Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe laments im­pact of sanc­tions on Zim-As­set

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Chronicle - From Mabasa Sasa at the United Na­tions

ZIM­BABWE has laid the foun­da­tion to meet the United Na­tions’ Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals through its own na­tional eco­nomic blue­print, Zim-As­set, but im­ple­men­ta­tion is be­ing ham­pered by the evil and il­le­gal West­ern sanc­tions regime, Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe has said.

Con­tribut­ing to the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly grand de­bate here yes­ter­day, Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe said Zim-As­set con­tained ob­jec­tives in tan­dem with the SDGs, which are also re­ferred to as Agenda 2030.

Zim-As­set came into force in 2013, two years be­fore the global com­mu­nity agreed to adopt the SDGs.

How­ever, the con­tin­ued im­po­si­tion of il­le­gal eco­nomic sanc­tions on Zim­babwe by the United States and its al­lies were mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to roll out the pro­gramme as en­vis­aged, Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe noted.

While the Euro­pean Union has re­laxed as­pects of its em­bargo, the US has not budged on its sanc­tions law, the Zim­babwe Democ­racy and Eco­nomic Re­cov­ery Act, which was im­posed in re­sponse to Harare’s de­ci­sion to re­dis­tribute land held by 6 000 white farm­ers to 300 000 pre­vi­ously dis­ad­van­taged black fam­i­lies.

Zidera bars all in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions in which the US has rep­re­sen­ta­tion or share­hold­ing from co­op­er­at­ing with Zim­babwe, con­trary to claims that the sanc­tions are “tar­geted” at a few po­lit­i­cal elite.

Yes­ter­day, Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe again threw down the gaunt­let at the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, high­light­ing the in­jus­tice of the sanc­tions and de­mand­ing an end to the il­le­gal regime.

He told the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly, “Our task of do­mes­ti­cat­ing Agenda 2030 has been made rel­a­tively less chal­leng­ing in that the vi­sion and as­pi­ra­tions of our na­tional eco­nomic blue­print and the global agenda are ba­si­cally the same. Our big­gest im­ped­i­ment to the achieve­ment of the 2030 Agenda is the bur­den of the puni­tive and heinous sanc­tions im­posed against us by some among us here.

“My coun­try, Zim­babwe, is the in­no­cent vic­tim of spite­ful sanc­tions im­posed by the United States and other pow­ers and these coun­tries have for some rea­son main­tained these sanc­tions for some 16 years now.

“As a coun­try, we are be­ing col­lec­tively pun­ished for ex­er­cis­ing the one pri­mor­dial prin­ci­ple en­shrined in the United Na­tions Char­ter, that of sov­er­eign in­de­pen­dence. We are be­ing pun­ished for do­ing what all other na­tions have done, that is, pos­sess­ing and own­ing their nat­u­ral re­sources, and lis­ten­ing to and re­spond­ing to the ba­sic needs of our peo­ple.

“Those who have im­posed these sanc­tions would rather have us pan­der to their in­ter­ests at the ex­pense of the ba­sic needs of the ma­jor­ity of our peo­ple. As long as these eco­nomic and fi­nan­cial sanc­tions re­main in place, Zim­babwe ca­pac­ity to fully and ef­fec­tively im­ple­ment Agenda 2030 is deeply cur­tailed.

“I re­peat my call to Britain and the United States and their al­lies to re­move the il­le­gal and un­jus­ti­fied sanc­tions against my coun­try and its peo­ple. We must all be bound by our com­mit­ments to Agenda 2030, un­der which we all agreed to es­chew sanc­tions in favour of di­a­logue.”

While thank­ing out­go­ing UN Sec­re­tary­Gen­eral Mr Ban Ki-moon for his work over the past 10 years, Zim­babwe’s Head of State and Gov­ern­ment also chal­lenged the comity of na­tions to up­hold in­ter­na­tional agree­ments per­tain­ing to a two-state so­lu­tion that would end Is­raeli oc­cu­pa­tion of Pales­tinian ter­ri­tory; and for the right to self-de­ter­mi­na­tion of the peo­ple of West­ern Sa­hara to be recog­nised.

West­ern Sa­hara is Africa’s last colony – iron­i­cally un­der the oc­cu­pa­tion of a fel­low African coun­try, Morocco. Morocco pulled out of the African Union (then the OAU) in 1984 af­ter the con­ti­nent con­demned its coloni­sa­tion of West­ern Sa­hara and the bloc recog­nised the North African na­tion as a state.

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe, as he has done be­fore, ex­horted the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to push through re­forms of the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil.

He said, “For over 20 years, many of us have come to this ros­trum, plead­ing and de­mand­ing for re­forms of the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil. To­day we are no closer to achiev­ing that goal than we were 20 years ago. This is so in spite of the uni­ver­sal ac­knowl­edge­ment of the in­jus­tice, un­fair­ness and in­ap­pro­pri­ate­ness of the cur­rent com­po­si­tion of the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil.

“We now have an op­por­tu­nity, in the on­go­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions, in the in­ter­gov­ern­men­tal ne­go­ti­a­tions, to re­dress this un­jus­ti­fi­able and un­just sit­u­a­tion in the in­ter­ests of a strong and more united or­gan­i­sa­tion ca­pa­ble of de­liv­er­ing on its man­dates.”

The five per­ma­nent mem­bers of the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil with veto power – as shaped by the im­me­di­ate post-World War II bal­ance of power – are Britain, China, France, Rus­sia and the US.

The ma­jor­ity of the Gen­eral Assem­bly, which is the most rep­re­sen­ta­tive or­gan of the UN, are in agree­ment that geo-po­lit­i­cal re­al­i­ties have changed since 1945 and there is a need for a cor­re­spond­ing change in the make-up of the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil.

The core African Union po­si­tion, as es­poused in the Ezul­wini Con­sen­sus and Sirte Dec­la­ra­tion, is for the con­ti­nent to have two per­ma­nent rep­re­sen­ta­tives on the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil and that they should have veto power if it is agreed that such an in­stru­ment should be re­tained at all.

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe

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