General Debate
    His Excellency
    Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi
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    Statement summary

    MOKGWEETSI ERIC KEABETSWE MASISI, President of Botswana, called for a more equitable global vaccination roll-out programme, which could help win the race against new variants, and joined the call for “the vaccines to be treated as a global public good”, as they are “key to recovery and rebuilding better”.  Detailing his country’s progress in vaccinating the population, he emphasized that the prevailing vaccine inequity is a “reflection of the inherent weakness of our multilateral system” and called for strengthening international cooperation, coordination and solidarity.  One way of doing so is through sharing and transfer of knowledge and waivers on intellectual property rights on vaccine production, he said, indicating that the Botswana Vaccine Institute was open for relevant cooperation.

    Pointing to the severe economic impact of the pandemic, he noted that his country struggled with the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and initiated its Reset Agenda to better recover from the pandemic through vaccination, reforming public services, digitalization and value-chain development, as well as change of mindset.

    Recalling the devastating impacts of climate change, he said that as a climate-vulnerable country, Botswana would strengthen its early warning and disaster preparedness system mechanisms through regional collaboration.  Against that backdrop, he called for an “aggressive dialogue” on climate change and noted that the global community should utilize the opportunity presented by the forthcoming climate change conference, outlining Botswana’s goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    On human rights, he said that in the context of the pandemic, the time has come to escalate efforts towards making human rights a reality for all the world’s people.  To this end, he stated that his country had deposited an instrument of ratification to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities — “a demonstration of Botswana’s commitment towards the realization of the 2030 Agenda and its principle of leaving no one behind”.  As a co-chair of the group of Friends of the Responsibility to Protect, Botswana will continue to ensure that Member States pay attention to their primary responsibility to protect their own populations from genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity.  Turning to the peace and security agenda, he announced that his Government signed a memorandum of understanding in 2021 with the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism to enhance Botswana’s ability to better detect and deter terrorist activities.

    Turning to revitalizing the work of the principal organs of the United Nations, he called for enhancing the role and authority of the General Assembly and for moving forward with “a long‑outstanding reform of the Security Council”.  “Let us rise above our differences so that we do not leave this unfinished business as a burden for the future generation,” he concluded.




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    Portrait of His Excellency Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi (President), Botswana
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