Zimbabwe

‘Unilateral sanctions justify need for UN reform’

President Mnangagwa receives signed copies of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s book “Goose or Gander: The United Nations Security Council and the Ethic of Double Standards” before its launch at State House yesterday. — Picture: Tawanda Mudimu

Mukudzei Chingwere Herald Reporter

The unilateral imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe by Western powers justifies the need to reform the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) so that it reflects the views and aspirations of all members.

This was said by President Mnanganwa last night at Sate House in Harare, at the launch of the seminal work written by Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga.

The book, titled “Goose or Gander: The United Nations Security Council and the Ethic of Double Standards”, chronicles how the United Nations Security Council led by Western countries abuse the veto power for self-serving interests. The book uses the invasion of Iraq and Libya as a case study, where the superpowers were instrumental in effecting illegal regime change.

“In our case as Zimbabwe, the illegal imposition of sanctions has seen us witness first-hand the ethical dilemma with our August global body.

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“To this day, our people and our development journey continue to be frustrated under the weight of socio-economic and development limitations as a result of these heinous sanctions,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said it was the considered view of the author, that the UNSC needed reform in order to objectively defend and promote human rights, international peace and security.

“This view resonates with the African Union’s position on the need for the speedy implementation of UN Security Council reforms as espoused in the Ezulwini Consensus and reiterated in the Sirte Declaration.”

The President said it was important for the country to strengthen its institutions for the preservation of peace and highlighted the importance of supporting economic development.

“As sovereign states, we must remain alive to our responsibility and respective roles in peace building, security, conflict prevention, management and conflict resolution, from both a domestic and international perspective.

“In this regard, the importance of strengthening our national institutions and processes to entrench democracy, constitutionalism, good governance and the rule of law cannot be overemphasised,” he said.

Zimbabwe was doing well through the championing of several reforms like media reforms and repealing some in fulfilment of the 2013 Constitution.

“As Government, it is incumbent on us to guarantee against social uncertainty, and insecurity among our people. We must equally arbitrate justly between groups and provide credible insurances of protection towards the prevention of anarchy and societal fractures.

“There is need for versatility in State actions with regards peace, security, conflict prevention, management and conflict resolution, more so now with today’s unique security complexities,” said President Mnangagwa.

VP Chiwenga said he was partly motivated to write the book following a foiled attempt by the United States and Britain to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe using the United Nations framework. The attempt failed after China and Russia exercised their veto power.

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The event was attended by renowned academics who gave reviews, analyses and summary of the seminal work by VP Dr Chiwenga. These included Dr Phyllis Johnson, Professor Ngwabi Bhebhe and Lieutenant General (Retired) Dr Engelbert Rugeje.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Lieutenant General (Retired) Dr Sibusiso Moyo, himself an academic, said the work was not in any way an attack on the United Nations organ. Dr Moyo said VP Chiwenga’s contribution to academic literature was highlighting the organ’s failure to deliver on its mandate.

Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Ambassador Cain Mathema, an author of several books, thanked the VP for contributing literature to the academic world and highlighted that writing a book was not an easy task.

Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo reminisced on VP Chiwenga’s academic excellence.

He recalled when the late Professor John Makumbe, a known critic of the Government, confessed to him that the Vice President was academically gifted.

Minister Moyo said Prof Makumbe came to this conclusion after being part of a panel when VP Chiwenga defended his Masters degree dissertation.

HERALD