Sanctions an obstacle to sustainable development: Geingob

Namibian President Hage Geingob

PUNITIVE and illegal economic sanctions that were unilaterally imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States and its Western allies must be immediately removed to enable the Southern African nation to meet the global 2030 Agenda on sustainable development, Namibian President Hage Geingob has said.

In his speech at the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) here yesterday, President Geingob said the sanctions on Zimbabwe are an obstacle to the country’s attainment of Agenda 2030, which, inter alia, seeks to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere.

The 17 goals were adopted by all UN Member States in 2015, as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which set out a 15-year plan to achieve the Goals.

However, while Zimbabwe has been making traceable headway under the leadership of President Mnangagwa, it is doing so under the albatross of economic sanctions.

“I always say, you do not make peace with your friends, you make peace with your enemies, punitive measures imposed for over half a century on the Republic of Cuba, have caused untold hardship that has disenfranchised the Cuban people.

“Selective punitive measures against Zimbabwe and Venezuela must also be lifted as these measures constitute the greatest obstacle to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development,” said President Geingob.

He said for the world to prosper and achieve its collective target of ending poverty, hunger and deprivation, there is a need to draw inspiration from the United Nations Charter which places greater value on diplomacy and peaceful co-existence.

“Mr President, the challenges we face today are not insurmountable, by holding hands and by renewing our commitment to multilateralism, we can reverse the worst effects of the unprecedented global challenges of global warming, global inequality, pandemics, and conflicts. By holding hands, we have it within us to act now and to build the world we want. In that world, no one will feel left out.”

The call from world leaders who are gathered here is apt as 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”.

President Geingob’s call follows a similar appeal by South African leader President Cyril Ramaphosa here on Monday for the unconditional lifting of illegal sanctions that were imposed on Zimbabwe by the Western world as punishment for the Land Reform programme that corrected colonial land inequities.

President Ramaphosa, whose country borders Zimbabwe, said the Western-imposed economic sanctions are hitting hard on ordinary citizens, contrary to propaganda that they are only targeted.

“The sanctions that are also being applied against South Africa’s neighbour, Zimbabwe, should also be lifted as they are imposing untold suffering on ordinary Zimbabweans, but also have a collateral negative impact on neighbouring countries as well such as my own country, South Africa.”

African leaders and other leaders from the progressive world have been unequivocal in their call for the unconditional lifting of the deleterious economic sanctions that have bled Zimbabwe of billions of dollars, in direct investments.


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