Friday, September 26, 2014

President Mugabe Calls for Financial Reforms
President Robert Mugabe of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
September 26, 2014
From Caesar Zvayi at the UNITED NATIONS
Zimbabwe Herald

PRESIDENT Mugabe has called for the expeditious democratic reform of the international financial architecture to improve the legitimacy of the World Bank and IMF to ensure the full voice and participation of developing countries and to achieve the post-2015 Development Agenda. The Post-2015 Development Agenda refers to the UN-led process aimed at defining the future global development framework to succeed the Millennium Development Goals, the set of eight global development targets which come to an end in 2015.

In the year 2000, UN member states agreed on targets on reducing poverty, increasing access to improved drinking water sources, improving the lives of slum dwellers and achieving gender parity in primary school.

For Zimbabwe, however, while others were fighting to end poverty, it has been a battle for survival against a ruinous economic sanctions regime that had deleterious effects on Government’s attempts to achieve the MDGs.

The sanctions are estimated to have cost Zimbabwe over US$42 billion in revenue shrinking the economy by over 40 percent with devastating effects on livelihoods and jobs over the past 14 years.

Zimbabwean companies continue to lose funds to the US State Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control that has been intercepting revenue accruing to Zimbabwean companies, most of whom are reeling from sanctions-induced hardships.

By some agreement, the US and its European allies maintain sole control of the leadership of the IMF and the World Bank with Europe choosing the former while the US fills the latter and by dint of that the US was able to compel its executive directors to all multi-lateral lending institutions to vote against the extension of lines of credit to Zimbabwe in line with the sanctions law now called, the Zimbabwe Transition to Democracy and Economic Recovery Act.

“To support the implementation of the post-2015 Development Agenda, we call for expeditious reform of the Bretton Woods Institutions, particularly their governance structures. It is high time that we addressed the democratic deficit in these institutions and improve their legitimacy.

“These reforms must reflect current realities and ensure the full voice and participation of developing countries in their decision-making and norm-setting,’’ President Mugabe told the UNGA here yesterday as he contributed to the annual grand debate which this year is being held under the theme, “Delivering on and Implementing a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda”.

President Mugabe told delegates that the country’s five-year economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation fits into the post-2015 agenda.

‘‘We share the view in Sadc that the post-MDG agenda must be informed by national development priorities and that the new targets must better reflect local conditions.

“In this regard, Zimbabwe adopted its own economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset). This is a bold and achievable development programme that has the objective of achieving inclusive economic growth, generation of decent jobs for all, affordable and reliable energy, food security, sustainable agriculture and development of reliable modern infrastructure.

‘‘Through this programme we also aim to expand the industrial base which is key to sustained overall economic development as well as the human development of our country. We continue to push for the leveraging of our diverse and abundant resources through the beneficiation and value-addition of our resources.

“We, therefore, expect that the proposals in the sustainable development goals, which complement these of our national aspirations, will be endorsed and integrated in the post-2015 Development Agenda Framework,’’ President Mugabe said.

The Post-2015 Development Agenda, President Mugabe said, could only be achieved through genuine and committed support for resource nationalism.

‘‘Social justice, political stability and sustainable development in African countries can best be achieved through genuine and committed support for the ownership of means of production that favour the poor, who are in the majority.

“In Zimbabwe, my Government has gone a long way in laying the foundation for sustained food production through our Land Reform Programme. The majority of the rural people have been empowered to contribute to household and to national food security. The possession and exploitation of land has also turned them into masters of their own destiny, thus giving true meaning to our national independence and unquestioned sovereignty,’’ he said.

For daring to empower its citizens, President Mugabe, Zimbabwe invited the wrath of Western countries who imposed a ruinous sanctions regime that with a view to effecting a change of government.

‘‘Because Zimbabwe has been pre-occupied with the empowerment of its people economically, she has become a victim of the evil machinations of Western countries who continue to apply unilateral and illegal sanctions as a foreign policy tool to achieve short-term political objectives, particularly regime change.

“Mr President, regime change is a diabolical illegal policy of interference in the domestic affairs of my country and no good can come from undermining our economy, or depriving our citizens of the necessities of life.

‘‘Why, I ask, should Zimbabweans continue to suffer under the American and British yoke of unjustified and unwarranted illegal sanctions? These evil sanctions violate the fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter and should be condemned by the international community. We once again call for their immediate and unconditional removal,’’ he said.

The President said Zimbabwe was a peace-loving nation that was after constructive, mutually-beneficial relations.

‘‘We are a peaceful and peace-loving nation, ready to engage in constructive dialogue for mutually beneficial relations.

“We call on those who continue to harbour ill will against us to cast away their hegemony-driven hostility as we appeal to them to review their hard positions and open a new chapter in their relations with us based on mutual respect and friendly co-operation,’’ the President said.

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