The objectives of the United Nations Charter in the economic arena will remain unfulfilled unless Member States address challenges in the developing countries, Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe today told the General Assembly high-level debate.
Speaking to the 68th session of the General Assembly which focuses on long-term development plans for the decades after the end in 2015 of the current cycle of the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), President Mugabe stressed that the means of implementation have so far been the weakest link in progressing on the eight MDGs.
“It must be understood that in addition to national efforts, substantial international support and an enabling international economic environment are essential if the MDGs are to be achieved by 2015, especially in Africa,” Mr. Mugabe told heads of State and Government and other high-level officials.
The President noted that Zimbabwe has made progress towards achieving universal access to primary education, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.
He cautioned, however, that the country lacks capacity, mainly financial, to address other areas, particularly those relating to the eradication of poverty and hunger, child mortality, universal access to maternal and reproductive health, environmental sustainability and access to potable water and sanitation.
“As a country, we are committed to undertake coordinated efforts to accelerate progress to complete the unfinished business of the MDGs,” Mr. Mugabe said, adding that any targets not achieved by 2015 should be integrated into the successor sustainable development agenda.
The General Debate, at which Mr. Mugabe spoke and which concludes on 1 October, is an opportunity for world leaders to present their views and comment on issues of individual national and international relevance.
Turning to the economic situation in his country, Mr. Mugabe strongly condemned the economic sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union. “Shame, shame, shame, to the United States of America; shame, shame, shame to Britain and its allies,” he chastised. “Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans, so are its resources. Please remove your illegal and filthy sanctions from my peaceful country.”