EMMERSON DAMBUDZO MNANGAGWA, President of Zimbabwe, said that his country has made substantial progress in the implementation of some of the Sustainable Development Goals. In a bid to improve nutrition and broaden income opportunities, Zimbabwe has extended support to the livestock, fisheries and wildlife sectors. “We are confident that these multi-pronged programmes will accelerate Zimbabwe’s re-entry into the global economy,” he added. Recalling the many developmental and economic challenges caused by the continued illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, he called for their immediate removal.
Peace, security, stability, democracy and good governance are essential ingredients for sustainable development, he said, noting Zimbabwe’s recent general elections. Election campaigning, voting and counting processes were conducted freely, peacefully and transparently. International observers and global media were also invited to observe the elections. “The exceptionally peaceful pre- and post-electoral environment represented the maturing and entrenchment of democracy in Zimbabwe,” he said. Expressing gratitude to the United Nations for sending Election Observer Missions and for providing technical assistance, he said the recommendations received will be considered.
The isolated incident of the post-election violence which occurred on 1 August is regrettable and unacceptable, he said. The Commission of Inquiry, comprising of eminent persons of national, regional and international repute, has now begun its work. Their report will help bring closure to the matter and will assist in the improvement of Zimbabwe’s institutional governance. Now that elections are over, Zimbabwe is focusing on economic development. “The Land Reform Programme is behind us and is irreversible,” he added.
It is time to look forward to Agenda 2063 and focus on increasing investments, decent jobs and empowerment and realizing a society free from poverty and corruption, he said. “Zimbabwe is open for business,” he emphasized, outlining steps taken to modernize the country’s roads, airports and other infrastructure. He also urged the need to address the root causes of conflict, which include poverty, inequality and disputes over land and resources.
The United Nations, like all global organizations, must be democratic, he said, calling for the review and reform of the Bretton Woods institutions and other international financial organizations. Trade remains an engine for growth if it is conducted fairly. He further called for negotiations under the World Trade Organization (WTO) which foster inclusive and shared economic growth. He also urged the international community not to turn a blind eye to the suffering of the Palestinian people. It is disheartening that the people of the Western Sahara have yet to exercise their inalienable rights to self-determination. The Security Council in cooperation with the African Union must find a just solution to the issue of Western Sahara.