Reforming the financial system to restore hope: the president


the herald

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A FAIR, responsive and inclusive global financial system is essential for the nations of the world to meet current and future challenges, while the United Nations (UN) should always be the beacon of hope for the world, the President said Mnangagwa.

Addressing the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) yesterday, President Mnangagwa called for the reform of global financial institutions that have failed to address the challenges facing developing countries such as climate change, Covid-19 and conflict.

“The current global financial architecture has demonstrated its inadequacies in meeting the challenges we face. The growing and unsustainable debt burden, the prohibitive cost of borrowing, illicit financial flows and the exploitation of natural resources in developing countries have combined to relegate developing countries to the periphery of the global financial system.

“So there is a need for a global financial system that is fair, more inclusive and responsive to the challenges we face,” the president said.

The inadequacies of the global financing system have been revealed, notably by the Covid-19 pandemic, conflicts and climate change, calamities where developing countries have been the only ones to bear the brunt.

President Mnangagwa cited the World Trade Organization (WTO), which has remained largely exclusive and indifferent to the needs of developing countries, as an institution in need of urgent reform.

In this spirit, the President said that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) should be the panacea for Africa to trade and boost economic growth and development.

“The AfCFTA is to be commended as we strive to improve the production and trade of goods and services. Liberalization of services and strengthening of competition policy and intellectual property rights; as well as the adoption of digital commerce should also be strengthened”.

UNGA 77 is held under the theme, “A Watershed Moment: Transformative Solutions to Interrelated Challenges”, an apt theme which, according to President Mnangagwa, captures the importance of scaling up actions to provide Agenda 2030, an action plan for people, planet and prosperity.

The 2030 Agenda also aims to strengthen universal peace, eradicating extreme poverty in all its forms and dimensions, and in Zimbabwe it has been captured in the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) as the pivot towards achieving the Vision 2030.

President Mnangagwa said that Zimbabwe was determined to lift its citizens out of poverty and presented to the Assembly the measures that the Second Republic is implementing to improve the well-being of the people through development that leaves no one behind and no place aside in the journey towards Vision 2030, becoming an upper middle class economy.

“Pulling many more people out of poverty and giving them a better quality of life must remain at the heart of the activities of the United Nations and the programs and projects of our respective countries. Zimbabwe has made significant progress towards eradicating poverty and hunger. This has seen the implementation of various policies and programs to support and empower communal and small-scale farmers.

President Mnangagwa welcomes UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to UN Headquarters. – Photos: Tawanda Mudimu

“At the household level, the provision of agricultural inputs, equipment and technical support to farmers, especially the most vulnerable, has contributed to household and national food and nutrition security. However, in 2022, mid-season drought and tropical cyclones unfortunately reduced the overall performance of the agricultural sector”.

In light of the effects of climate change, President Mnangagwa has proposed measures for climate proof agriculture such as Pfumvudza and construction of dams in all parts of the developing country that leaves no one or place behind.

And despite the developed world’s limited funding for climate change, which needs to be stepped up, the President outlined the measures his government has proposed to reduce the effects of changing weather patterns that have been largely caused by Western countries.

“My government is implementing an ambitious program to increase the number of dams for irrigation. The program is expected to create green belts across the country as we reduce dependence on rain-fed agricultural activities while improving export-oriented production and productivity.

“Our overall agriculture transformation strategy is focused on increasing production and productivity across the agricultural spectrum. This has been instrumental in our unprecedented achievement of national wheat self-sufficiency as well as increased horticultural exports.

“The provision of technical extension services for better land and water use has seen the widespread adoption of climate-smart agricultural innovations, with an evident increase in the incomes of communal farmers and smallholders as well as local farmers. women and youth in agriculture”.

President Mnangagwa described measures that have been implemented by Zimbabwe, such as massive infrastructure development projects including dams, power stations and roads that have expanded the national economic asset base as well as enablers of production and productivity, while improving regional connectivity and integration.

Thanks to deconcentration and decentralization, the country has seen the rapid construction of schools, clinics, water and sanitation infrastructure and other social amenities, in the most remote areas.

“Zimbabwe is modernizing and industrializing by relying on our local resources and human capital. Inspired by the historic monument, Great Zimbabwe, from which our country’s name is derived, we are building our country brick by brick, stone by stone, with the support of our friends and partners. As my government continues to entrench democracy, good governance and the rule of law, we commit to vibrant, competitive and peaceful political contestation”.

Even though Zimbabwe has made progress in improving the lives of its people, President Mnangagwa said illegal sanctions imposed by Western countries as punishment for land reform continue to cripple growth.

“The lingering deleterious effects of illegal sanctions continue to impede and slow our progress and the achievement of sustainable and inclusive development.

“Zimbabwe is a peace-loving country. We remain indebted to the SADC region and the African Union, as well as other progressive members of the committee of nations, for their unwavering support and calls for the lifting of these unwarranted and unwarranted sanctions. We again call for their immediate and unconditional withdrawal. My country welcomes the findings of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, who visited Zimbabwe in 2021”.

Internationally, Zimbabwe has adopted a policy of engage and re-engage which has seen a new approach where the country has expressed its desire to be friend to all and foe to no one.

“This policy is underpinned by the principles of mutual understanding and respect, cooperation, partnership and shared values ​​with other members of the international community. We want to be everyone’s friend and nobody’s enemy,” said President Mnangagwa.

He added that Zimbabwe is always committed to the principles of the UN Charter and multilateralism in addressing the complex and intersecting challenges facing the world.

“Implementing the inclusive 2030 Agenda remains our greatest hope for the future we all want. There are indeed stronger arguments for stronger solidarity, cooperation and partnerships if we are to respond effectively to these challenges and ensure our collective survival.

“The United Nations must remain the beacon and the source of hope for the citizens of the world. As leaders, we have a heavy burden and responsibility to ensure that the United Nations meets the expectations of all the peoples of the world,” President Mnangagwa said.

He also called for United Nations support for restoring peace in Mozambique, while describing the steps his administration has taken to improve the lives of women and young people, and also ensuring universal access to health and to education.

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Don F. Davis