CLEOPAS SIPHO DLAMINI, Prime Minister of Eswatini, said his country experienced unimaginable setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic and had to rethink its development strategy in order that no one was behind. Stressing that an efficient plan to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic rested on national populations being vaccinated, he expressed concern about low access to vaccines by many countries. As a beneficiary of the COVAX Facility, he thanked the United Nations and donors, particularly the United States, for their work on the implementation of this initiative. “We bank on the successful implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area,” he said, underlining that this arrangement will strengthen capacity of the African countries to produce more vaccines. He also noted that Eswatini was aiming to achieve herd immunity by the end of 2021.
The pandemic prompted his Government to re-think resilience and make it a cornerstone of all mitigation, adaptation and recovery strategies, he continued. Moreover, the crisis highlighted the global interconnectedness and clarified the meaning and practicality of “living in a global village”. Ahead of the climate change conference in Glasgow, he reaffirmed his country’s resolve to support development of effective climate change responses, while fast‑tracking the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals on a national platform.
Turning to education, he said the closure of schools and institutions of higher learning during the pandemic had a devastating impact in the developing countries, which lacked access to digital learning resources. Highlighting economic challenges experienced by his country during the pandemic, he thanked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for approving special drawing rights to boost global liquidity. His country launched a reconstruction fund to rebuild infrastructure and economy, following its civil unrest. Turning to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, he cited his country’s progress in the fight against HIV and AIDS, as well as in the introduction of a monitoring system to the national development framework.
Underscoring his Governments repeated call for Africa’s voice to be heard at the Security Council, he declared that the United Nations’ work will be revitalized when all members and regions are efficiently and effectively represented. Detailing how the Tinkhundla system of governance works, he underscored that he supported democracy as an idea, but not as an ideal “because things that are ideal to you may not be ideal to other people”, he pointed out.
“Our country is committed to consultations with the people at the People’s Parliament, Sibaya,” he went on to say, spotlighting the democratic and participatory nature of this process. As a nation, Eswatini was committed to the preservation of cultural norms and traditions, promotion of peace and stability, and dialogue. Moreover, Eswatini offers every Liswati an opportunity to voice his or her opinion in a free and fair environment. He also urged the United Nations to consider the meaningful participation of “Taiwan”, highlighting that country’s continued support in providing medical assistance to Eswatini’s health sector during the pandemic.
Read the full statement, in PDF format.
Access the statements from previous sessions.