UN Day: Working together for a better Zimbabwe

23 October 2017 , Harare - The UN in Zimbabwe commemorated, on 23 October 2017 at the Office grounds of the World Health Organization, the Preamble of the Charter of the United Nations which came into force seventy-two years ago, on 24 October 1945 under a localized theme “Delivering Together for a Better Zimbabwe.”IMG_6690.jpg

Addressing over 350 representatives from Government, UN, diplomatic corps, heads of international development agencies, traditional leaders, civil society, and the media, the UN Resident Coordinator in Zimbabwe, Mr. Bishow Parajuli alluded to the world body’s vision of tolerance, universal human rights, peaceful co-existence and promotion of inclusive socio-economic growth.

“In the spirit of global solidarity and shared responsibility under the UN Charter, today, we also reflect on how we can do better and do more to achieve the 2030 Agenda for humanity, prosperity, peace and the planet,” Mr. Parajuli said.

Mr. Parajuli praised the communities for taking initiatives to restore and build their livelihoods and community resilience with UN’s joint support. “Many households have benefited from access to planet-friendly solar panels; the cash transfer initiatives are benefitting women and vulnerable groups, enabling them to make choices for themselves and their families and allowing them to set saving schemes to diversify their livelihoods. The food assistance they receive is being put to good use, channeled through Food Assistance for Asset Creation projects that build rural resilience. Young people have acquired skills that help them to start up their enterprises and earn incomes, and village savings and loan schemes help by providing start-up credits.”

In 2016, the UN continued to support the Government of Zimbabwe in responding to the multi-sectoral needs of the people affected by the El Nino induced drought, the worst in 35 years. Some of the same vulnerable communities were deeply affected by flooding earlier this year, with many losses of life and livelihoods and damage to the infrastructure. Parallel to the humanitarian response, the UN continued its engagement in supporting sustainable development across the SDGs. It is also promoting the SDGs through scaled up engagement with youth groups, schools, universities and civil society organizations.

The UN targets and prioritizes the most at-risk populations and addresses the root causes of multi-dimensional vulnerabilities and support to build resilience.

“As such, this is a call for all partners to join hands for a transformative growth and investment to make the SDGs agenda a reality in Zimbabwe. The recently held Development Cooperation Forum, which builds on the very effective humanitarian response coordination, provides a platform for all development stakeholders to engage and advance the SDGs in Zimbabwe,” the UN Resident Coordinator said.

The UN pledged to continue support the work of the commissions and stand with the Government to implement the 151 Universal Periodic Review recommendations in advancing the promotion and protection of human rights.IMG_6788.jpg

Newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Dr Walter Mzembi expressed the Government of Zimbabwe’s appreciation for the excellent working relationship with the UN family and appreciated the dedication of the UN Country Team to the development of the country. Noting that these relationships of cooperation between the Government and the UN Country Team have facilitated to deliver humanitarian assistance to those affected by drought; development and social services, the Minister said, “the Government of Zimbabwe is proud to reaffirm its strong belief in, and attachment to, the United Nations multilateral system it represented.”

Meanwhile, speaking at the UN day Commissioner E. H. Mugwadi, Chairperson of the ZHRC said, “The UN plays a critical role in supporting the Government of Zimbabwe to build strong and solid institutions that can assume a leading role in the promotion and protection of human rights which are amongst the key purposes and guiding principles of the UN Charter and are inseparable from development.”

 “When I was browsing through the 111 Articles of the Founding Charter, I noticed that the term “human rights” had been mentioned not less than 7 times, making the promotion and protection of human rights one of the key purposes and guiding principles of the United Nations and positioning the precursor of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights which brought human rights into the realm of international law,” Mr. Mugwadi said.

 The UN has been giving technical and financial support, through the UNDP to the country’s independent commissions supporting democracy as provided for in Chapter 12 of the Constitution. These are the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Zimbabwe Gender Commission, Zimbabwe Media Commission and the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission.

“On behalf of the ZHRC, let me pay tribute to the immense contribution of the United Nations, through the UNDP, towards the capacitation of the Commission through institutional support under the Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework.”