Source: UN stays off sanctions issue – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 13, 2017
UNITED Nations resident coordinator Bishow Parajuli yesterday said the international agency had no role mediating in the diplomatic fallout between Harare and individual Western countries, especially with regard to the restrictive measures imposed against top government officials.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
“The issue of sanctions has nothing to do with the UN because these are not UN sanctions, and this is an issue between Zimbabwe and the specific country which has imposed restrictive measures. Zimbabwe and those countries that imposed restrictive measures must work it out, and this is an issue between member states to discuss,” Parajuli said.
He was responding to a question from Chipinge West MP Adam Chimwamurombe during a capacity building workshop for MPs on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Harare.
Chimwamurombe wanted Parajuli to explain how Zimbabwe could achieve the 17 SDG goals when the country was under sanctions.
Parajuli said the UN, through its agencies, would continue to support Zimbabwe in areas such as poverty reduction, agriculture and food security, gender, health, social services, peace and governance promotion, and HIV/Aids. The UN according to Parajuli had disbursed about $400 million per year to support priority areas in Zimbabwe such as supporting growth, job creation and creating economic opportunities.
“Close to 38 UN funds have running programmes in Zimbabwe. There are 14 resident UN agencies that run programmes and close to 25 projects that run from outside the country,” Parajuli said.
Zimbabwe, Parajuli added, should now sign UN humanitarian treaties which the country was yet to assent to.
“For example, the UN is strongly advocating against the death penalty and we feel that Zimbabwe should sign the treaty. We want to applaud Zimbabwe for achieving 35% women representation in Parliament. However, there should be more women administrators,” he said.
Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda said Parliament had since set in motion a process to ratify treaties that were yet to be domesticated. Mudenda urged political parties to align their contistutions to the national charter especially on issues to deal with gender parity.
“The problem is political because the Constitution stipulates 50/50 gender representation, but your political party constitutions must be amended to ensure it is implemented, otherwise the growth towards gender parity may not be realised,” Mudenda said.
UN senior economic advisor Amarakoon Bandara said MPs must ensure national budgets are aligned to SDGs.
“They need to be aligned so that resources can be allocated to achieve SDGs,” Bandara said.