ED slams West for preaching human rights and democracy

President Emmerson Mnangagwa dancing into his second term


President Mnangagwa has condemned the double standards of some powerful nations that preach peace, human rights, good governance and democracy during the day but clandestinely sponsor conflicts and unconstitutional changes of Government under the cover of darkness for selfish interests.

In his address to the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, United States yesterday, President Mnangagwa told the world how Zimbabwe peacefully held its elections and produced an outcome that reflects the will of the people.

The general debate is being held under the theme, “Rebuilding Trust and Reigniting Global Solidarity: Accelerating Action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards Peace, Prosperity, Progress, and Sustainability for all”.

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“Zimbabwe continues to entrench democracy, constitutionalism, good governance, and the rule of law, following the recently held 2023 Harmonised General Elections.

“I am pleased to highlight that our country enjoyed peace, before, during and after our free, fair, transparent and credible elections,” the President said.

During the recently held harmonised elections, President Mnangagwa and his party Zanu PF won by a landslide. However, some Western countries produced adverse post-election reports as the results did not go in favour of their preferred candidates.

In his remarks at UNGA, the President slammed such conduct from some powerful states as that is a threat to multilateralism and the Charter of the United Nations.

“We strongly condemn tendencies by some powerful countries who preach peace, human rights and democracy and yet clandestinely fund conflicts and the unconstitutional changes of governments, for their own narrow interests.

“We, further, condemn the use of unilateral and illegal sanctions as a foreign policy tool at the disposal of some powerful nations, such as those sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe and countries like Cuba. Such actions hamper the trust, global solidarity and multilateralism we desire. It is important that we channel our collective efforts towards building peace and driving forward our development agenda, for shared prosperity. There is much more that unites us, than that which divides us.”

The country has been under crippling economic sanctions that were imposed by the Western world as chastisement for the land reform programme that redressed colonial land imbalances.

“Zimbabwe has been under the illegal, unilateral economic sanctions for 23 years, imposed by some Western countries. These sanctions were designed to subjugate the sovereign will of the Zimbabwean people. We, therefore, demand that the unjustified unilateral sanctions be unconditionally lifted, including those imposed on countries like Cuba. We remain grateful for the support and solidarity of progressive countries in the comity of nations,” President Mnangagwa said.

For the inclusive development of the world, he said, it is imperative to recommit to the “United Nations Charter, multilateralism, solidarity, justice and the peaceful settlement of disputes for sustainable development and a shared future”.

“This calls on us all to respect the sovereign equality of nations, big or small, poor or rich. By working together, we can harness our expertise and learn from one another to strengthen international institutions for the accelerated attainment of Agenda 2030. The impact of conflicts, terrorism, climate change-induced natural disasters, biodiversity loss, and the rising prevalence of disease and pandemics, especially in the developing world, deserve our urgent attention.

“Regrettably, progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals has been uneven, while global solidarity has been tested and self-interest superseded co-operation. We have a duty to reignite our commitment to the principles of the 2030 Agenda and rekindle the spirit of multilateralism.”

Sanctions aside, the President told the global interactive Indaba that Zimbabwe has made huge strides in the economic empowerment and emancipation of its citizens, achieving sustained economic growth, the highest in the region, and also food security both at household and national levels.

“In spite of these debilitating sanctions, the people of Zimbabwe have become masters of their own destiny. This is anchored on a philosophy that as a people, we have the duty and responsibility of developing our country, using our own domestic resources. Partners and investors are welcome, guided by our own vision and national priority areas.

“We are recording unprecedented development and economic success milestones. For the last three years, our country has been the fastest-growing economy in our Southern African region.

“Further, Zimbabwe is prioritising the eradication of poverty and improving the quality of life of our people, particularly, those in rural areas. The empowerment and capacitation of communal and small-scale farmers have seen us realise food and nutrition security at both household and national level. With effect from this year, our country will become a net exporter of wheat,” he added.

To accelerate action on the SDGs, President Mnangagwa said the world must scale up investments in people and communities by ensuring access to quality education, healthcare, clean water and sanitation for all.

He said the creation of economic opportunities, decent jobs and entrepreneurship, especially among women and the youth, must remain a priority for the world to achieve Agenda 2030.

For sustainable development to take place, the President added that there is a need to reform global financial institutions to unlock funding for developing countries.

“The current exclusionary architecture, dominated by a few States, is failing to deliver the requisite resources for countries to finance their developmental priorities and other pressing health and environmental challenges. The shortcomings in the last round of SDR allocations, should be addressed.

“Zimbabwe supports the Stimulus Package proposed by the United Nations Secretary-General. We further call for the long-term concessional loans, increased access to unused Special Drawing Rights, as well as the use of modalities such as debt cancellation and restructuring as stimulus for developing countries to grow their economies and build greater resilience.”

He also reiterated his call for the establishment of a fair and inclusive global security architecture saying the maintenance of peace and security should never be the preserve of a privileged few.


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