBC Reporter

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has called for the reform of the United Nations Security Council to ensure Africa has representation and contributes to decision making.

In his address at the high-level general debate of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Thursday night, the President said Zimbabwe was committed to building a better world, but nations needed to respect each other’s sovereignty and equality.

“It is deeply regrettable that the reform of the Security Council and the implementation of Africa’s position has not been achieved. We cannot continue with a situation where over 16 per cent of the world’s population does not have a voice in decision making. This is a serious indictment to our avowed commitment to multilateralism and the basic principles of natural justice, fairness and equity.

“Let me conclude by reaffirming Zimbabwe’s commitment to work for a better world. There is no better way of achieving a peaceful and stable world than through mutual respect, genuine multilateralism buttressed by the much-needed reforms and respect for international law.”

The President called for the unconditional removal of illegal sanctions that were unilaterally imposed on the country by the United States and some Western nations in the European Union (EU).

He said the illegal economic sanctions imposed on the country must be removed as they were stifling the country’s economic growth.

“Recently, the UN Secretary-General; the High Commissioner for Human Rights; and the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, all acknowledged the deleterious effects of the illegal economic sanctions on our country. These are a breach of international law and compromise Zimbabwe’scapacity to implement and achieve Sustainable Development especially SDGs 2, 3, 8, 9 and 17. We, therefore, call on the General Assembly to strongly pronounce itself against these unilateral illegal sanctions,” He said.

The President said although the UN continues to make a gratifying qualitative difference in the lives of many people, the sad part for this year’s 75th jubilee is that it has been marred by the Covid-19 pandemic that forced the annual conference to be held virtually.

The theme of the 75th session is “The Future We Want; the UN We Need: Reaffirming our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism”

“Today humanity is at crossroads as we are confronted by complex challenges that do not respect any borders. Multilateralism is under increasing threat from the blind pursuit of narrow interests. We must therefore strengthen international amity and goodwill as well as uphold mutual respect and observe the sovereign equality of States,” President Mnangagwa said.

The President told the assembly that Zimbabwe is now on a new path towards achieving sustainable development but like all nations, the country has not been spared by the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the devastating effects of unjustified illegal sanctions imposed by some Western nations.

“Zimbabwe is on a new path. Like other nations in the region, we are facing humanitarian challenges which in our case have been worsened by illegal sanctions, the negative impact of climate change, and compounded by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

Despite the challenges that the country is facing the President said his administration continues to record notable achievements towards sustainable development that would ensure no one is left behind.

“Our macroeconomic stabilisation reforms have seen the reduction of the budget deficit to a single digit, as well as a positive balance of our current account, coupled with foreign exchange rate and price stability.

“Major infrastructure projects are ongoing, such as the rehabilitation and construction of health services facilities, water and sanitation infrastructure as well as roads, dams and bridges across the country. Investments in mining, agriculture, tourism, energy and manufacturing are on the increase,” said the President.