Statement by His Excellency President Robert Gabriel Mugabe to the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, September 24, 2010:
Your Excellency, President of the 65th Session of the General Assembly, Mr Joseph Deiss,
Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government,
Your Excellency, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr Ban Ki-Moon,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Comrades and Friends.
Allow me to once again extend to you our warmest congratulations on your election as President of the 65t h Session of the General Assembly. I would, at the same time, like to assure you of Zimbabwe's support and co-operation during your Presidency.
We are meeting today to reaffirm our commitment to the United Nations and, in particular, to its comprehensive agenda for the promotion of peace and security, sustainable development and human rights.
We are, however, concerned that the world today continues to witness unbridled acts of aggression, wars, conflicts, terrorism and rising levels of poverty. We are also alarmed that powerful states, which daily preach peace and good governance continue to trample with impunity upon the sovereignty of poor and weak nations.
Zimbabwe yearns for a community of nations that recognises and respects the sovereign equality of all nations, big and small, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. We all have positive roles to play in promoting peace and development for the benefit of present and future generations.
As members of the United Nations, we have recognised the pressing need to reform our Organisation to make it better able to carry out its various mandates.
Zimbabwe stands ready to work closely with you, as well as with other Member States, to ensure that the reform process is speeded up and carried out on the basis of consensus and democratic participation. Most immediately, we must find ways and means to re-establish and assert the pre-eminent role of the United Nations in advancing peace and security, development and the achievement of internationally agreed goals, particularly the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Why are the developed Western Countries, especially those permanent members with the veto, resisting the democratisation of the United Nations organs, especially the Security Council? Aren't they the ones who talk glibly about democracy in regard to our developing countries. Or are they sanctimonious hypocrites whose actions contradict their sermons to us?
As we all know, the General Assembly is the most representative organ of the United Nations. Its position as the chief deliberative policy-making organ of the United Nations should therefore be respected. We need to move with haste and find common ground on how to revitalise the Assembly to enable it to fulfil its mandate as the most important organ of our organisation. Most importantly, this process of revitalisation must redress the continued encroachment by the Security Council on issues that fall within the General Assembly's purview and competence.
Our position on the reform of the Security Council is well- known. It is completely unacceptable that Africa remains the only continent without permanent representation in the Council. That historical injustice must be corrected.
We therefore urge Member States, including those that have vested interests in maintaining the status quo, to give due and fair consideration to Africa's legitimate demand for two permanent seats, with full powers of veto, plus two additional non-permanent seats. Africa's plea for justice cannot continue to be ignored. We all have an obligation to make the Council more representative, more democratic and more accountable.
Zimbabwe continues to advocate greater equality in international economic relations and decision-making structures. We therefore recognise the centrality of the United Nations in setting the global development agenda and believe that it is only a more coherent United Nations system which can better support the realisation of all the internationally agreed development goals.
The developing world, particularly Africa, continues to suffer from the effects of the global economic and financial crises. It is important to understand that the critical issues that we face today cannot be addressed effectively when so many countries and regions are left out of the key decision-making processes of institutions of global governance. We need to participate in the making of policies and decisions that affect our very livelihoods. It is for this reason that we have called, and continue to call, for the reform of multilateral financial institutions, including the Bretton Woods Institutions.
It is clear that climate change is now one of the most pressing global issues of our time. Copenhagen failed to produce a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, an outcome that many of us had hoped for. Yet that conference was significant in its own way. It demonstrated the futility of attempts by the rich and powerful to impose their views and policies on the poor and weak. What we need, Mr President, is not an imposition of solutions based on self-interest, but a consensus on the reduction of harmful emissions and a climate change regime that balances adaptation and mitigation backed by the transfer of technology and resources.
We need to pay special attention to the three pillars of sustainable development, namely, economic growth, social development and environmental protection. In doing so, we should implement the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. It is our hope that when our negotiators meet in Cancun, Mexico, this December, they will produce an outcome that addresses the needs of those most affected by the effects of climate change.
Global food security continues to be a matter of great concern, particularly in the light of increased droughts and flooding. We reiterate our call for an urgent and substantial increase in investment in agriculture in developing countries. Global efforts to address the food crisis, the impact of climate change, and the drive to achieve the MDGs must go hand in hand.
It is disappointing that the Doha development round has stalled despite nine years of negotiations, mainly due to the intransigence of some countries. The Doha round of trade must not be allowed to die but must instead remain focused on development as it was originally envisaged. We also call on the developed world to show commitment towards global food security by increasing trade and access to their markets. Developing countries need to break away from the unending cycle of humanitarian assistance, and this can be achieved if they have increased access to developed country markets.
Zimbabwe strongly condemns the use of unilateral economic sanctions and other coercive measures in international relations. Such measures are completely at cross-purposes with the principles of international co-operation as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. I say this because my country continues to be a victim of illegal sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States of America without any reference to the United Nations with the evil intention of causing regime change.
These illegal sanctions have caused untold suffering among Zimbabweans, who alone should be the deciders of regime change.
Our Inclusive Government is united against these illegal sanctions and has made repeated appeals without success for their immediate and unconditional removal. The rest of the international community including SADC, COMESA and the African Union, has similarly called for the removal of the sanctions, but these calls have gone unheeded.
We urge those who imposed these iniquitous sanctions to heed the call by the international community to unconditionally remove them. The people of Zimbabwe should, like every other sovereign state, be left to freely chart their own destiny.
Every year, this august body adopts a resolution on ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States on Cuba. To this date, that resolution has gone unheeded by the US and the result has been the continued suffering of the people of Cuba. Zimbabwe joins the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and other well-meaning countries which call for the immediate lifting of this ruinous embargo.
Zimbabwe has expressed its concerns on the continued stalemate in the Middle East peace process. It is unacceptable that decades on, peace continues to elude that part of the world. We call upon all parties involved, particularly Israel, to respect the relevant resolutions passed by the United Nations.
It is our sincere hope that current negotiations underway will be inclusive and eventually lead to the cherished goal of a sovereign state of Palestine, thus ending decades of suffering for the Palestinian people.
Since its inception in February 2009, our Inclusive Government has fostered an environment of peace and stability. Several reforms have been implemented and Government has created and instituted constitutional bodies agreed to in the Global Political Agreement (GPA). The Constitutional outreach programme is currently underway and upon its conclusion, a new Draft Constitution will be formulated as precursor to a Referendum next year, hopefully to be followed by an Election.
Achievements in the economic area include the revitalisation of capacity utilisation in industries, the containment of inflation, improvement of service delivery in health and education, as well as the rehabilitation of basic infrastructure such as roads, water and sanitation facilities.
The three parties to our GPA have worked hard to implement most of the issues that they agreed on. To maintain the momentum, we need the support of the region and that of the international community. In this regard, we commend SADC, the African Union, the NAM and indeed like-minded members of the international community for giving us their support.
We believe that constructive engagement, and not isolation and punishment, will bring the necessary impetus to the efforts of our Inclusive Government. Our great country is indeed marching forward in peace and unity.
I thank you!