Mabasa Sasa in New York
President Mnangagwa yesterday joined more than 100 fellow world leaders and/or their representatives for the opening of the 73rd Ordinary Session of the United Nations General Assembly, whose theme dovetails with his quest to foster sustainable peace and economic equity at home.
The theme for this year’s General Debate is; “Making the United Nations relevant to all people: Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Peaceful, Equitable and Sustainable Societies”.
President Mnangagwa heads a delegation that comprises Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya, Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Mr George Charamba and other senior Government officials.
Zimbabwe’s Head of State and Government addresses the UN today for the first time since winning the 2018 Presidential elections.
Yesterday, UN Secretary-General, Mr António Guterres, called on global leaders to respect multilateralism for mutual, sustainable development.
He said, “Individual leaders have the duty to advance the well-being of their people. But it runs deeper. Together, as guardians of the common good, we also have a duty to promote and support a reformed, reinvigorated and strengthened multilateral system.
“We need renewed commitment to a rules-based order, with the United Nations at its centre and with the different institutions and treaties that bring the Charter to life.
“And we need to show the added value of international cooperation by delivering peace, defending human rights and driving economic and social progress for women and men everywhere.
“That is why I am so committed to reform and to making the United Nations more effective in responding to the needs and aspirations of ‘we the peoples’.
“In the face of massive, existential threats to people and planet — but equally at a time of compelling opportunities for shared prosperity — there is no way forward, but collective, common-sense action for the common good.”
President of the General Assembly, María Garcés, said multilateralism was the world’s “only viable option” to end the problems facing humanity, adding: “No one can be indifferent to human suffering. Wars, conflicts, economic crises and environmental degradation affect us all equally.”
She enunciated seven priorities for the world; among them gender equality and women’s empowerment, environmental protection and peace and security.
There was a titter of laughter some minutes later when US President Donald Trump took to the podium and declared: “In less than two years my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country — so true.”
When the brief laughter subsided, a typically unfazed President Trump said: “Didn’t expect that reaction, but ok.”