Sunday, September 18, 2016

Zimbabwe President Mugabe Addresses 17th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement: As Before, So We Continue

The following are key excerpts from His Excellency President Mugabe’s address to the 17 Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Margarita, Venezuela yesterday***

Our movement has for decades been the champion of many noble causes, and advancing multilateralism as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.

The founding principles of the Non-Aligned Movement were adopted by our forerunners of Bandung in 1955 and Belgrade later in 1961.

We should continue to be the torchbearers in the quest for peace and socio-economic development as guided by the principles of sovereign equality of states, non-interference in the internal affairs of states, respect of the right to self-determination, non-aggression, peaceful co-existence, and respect of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, and the resolution of conflicts by peaceful means.

These principles are as valid today as they were half-a-century ago.

Mr Chairman,

The propensity by some powerful member states to resort to unilateralism in pursuit of their selfish interests poses the greatest danger to international peace and security and the rule of law in our world today.

The consequences of non-adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter are there for all of us to see.

Interventions, interference in the internal affairs of small and weak states, and the use of force at the slightest excuse have spawned a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented proportions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria.

The propensity to use force or coercion in pursuit of hegemonic interests, military adventurism,regime change agendas,or the advancement of narrow foreign policy interests of a few states, is thus a matter of serious concern.

These misguided interventions have not only created hotbeds and fertile breeding grounds for extremism and terrorism, but have also triggered unprecedented large-scale movements and displacement of people within and across continents.

We therefore call for absolute supremacy of multilateralism in the peaceful settlement of disputes, a nuclear weapon-free world, and the right to nations to peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Mr Chairman,

Since its founding, the Non-AlignedMovement has been at the forefront of fighting colonialism and oppression throughout the world.

Regrettably despite the movement’s sustained effort, the Palestinian question has remained unresolved for over 60 years.

And I’m glad reference has been made by you, Mr Chairman, to this question. This is despite the global consensus to establish a two-state solution based on the pre-June 1967 borders.

Instead,Israel has remained defiant,chiefly because of the unqualified support it receives from some permanent members of the Security Council.

It is time to stop the persecution of the Palestinians by implementing numerous United Nations Security Council and General Assembly resolutions; including Resolutions 181, 242 and, finally, Resolution 338.

Mr Chairman,

On our continent, Western Sahara remains the last colonial vestige.

We call upon the United Nations to implement resolutions on the referendum to enable the people of Western Sahara to exercise their rightto self-determination.

Mr Chairman,

I am convinced it is the Non-Aligned Movement’s foremost task to reform the United Nations General Assembly to bring it more in line with contemporary geo-political realities.

The Security Council has to be more representative, transparent, accountable and accessible if its decisions are to be enhanced.

Africa’s case for better representation has been made so clear and well-articulated in positions outlined in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration.

We also recognise the legitimate demands of those regions that are similarly unrepresented or under-represented in the Security Council.

Mr Chairman,

2015 was year of noteworthy multilateral achievements,beginning with the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction, then the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the overarching Agenda 2030 and then the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Agenda (Agenda 2030) identifies the need to address the systemic issues which might impede implementation of the universal Sustainable Development Goals.

In this regard, we call for the review of the architecture of international financialand economic institutions, to make them more democratic, representative and focused on the interests of all – not just a few, powerful nations.

Mr Chairman,

Poverty is a threat to international peace and security and the wellbeing of people who are at the centre of Agenda 2030.

We should therefore continue to speak out against unilateral actions that undermine efforts to address poverty and underdevelopment.

Zimbabwe and other Non-Aligned Movement members continue to be targets of unwarranted sanctions from powerful countries who seek to use economic might to impose their will on others.
We are grateful for the steadfast support and solidarity from the movement, and expect sustained efforts to have these heinous sanctions lifted.

Mr Chairman, let me conclude by reaffirming Zimbabwe’s commitment to multilateralism and to the movement’s principles; to support Non-Aligned Movement’s collective efforts to achieve peace, security, democracy,human rights,social and economic development for all mankind.

Unity, solidarity and cohesion are our most potent weapons.

I thank you.

Transcribed by Mabasa Sasa on September 17, 2016

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