Yesterday, it was Iraq and Bush and Blair were the liars and aggressors as they made unfounded allegations of possessions of weapons of mass destruction. This time it is the NATO countries the liars and aggressors as they make similarly unfounded allegations of destruction of civilian lives by Gaddafi.
When we in Zimbabwe sought to redress the ills of colonialism and racism, by fully acquiring our natural resources, mainly our land and minerals, we were and still are subjected to unparalleled vilification and pernicious economic sanctions, the false reasons alleged being violations of the rule of law, human rights, and democracy.
My people have condemned these illegal sanctions and recently over two million signatures of protesters have demonstrated their antipathy to them. We thank SADC and the African Union for supporting us and demanding the immediate removal of the illegal sanctions.
We in Africa are also duly concerned about the activities of the International Criminal Court (ICC) which seems to exist only for alleged offenders of the developing world, the majority of them Africans. The leaders of the powerful Western States guilty of international crime, like Bush and Blair, are routinely given the blind eye. Such selective justice has eroded the credibility of the ICC on the African continent.
My country continues to work with others for a revitalised General Assembly. However, our ambitions extend to the need to reform the Security Council as well. Africa’s call for at least two permanent seats for its members on the Security Council has been constant for decades. Africa cannot remain as the only region without permanent membership in the Security Council.
The current global economic crisis and its attendant financial crisis compounds the plight of us, the most vulnerable, the developing countries. The present international economic and financial architecture has to be reformed and made to respond timeously to the real needs of all our peoples. The situation challenges the ability of our developing world to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
As we celebrate the l0th anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Plan of Action (DDPA) against racism, xenophobia and other related social ills, let us all recommit ourselves to fight and defeat these evils.
My country fully supports the right of the gallant people of Palestine to statehood and membership of this U.N. Organisation. The U.N. must become credible by welcoming into its bosom all those whose right to attain sovereign independence and freedom from occupation and colonialism is legitimate. Similarly, the tormented people of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic must not be forgotten. We call for immediate progress in the engagements for a solution to their long-running saga.
The Conference of the Patties (CoPI) later this year is a pivotal occasion from which we should emerge with agreed measures to address matters of climate change and how to mitigate threats to the very existence of small-island states in particular, and to the coastal regions of many heavily-populated nations. Zimbabwe will be fully engaged in those negotiations.
Let me reiterate my country’s full belief in the aspirations enshrined in the Charter of the U.N. We must all resist any abuse to which it may be exposed through the unwelcome behaviour of a few. My country celebrates the UN-Women entity as it addresses the position of more than half of humankind in all our countries.
The African Union must not be undermined, rather, it should be allowed to complement the UN’s efforts for peace and security on the continent. Zimbabwe is a peaceful member of the AU, SADC, COMESA, NAM and many other international economic and trade organisations and thus desires to continue to play its part in creating a peaceful environment in the world. The United Nations can count on the unqualified support of Zimbabwe as required, even if only in our modest way.
May I wish the 66th United Nations General Assembly every success, Mr. President.
I thank you.