STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE COMRADE R.G. MUGABE AT THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY HIGH LEVEL THEMATIC DEBATE ON ACHIEVING THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS:
NEW YORK 21 APRIL 2016.
Your Excellency, President of the 70th Session of the General Assembly, Mr Mogens Lykketoft,
Your Majesties, Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government, Your Excellency Mr Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen.
I wish to thank the President of the General Assembly for convening this meeting which should help catalyse the implementation of Agenda 2030 which we adopted in September last year.
It is my hope that the critical lessons of the Millennium Development Goals will instruct us in this endeavour and particularly on the imperative of moving swiftly from commitments to action, to assure success in our common and individual efforts. The enormity of the ambition we have set for ourselves must be matched by an equal sense of purpose, cohesion and speed. Let us, therefore, use this occasion to compare notes and inspire one another as we set off on the demanding transformative journey ahead of us.
Mr President, in Zimbabwe, we have, through multi-stakeholder consultations under the leadership of the government and involving the private sector, civil society and international partners, made progress in establishing the necessary structures for the domestication of Agenda 2030 and Africa’s Agenda 2063.
These structures will also incorporate the framework for the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, in particular the implementation of our nationally determined contributions.
I am pleased to note that the objectives of all these global agendas are in consonance with our own national development blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset).
This will facilitate the aligning of the global agenda with our national vision, as well as their domestication.
The availability of adequate and assured financial resources will be one of the key ingredients for the success of Agenda 2030.
In Zimbabwe, we have embarked on various reforms aimed at enhancing our capacity to generate and mobilise more domestic resources to support our national development efforts. These include facilitating the ease of doing business and attracting more investments into the country.
Mr President, our efforts at domestic resource mobilisation do not, and should not, absolve our external partners from complementing and supporting our national endeavours.
We expect sincere cooperation in creating an enabling global environment in the areas of finance, trade and taxation, among others.
Recent revelations have shone light on the schemes, legal or otherwise, that deprive governments of huge financial resources which can be channeled towards development.
International cooperation is imperative in stemming and stamping out financial engineering schemes that siphon resources from use for public good.
For us in Africa, illicit flows, estimated at $60 billion a year, further haemorrhage the limited financial resources at our disposal.
This area needs urgent resolution to ensure that an improvement in domestic resource mobilisation efforts contributes to national coffers, and not to lining the pockets of those illegally transferring these resources from our countries.
Mr President, sanctions and other unilateral measures, declared and undeclared, are a major impediment to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
They are a contravention of the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, to which we all profess commitment and adhesion.
If the 2030 objective of “leaving no one behind” is to be achieved, these sanctions should be lifted immediately and unconditionally.
My country continues to suffer under these unwarranted sanctions.
We call on those who rely on these blunt instruments of mass punishment, to choose the course of friendship and cooperation, rather than that of punition and destruction.
Let the constructive spirit of partnership and cooperation, espoused in Sustainable Development Goal Number 17, guide relations between our countries, in mutual efforts to achieve peace, prosperity and human progress, which underpin the Sustainable Development Goals.
We are all agreed that the Sustainable Development Goals are universal and transformative. The Sustainable Development Goals are truly revolutionary and demand a truly revolutionary transformation in each of us, if the lofty promises of a world rid of poverty, inequality and self-destruction, is to see the light of day. The new man and woman this calls for is within each of us.
Together we can release this new being. Let us do so.
I thank you.