ZIM: ‘The fastest growing economy in our Southern African region’
EMMERSON DAMBUDZO MNANGAGWA, President of Zimbabwe, said that progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals has been uneven, while global solidarity has been tested and self-interest has superseded cooperation. “We have a duty to reignite our commitment to the principles of the 2030 Agenda and rekindle the spirit of multilateralism,” he said, calling for scaling up investments in people and communities by ensuring access to quality education, health care, clean water and sanitation for all. “Zimbabwe continues to entrench democracy, constitutionalism, good governance and the rule of law, following the recently held 2023 harmonized general elections,” he said, highlighting that his country has been under illegal, unilateral economic sanctions for 23 years, imposed by some Western countries, and demanding that such measures be unconditionally lifted, including those imposed on countries like Cuba.
“We are recording unprecedented development and economic success milestones. For the last three years, our country has been the fastest growing economy in our Southern African region,” he stressed, adding that in 2023, Zimbabwe became a net exporter of wheat, though it has not been spared from the negative impact of climate change. Mentioning a programme to sink solar-powered boreholes in each of the country’s 35,000 rural villages and schools, he emphasized: “Alongside each of these water points are commercial nutritional gardens for the empowerment of women and youth.” Stressing the importance of global solidarity, he said that no nation, no matter how powerful, can stand alone to realize sustainable and inclusive development. “The high-level meetings on universal health coverage, tuberculosis and pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response are welcome opportunities to reflect on the importance of maintaining essential services during pandemics and health emergencies,” he said, adding that affordable and quality health delivery is a key deliverable for his Administration.
Building resilience and tackling the adverse impact of climate change should be an urgent priority for all, he said, adding: “In the case of Zimbabwe and the Southern African region, floods and droughts have affected the livelihoods of many, while hindering progress on national development.” Stressing the need for concrete climate action, as opposed to mere promises, he called for the transition to a low-carbon and resilient global economy by increasing investments in renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and green infrastructure. “Commitments made under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement must be honoured to deliver climate justice. It is our hope that progress will be made to operationalize the loss and damage fund,” he said, also urging to reform global financial institutions and unlock funding for developing countries. “The current exclusionary architecture, dominated by a few States, is failing to deliver the requisite resources for countries to finance their developmental priorities and other pressing health and environmental challenges,” he stressed, adding that Zimbabwe supports the stimulus package proposed by the Secretary-General.
“We strongly condemn tendencies by some powerful countries who preach peace, human rights and democracy and yet clandestinely fund conflicts and the unconstitutional changes of Governments, for their own narrow interests,” he said, condemning sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe and countries like Cuba, as such actions hamper trust, global solidarity and multilateralism. “It is important that we channel our collective efforts towards building peace and driving forward our development agenda, for shared prosperity,” he underscored, adding that the maintenance of peace and security should never be the preserve of a privileged few. He reaffirmed calls by Africa for the reform of the United Nations Security Council in line with the Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Declaration. [ Source: UN press release GA/12534 ]