‘Use UN channels to resolve disputes’

International disputes should be resolved through proper channels of the United Nations (UN) as opposed to unilateralism, while the global south must work together to ensure equitable distribution of wealth among, and for the development of all nations, President Mnangagwa has said.

Speaking at the 19th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Kampala yesterday, the President denounced unilateralism, emphasising that all nations are equal before the law and no country should be allowed to bully others as “might” does not mean “right”.

“An end to conflicts and the settlements of international disputes must be through dialogue guided by the dictates of the United Nations Charter. 

“Further, the present situation where economic prosperity and development are skewed in favour of a privileged few countries, is untenable. As the Global South, let us proactively drive our own development agenda.

President Mnangagwa said unity of purpose was the way to go. 

“We must, therefore, scale up cooperation and sharpen our strategies for the equitable distribution of resources, democratisation of international institutions and the revitalisation of multilateralism. 

“The principle of equality of all races and nations, large or small, is sacred and deserves to be respected by all. The unilateralism being exhibited by some nations, who think ‘might is right’, cannot be allowed to continue,” he said.

On the theme of the summit, “Deepening cooperation for shared global affluence,” President Mnangagwa said it gave impetus to the need to boldly address the multiplicity of challenges facing the world and harness the various opportunities for a better world. 

“The prioritisation of investments in education, healthcare and skills development anchored by ICT is critically important. 

“Innovation, research and entrepreneurial ecosystems, especially among the young populations in the global south, are essential to propel new solutions and technologies for our economies,” he said.

Towards this end, the President urged all members to fast embrace the evolving world.

“Fundamentally, science and technology should drive smart agriculture for increased production and productivity. We have a duty to guarantee food security and sovereignty for our peoples. 

“Targeted investment in infrastructure, including transportation, energy, and communication networks is key for enhanced south-south trade. Equally, the private sectors are indispensable partners for sustained economic growth and prosperity,” he said.

He reaffirmed Zimbabwe’s commitment to the principles of NAM saying all member States should address challenges they are facing to guarantee sustainable development and shared prosperity.

The President decried the negative impact of climate change and stressed the need to implement the Paris Agreement to continue to obligate member States to responsibly exploit natural resources with future generations in mind. 

“Zimbabwe is grateful for the solidarity from the Non-Aligned Movement in the wake of the ongoing unjustified, unilateral and illegal sanctions.

“We continue to call for the immediate and unconditional removal of all sanctions and coercive measures,” he said.

The Head of State and Government said following the successful free and fair harmonised elections held in August last year, his Government was accelerating a robust and responsive socio-economic development agenda. 

“We are equally unwavering in our commitment to play our part within the comity of nations for a peaceful, just, fair and prosperous world,” he said.

President Mnangagwa also took time to congratulate his counterpart, Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni on his assumption of the chairmanship of the august movement.    

“We are confident that under your stewardship, key milestones will be reached towards adopting the principles of our organisation in line with contemporary global developments.

“Allow me to also express gratitude to the outgoing chair, his excellency, IIham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, for ably steering our Movement during a difficult period characterised by the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

President Museveni takes over the chairmanship of the movement for the period 2024 to 2027 from President Aliyev.

President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe remained gravely concerned with the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza, saying similarly, there was need to bring closure to the question of Western Sahara.

 Yesterday, President Mnangagwa and other Heads of State and Government deliberated on the need for a stronger and united NAM that could contribute to a better world for all.

With the leaders agreeing to work towards strengthening the movement, there was also the call for more cooperation and collaboration.

Going forward, NAM will be encouraged to embrace the doctrines of the trinity and regional solutions to regional problems in the management and resolution of regional conflicts

 The leaders also agreed to stop the flow of weapons to terrorists and deny them safe havens and bases as well as the sharing of information to facilitate prompt prosecution and punishment of convicted terrorists.

President Museveni, in his inaugural speech soon after taking over the chairmanship said the movement must be used to speak on the interests of the developing countries.

“The strength of NAM should be used to exercise considerable influence particularly at the UN for the effective transformative process for a better common future. In the negotiations for the Pact of the Future, the outcome document of the upcoming United Nations Summit of the Future to be held in New York in September, 2024, we should clearly define priorities that favour developing countries,” said Mr Museveni.


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