Zimbabwe High-Level Peace Pledge Event, UN Solidarity Message

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  • Rtd. Justice S. Maselo Nare, Chairperson NPRC
  • Commissioner L. Chigwedere, Deputy Chairperson NPRC
  • Leaders of political parties in parliament and presidential candidates
  • National and international development partners, and friends of the UN
  • My colleagues from the UN System
  • Members of the Media
  • Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen
  • All Protocols Observed:

26 June 2018, Harare - I would like to thank the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission for inviting the UN to this important event and congratulate the commission for bringing together the principals to pledge for peace ahead of the election.

Allow me also to commend the Government and the People of Zimbabwe for embedding principles of Peace as a constitutional value and for providing such a platform as the nation prepares for harmonized elections on the 30th of July.

On this momentous occasion of the Peace Pledge, I am honored to add the United Nations voice to those of Zimbabweans, its leaders and friends who have continuously called for peaceful and credible elections.

Today’s event marks an important commitment by political leaders to declare that violence has no place in the upcoming elections in Zimbabwe. Holding peaceful election will not only be the sign for the country’s democratic progress but also will also facilitate in unlocking domestic and foreign investment.

Equally important is ensuring peace goes beyond the leaders of the political parties. Peace is everybody’s business, and that every citizen must play their part to cultivate, nurture and sustain peace.

This notion of the interconnectedness of Peace and Development – “no development without peace and no peace without development” remains at the heart of the work of the United Nations across the globe.

Respect for the rule of law, protection of human rights and gender equality are some of the fundamental building blocks for peace. For Zimbabwe to advance sustainable, rights-based and inclusive development that leaves no one behind, we must remain true to these fundamentals.

Violence is one of the most extreme forms of suppressing the expansion of choices and the fulfillment of rights, and therefore a major threat to human development. Violence leads to the rapid man-made destruction of human development gains and has deep economic and social costs. Therefore, taking steps such as this pledge goes a long way in reconciliation, prevention and peace building efforts.

In line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Goals, peace is fundamental to scale-up investments in Zimbabwe’s key sectors such as agriculture, tourism, and Small and Medium Enterprises as well as in the social sectors (health, education, and social protection) and resilience building of vulnerable communities for inclusive economic and social recovery as well as peaceful co-existence and harmony.

There is need for increased civic awareness and political consciousness amongst the citizenry; improved realization that gender equality changes the course of development and hence women’s political participation and voice is a sine qua non for socio-economic and democratic transformation. Women make up 52% of the country’s population. We must affirm their right and that of young people to participate in Zimbabwe’s political and socio-economic development processes not only as voters but as candidates.

It is good to note that all citizens show responsible behaviors, insisting on diligence and fidelity to highest standards of conduct and responsible exercise of civil responsibilities of leaders and the led. Each of us must play our part. It is our sincere hope Zimbabweans will continue to show their resilience, unity, love, civility, and wisdom to the world.

There can be no development without peace. The reverse is equally true. Peaceful, free, fair, transparent and credible elections are an integral part of a stable and peaceful society – a prerequisite for sustainable development.

Prevention works, is cost-effective and vital for sustainable and inclusive development and the achievement of Zimbabwe’s aspiration and its commitment to the SDGs.

I would like to conclude by thanking the Government of Zimbabwe, its people and the NPRC for the trust and confidence bestowed upon the United Nations. Let me reiterate that the United Nations, working together with development partners, will continue to support the national aspirations of development and peace in Zimbabwe before, during and after the elections. 

 Mr. Bishow Parajuli, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Zimbabwe