… As Namibia plots moves in changing global environment
By Confidente Reporter
DEPUTY Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, has introduced the country’s updated foreign affairs policy document in the National Assembly, which was crafted following the outcome of the Foreign Policy Review Conference held in July last year.
The Policy on International Relations and Cooperation was tabled on Tuesday, after a review process that was necessitated by the rapidly changing global environment, and the impact it has on Namibia.
“Given the dynamic character on international relations, we also had to align our foreign policy objectives to address our increasing and evolving domestic priorities, in line with Namibia’s National Development Plans, which is geared towards poverty eradication, the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP), and the AU Agenda 2063, as well as the UN Agenda 2030,” Nandi-Ndaitwah said.
She said the outcome of the new document was made possible by the foundation laid in the White Paper on Namibia’s Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Management, which was adopted by parliament in 2004.
Nandi-Ndaitwah said that Chapter 2 on the Principles and Practice of Diplomacy was updated to reflect the complexity of the conduct of diplomacy, including new and emerging transnational issues, such as cyber security, migration, human trafficking, energy, water, poverty eradication and drought; some of which gave rise to measures such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which was not addressed in the White Paper.
The chapter on Confluent Streams of the Foreign Policy was updated to reflect the recognition of Swapo as the sole and authentic representative of the Namibian people during the liberation struggle, and recognises the role played by the Frontline States and Nigeria, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the Non Aligned Movement (NAM), Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organisation (AAPSO), as well as non-governmental organisations. It also recognises the armed clash at Omugulugwombashe on 26 August 1966, which marked the beginning of the armed struggle for Namibia’s independence. It also addresses the opening of diplomatic missions and the renaming of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, in order to reflect the changes in the international arena and the country’s response.
Nandi-Ndaitwah said that Chapter 4, on Contemporary Global Factors, was updated to reflect the environment, human security, cyber security, terrorism, multilateralism, migration and United Nations Security Council reform.
“Chapter 5, on Economic Diplomacy, was updated to reflect our resolve to raise the living standard of our people close to those in industrialised countries, a high-income economy by the year 2030, as we work towards sustained economic growth and sustainable development, adding the elements of engaging the business community in our efforts to address our domestic challenges, and positioning Namibia as a regional logistics hub and gateway to the SADC region and beyond,” the minister said.
As a result of the importance of promoting and protecting Namibia’s image globally, a new chapter (Chapter 9) on Public Diplomacy and Namibia’s Image was introduced in the revised document.
A previous chapter titled, Towards a Professional Service, changed to A Professional Diplomatic Service, to incorporate elements that were not addressed originally.
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