… As African leaders at UN General Assembly demand level playing field
By Hilary Mare
PRESIDENT Hage Geingob was among African leaders, who last week called on the United Nations UN General Assembly to play a central role in tackling growing global income disparities, which is major obstacle to the continent’s development.
Addressing the General Assembly last Wednesday, Geingob highlighted the importance of a “development that reaches all people in an equitable manner”.
“Growing income disparities, between nations and within nations, poses the greatest threat to peace within countries and globally,” he told the UN General Assembly’s 72nd annual general debate, while stressing that as long as there is poverty and income inequality in Namibia, lasting peace and social justice would not be achieved.
Geingob also highlighted Namibia’s support for gender equality and the importance of including women and girls in development, as well as the youth. “We, in Namibia, believe that gender equity is equally important for a stable and harmonious society,” he said, while also recognising the contribution of women in promoting global peace.
He also stated the importance of seeing Africa as an “important and equal partner of the international community, with a contribution to make,” instead of “only a source of primary commodities”.
“It is only through unity that we will bring about a world free from hunger and poverty. It is only through unity that we will deliver a sustainable planet for our children and their children,” he said.
South African President Jacob Zuma said that the current structure of the global economy continues to deepen the divide between the global north and global south.
“While a few enjoy the benefits of globalisation, the majority of the world’s peoples still live in abject poverty and hunger, with no hope of ever improving their living conditions.
“We need the political will and commitment from global leaders to address the challenges and obstacles posed by this untransformed structure of the global economy, if we hope to achieve the goals and ambitions of Agenda 2030,” Zuma said, while referring to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which aim to eliminate a host of socials ills, such as hunger and disease, by 2030.
Zuma stressed that Africa continues to lose a significant chunk of its resources, through illicit financial outflows, which sees billions of dollars, which would otherwise be used to develop the continent and provide education, healthcare, housing and other critical basic needs, being lost to money laundering, corruption, and transfer pricing among multinational companies. He described these illicit activities as among the biggest challenges facing the continent.
“We appeal for the cooperation and commitment of every member state of the United Nations, and the international community at large, to address this phenomenon,” he said.
“Developed countries, in particular, have a historic and moral obligation to contribute to achieving a fair global economic environment, and to eradicate the scourge of illicit financial flows from the continent. The UN should also be at the centre of addressing this problem,” Zuma added.
In the same vein, Malawian President Arthur Peter Mutharika underscored that it is the responsibility of the current generation of world leaders to ensure that their actions offer the hope of a better future to the next generation.
“The adoption of Agenda 2030 reflects our global resolve to address the most pressing challenges, in the spirit of the human collaboration,” he said, before adding that unity among nations is indispensable.
“The cause that rallies us together is that we are one humanity, on one planet. This is the tie that binds us all. All our differences and national interests are secondary to this overriding cause,” Mutharika declared.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015