Sanctions are a breach of international law: President Mnangagwa

by Innocent Mujeri

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said that the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West are a breach of international law, hence they should be removed.

Speaking at the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) last night, the President said that the illegal sanctions were a hindrance to Zimbabwe’s economic development.

“Recently, the UN Secretary-General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, all acknowledged the deleterious effects of the illegal economic sanctions on our country.

“These are a breach of international law and compromise Zimbabwe’s capacity to implement and achieve Sustainable Development especially SDGs 2, 3, 8, 9 and 17. We, therefore, call on the General Assembly to strongly pronounce itself against these unilateral illegal sanctions,” said President Mnangagwa.

The President further informed the international gathering that Zimbabwe was now on a new path. However, like any other country, the country is facing some challenges caused by the illegal sanctions and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Your excellencies, Zimbabwe is on a new path. Like other nations in the region, we are facing humanitarian challenges which in our case have been worsened by illegal sanctions, the negative impact of climate change and compounded by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, my administration   continues to record notable achievements towards sustainable development which leaves no one behind,” added President Mnangagwa.

The President highlighted some of the achievements the country has scored to date.

He said the macroeconomic stabilisation reforms undertaken by his administration had seen the reduction of the country’s budget deficit to a single digit, as well as a positive balance of the national account, coupled with foreign exchange rate and prices stability.

President Mnangagwa further said major infrastructure projects such as the rehabilitation and construction of health service facilities, water and sanitation infrastructure as well as roads, dams and bridges were on-going across the country. He also said investments in mining, agriculture, tourism, energy and manufacturing sectors were on the increase.

President Mnangagwa said he was optimistic that the implementation of the second phase of the Ease of Doing Business Reforms will help to further improve Zimbabwe’s World Bank rankings.

The President further said that Zimbabwe’s commitment to compensate white former farmers for developments they did on their former farms was a sign that Zimbabwe respects rule of law.

“Similarly, my administration is decisive in entrenching constitutionalism, democracy and the rule of law, including the protection of property rights. The commitment of my Government to these cardinal principles remains unwavering.

“It is in this spirit and in line with our Constitution that in July this year, my Government concluded the landmark Global Compensation Deed, with former white farm owners. We count on the support and goodwill of the international community as we mobilise resources to implement the Agreement,” said the President.

President Mnangagwa also said political reforms that were currently being implemented by his Government will benefit the generality of the Zimbabweans as the country is on a path to consolidate its respect of human rights.

He further said his administration placed great importance on fostering national unity and cohesion.

The President also assured the UNGA that Zimbabwe will continue to implement measures to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

 He further informed the virtual gathering that his Government has to date provided ZW$18 billion as economic stimulus package to boost the country’s economy that has been affected by the pandemic.

President Mnangagwa further said the country has taken major steps in implementing the Beijing Declaration.

These steps include the adoption of a gender responsive Constitution, establishment of the Zimbabwe Gender Commission, enactment of several pieces of legislation to outlaw all practices that infringe on the rights of women and girls, such as forced and child marriages and discrimination against women inheritance matters.

The President said the Security Council should be reformed to give other people a voice on this esteemed organ of the United Nations.

“Your excellences, it is now more than 15 years since the adoption of the Ezulwini Consensus, reaffirmed in the Sirte Declaration. It is deeply regrettable that reform of the Security Council and implementation of Africa’s position has not been achieved.

“We cannot continue with a situation where over 16 percent of the world’s population does not have a voice in decision making. This is a serious indictment to our avowed commitment to multilateralism and the basic principles of natural justice, fairness and equity,” said President Mnangagwa.

The President said peace, security and stability are a pre-requisite for sustainable development and can only be achieved in an inclusive process characterised by equally shared commitment and responsibilities.

President Mnangagwa added that self-determination and independence are intrinsic and fundamental rights that should be enjoyed by all countries without distinction and called upon the Security Council to increase its efforts towards ending the occupation of Western Sahara.

The President said Zimbabwe was committed to working for a better world and the only way of achieving a peaceful and stable world is through mutual respect, genuine multilateralism buttressed by the much needed reforms and respect for international law.

President Mnangagwa is attending the virtual 75th United Nations General Assembly meeting with the high-level General Debate expected to end tomorrow.

The 75th session of UNGA is running under the theme “The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitments to multilateralism confronting COVID-19 through effective multilateral action”.