Sanctions hampering Zim’s efforts to implement SDGs – President

By Janet Munyaka
President Emmerson Mnangagwa says Zimbabwe’s efforts to implement the sustainable development goals agenda and the country’s capacity to shield the economy from the impact of COVID-19 are being undermined by the illegal sanctions imposed on the country.

The COVID-19 pandemic is proving that it is far more than a health crisis because of the way it is affecting societies and econ¬omies right to the core.

While the impact of the pandemic varies from country to country, evidence on the ground is already showing that middle income and poor countries are already suffering, making achievement of SDGs even more urgent.

World leaders this Tuesday participated in a high-level meeting of heads of state and government as part of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly, with President Emmerson Mnangagwa speaking on how the pandemic and illegal sanctions have derailed Zimbabwe’s efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“Efforts towards practical and real time solutions to the sustainable debt burden that constitutes risk to long lasting recovery for most developing countries must be vigorously pursued. The efforts must enable debtor countries to channel more resources towards developmental programs for Zimbabwe.

“The illegal economic sanctions are undermining the implementation of the SDG agenda and constraining our ability to shield the economy from the negative impact of the novel coronavirus. Sanctions severely undermine our efforts to access capital from the inter markets hence Zimbabwe appeals to the UN General Assembly to unequivocally call for the removal of these sanctions. Finally Zimbabwe stands ready to work with the international community to strengthen multilaterism for the realisation of our shared goal of creating a better world for all.”

In the wake of other challenges that include drought, President Mnangagwa has rallied Zimbabweans and the world to build a recovery path anchored on resilient, adaptable and financially inclusive economies.
“The decade of action must remain alive and on course even in the face of this novel coronavirus which has become a global health catastrophe. The pandemic has brought with it severe human costs exerting pressure on budgets and non-monitory resources. It has also resulted in trade investment and supply chain disruptions.

“Unemployment is soaring, debt and poverty are mounting. It is imperative therefore that we build a recovery path anchored on resilient adaptable and financially inclusive economies over and above proposals relating to financing. Zimbabwe supports the recommendation on socio protection investment in ICT, building resilient inclusive health systems and mechanisms to absorb the shocks of COVID-19,” the President said.

The co-conveners of the session, Prime Ministers of Canada and Jamaica as well as United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Gutteres also participated in the virtual session.

Outcomes of the meeting will feed into and mobilise action at high-level meetings such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund annual conferences and the G20 Leaders’ Summit slated for October and November this year.