Take lead­ing role to re­form UN, NAM told

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Mabasa Sasa in Mar­garita Is­land, Venezuela

THE Non-Aligned Move­ment should take a lead­ing role in ad­vo­cat­ing re­form of the United Na­tions, democrati­sa­tion of the in­ter­na­tional eco­nomic and fi­nan­cial sys­tem, and an end to uni­lat­eral and harm­ful ac­tions by strong coun­tries against de­vel­op­ing na­tions, For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter Sim­barashe Mum­bengegwi has said.

Min­is­ter Mum­bengegwi was speak­ing at the min­is­te­rial meet­ing of NAM here on Thurs­day ahead of Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe’s ad­dress to the Heads of State and Gov­ern­ment Sum­mit to­day (Satur­day).

After Iran’s For­eign Min­is­ter Mo­hammed Javed Zarif handed over lead­er­ship of the NAM min­is­te­rial coun­cil to his Venezue­lan coun­ter­part Mr Delcy Eloina Ro­driguez Gomez, Min­is­ter Mum­bengegwi ral­lied the world’s sec­ond-largest in­ter-na­tion group to be at the fore­front of global change.

“The Non-Aligned Move­ment should be at the cen­tre of pro­mot­ing mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism and the re­form of mul­ti­lat­eral in­sti­tu­tions to en­sure that they cater for the in­ter­ests of all mem­ber states, not just a few pow­er­ful states.

“The re­form of the United Na­tions, which is the apex of the mul­ti­lat­eral sys­tem, is cen­tral to the ob­jec­tive of strength­en­ing mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism. The com­po­si­tion of the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil must be brought in line with cur­rent geopo­lit­i­cal re­al­i­ties.

“The coun­cil needs to be more rep­re­sen­ta­tive, demo­cratic, ac­count­able, ac­ces­si­ble and trans­par­ent to en­hance the le­git­i­macy of its de­ci­sions.

“… The Gen­eral As­sem­bly, as the most univer­sal body of the United Na­tions, should con­tinue its re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion process to en­sure that it as­serts its role as the chief de­lib­er­a­tive, pol­i­cy­mak­ing and rep­re­sen­ta­tive or­gan of the United Na­tions.”

The African Union po­si­tion on Se­cu­rity Coun­cil re­form, as cap­tured in the Ezul­wini Con­sen­sus and Sirte Dec­la­ra­tion, is that Africa should have at least two per­ma­nent seats on the or­gan, and an ad­di­tional five non-per­ma­nent seats.

The AU also holds that as long as veto power ex­ists in the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, then Africa should have rep­re­sen­ta­tives wield­ing that same power on the or­gan.

The Se­cu­rity Coun­cil has the same five per­ma­nent mem­bers it had at es­tab­lish­ment in 1945: Bri­tain, China, France, Rus­sia and the United States, who all have veto power. The other 10 seats on the coun­cil are ro­ta­tional and have no power to veto de­ci­sions.

Min­is­ter Mum­bengegwi told his fel­low min­is­ters on Thurs­day, “We also re­it­er­ate our calls for the re­form of the in­ter­na­tional eco­nomic and fi­nan­cial ar­chi­tec­ture to democra­tise the de­ci­sion-mak­ing process of the Bret­ton Wood in­sti­tu­tions and other struc­tures of global eco­nomic gov­er­nance in or­der to give de­vel­op­ing coun­tries a mean­ing­ful voice.”

Zim­babwe’s for­eign min­is­ter also said the no­ble ideals of Sendai Frame­work for Disas­ter Risk Man­age­ment, the Ad­dis Ababa Ac­tion Agenda, the Paris Agree­ment on Cli­mate Change and the UN Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals — while pro­vid­ing “hope and op­por­tu­ni­ties for a pro­gres­sive world or­der” — would be un­done by ra­pa­cious uni­lat­er­al­ism.

“… We con­tinue to wit­ness ef­forts by some pow­er­ful ( UN) mem­ber states to pur­sue puni­tive agen­das through the im­po­si­tion of uni­lat­eral sanc­tions and other mea­sures on some weaker mem­bers, in­clud­ing my own coun­try Zim­babwe.

“We call for the re­moval of these il­le­gal sanc­tions in or­der for us to achieve the pro­gres­sive agenda of ‘Leav­ing No One Be­hind’,” he said.

The United States, Euro­pean Union and other Western coun­tries im­posed il­le­gal sanc­tions on Zim­babwe at the turn of the mil­len­nium after Harare em­barked on the rev­o­lu­tion­ary land re­form pro­gramme that has seen trans­fer of farms pre­vi­ously held by just 6 000 white farm­ers to over 300 000 black fam­i­lies.

NAM — like sev­eral other pro­gres­sive in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions such as Sadc, Comesa, the AU and Pan-African Par­lia­ment among oth­ers — has in the past con­demned the il­le­gal sanc­tions on Zim­babwe and called for their un­con­di­tional re­moval.

In pledg­ing Zim­babwe’ con­tin­ued com­mit­ment to NAM’s prin­ci­ples and ob­jec­tives, and to the UN Char­ter, Min­is­ter Mum­bengegwi also ex­pressed out­rage at the con­tin­ued oc­cu­pa­tion and per­se­cu­tion of Pales­tine by Is­rael; while also call­ing on NAM to un­am­bigu­ously stand by the peo­ple of the Sa­harawi Arab Demo­cratic Repub­lic (Western Sa­hara) in their quest for in­de­pen­dence from Morocco.

Min­is­ter Mum­bengwi said, “The vi­o­la­tion of the United Na­tions Char­ter prin­ci­ples has spawned con­flicts and con­se­quent ma­jor hu­man­i­tar­ian crises. In­ter­fer­ence, use of force at the slight­est ex­cuse and mil­i­tary in­ter­ven­tions for the pur­pose of achiev­ing regime change have cre­ated in­sta­bil­ity in a num­ber of our mem­ber states.

“In the af­ter­math of these in­ter­ven­tions, pre­vi­ously sta­ble coun­tries have been thrown into tur­moil and to­tal chaos, the au­thor­ity and struc­tures of gov­ern­ment have been un­der­mined, economies and in­fra­struc­ture have been de­stroyed, while liveli­hoods have been dis­rupted…

“Of greater con­cern is that the vac­uum cre­ated by the over­throw of le­git­i­mate gov­ern­ments has pro­vided fer­tile ground for ter­ror­ism and other rad­i­cal idea.

“It is, there­fore, im­por­tant for (NAM) to play its role in en­sur­ing that such man-made dis­as­ters are avoided through strict ad­her­ence to the (UN) Char­ter’ univer­sal prin­ci­ples.”

Apart from Zim­babwe, the 17th NAM Sum­mit host — Venezuela — and im­me­di­ate past NAM chair Iran have been di­rect tar­gets of the uni­lat­eral in­ter­ven­tions Min­is­ter Mum­bengegwi was re­fer­ring to.

The min­is­ter said the threat of a nu­clear holo­caust loomed large over mankind, and said NAM should “con­tinue to play (a) pos­i­tive role in the ne­go­ti­a­tions to at­tain a legally bind­ing and ver­i­fi­able in­ter­na­tional treaty for­bid­ding the pro­duc­tion, us­age and stor­age of nu­clear weapons”.

“Such an agree­ment should, how­ever, re­spect the sov­er­eign right of states to de­velop nu­clear en­ergy for peace­ful pur­poses,” he added.

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