Zim­babwe cho­sen to lead UN eco­nomic, so­cial coun­cil

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Mabasa Sasa in New York

WHILE a mot­ley band of anti-Zim­babwe pro­tes­tors seek rel­e­vance on the side­lines of the on­go­ing United Nations Gen­eral Assem­bly here, the coun­try is be­ing recog­nised by the global or­gan­i­sa­tion for its con­tri­bu­tions to the ad­vance­ment of hu­man­ity.

Start­ing at this 71st Ses­sion of the Gen­eral Assem­bly, Zim­babwe - rep­re­sented by its Am­bas­sador to the UN, Mr Fred­er­ick Shava, is the new Pres­i­dent of the UN Eco­nomic and So­cial Coun­cil (Ecosoc).

Am­bas­sador Shava will steer the ac­tiv­i­ties of the 54-na­tion group that is fo­cused on so­cio-eco­nomic is­sues, tak­ing over from Am­bas­sador Oh Joon of South Korea.

Ahead of the 71st Gen­eral Assem­bly meet­ing, Am­bas­sador Shava em­pha­sised the im­por­tance of in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment in im­prov­ing liveli­hoods.

“The Africa Agenda 2063 calls on African coun­tries to trans­form, grow and in­dus­tri­alise their economies, and mod­ernise agri­cul­ture and agro-busi­ness through val­uead­di­tion and pro­duc­tiv­ity in­crease,” the UN News Cen­tre quoted him as say­ing.

Am­bas­sador Shava said he would or­gan­ise “one or two spe­cial meet­ings” of Ecosoc to come up with vi­able in­fra­struc­ture fi­nanc­ing pro­pos­als.

He also spoke of the cen­tral­ity of “the nexus be­tween de­vel­op­ment, hu­man rights, peace and se­cu­rity”, adding that dur­ing his ten­ure he would “ex­plore op­tions for en­hanc­ing the part­ner­ship be­tween Ecosoc and rel­e­vant UN bod­ies such as the Peace-build­ing Com­mis­sion on the in­ter-link­ages be­tween de­vel­op­ment, peace and se­cu­rity”.

“There are many wor­ry­ing trends in the world to­day. Al­most on a daily ba­sis, we are con­fronted with dis­turb­ing re­ports of in­sta­bil­ity and armed con­flict, global hu­man­i­tar­ian and hu­man rights crises, ter­ror­ism and vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism, in­equal­ity and grow­ing eco­nomic, so­cial, and en­vi­ron­men­tal ten­sions,” Am­bas­sador Shava said.

“Con­se­quently, sur­mount­ing these ills, through the (Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals), in all so­ci­eties, should be our ral­ly­ing call. And this should be the cen­tral en­deav­our in all coun­tries, in this Coun­cil, and in all mul­ti­lat­eral in­sti­tu­tions.

“In all the tes­ti­monies I hear in this Coun­cil, there is com­plete agree­ment that the world to­day has bet­ter ca­pac­ity to meet these de­vel­op­ment as­pi­ra­tions than at any other time in hu­man his­tory.”

Mean­while, the Gen­eral Assem­bly last week adopted the work pro­gramme and agenda for its 71st ses­sion. The pro­gramme con­tains 173 items that will be cov­ered in the gen­eral de­bate run­ning from Septem­ber 20 to 24.

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe is in New York for the de­bate, and he is ac­com­pa­nied by First Lady, Dr Grace Mu­gabe, For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter Sim­barashe Mum­bengegwi and Tourism and Hospi­tal­ity In­dus­try Min­is­ter Dr Wal­ter Mzembi.

Among mat­ters up for de­bate are the pro­mo­tion of jus­tice and in­ter­na­tional law, dis­ar­ma­ment within the con­text of im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vices (IEDs) and nu­clear weapons-re­lated is­sues among oth­ers.

Am­bas­sador Peter Thom­son of Fiji has been elected to serve as Pres­i­dent of the 71st Ses­sion of the Gen­eral Assem­bly, tak­ing over from Mr Mo­gens Lykketoft from Den­mark.

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