Botswana shall not falter where the United Nations’ Charter is concerned and if need be, she will go an extra mile to protect the world peoples against impunity, so said the President Mokgweetsi Eric Masisi in his maiden address to the General Assembly.
He said Botswana continues as a stickler to the rule of law, good governance and an excellent track record for upholding human rights, tenets that the UN was built upon.
As a democracy that is anchored on republican constitutionalism, Botswana has recently seen the fifth transition of power in a smooth fashion unlike in many parts of the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, he told the assembly.
President Masisi applauded the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals to end suffering, poverty, disease and autocracy in the whole wide world, saying no human beings should be left behind when these developments are being fashioned out.
He however said, there continues to be room for improvement especially in Africa where millions still go hungry, know abject poverty and are ravaged by diseases because there are no safety nets for social protection.
“As a country, we have aligned the UN’s SDGs with our Vision 2036 to eliminate poverty significantly, if not eradicate it, to transform our society into a prosperous one.
Especially true to our context is the focus on our youth, who make up 60 percent of the total population and we will scale down poverty by placing them first.
Over and above, we are committed to protecting the environment in which we live.
Let me reaffirm Botswana’s commitment to the ideals of the United Nations and pledge that in attaining these goals, we shall do so by not leaving anybody behind.
What is common about these development agenda (2030 and 2036) is that they are both aimed at eradicating poverty and creating inclusive, prosperous and peaceful societies.
In this respect, we are pleased to note that extreme poverty continues to decline globally, even though we still have a long way to go given that 35% of the African population, or 395 million people still live in abject poverty,” Masisi told the assembly.
He said it is imperative that the global community should continue to support individual countries given their unique development challenges.
For instance, while Botswana is classified as an upper middle income country, it is still confronted by many development challenges comparable to those of the less developed nations.
Masisi drew comfort from the reassurance by the Secretary General that he “stands to work with all member states to make the Sustainable Development Goals a reality for everyone, everywhere.”
The rise of Botswana into the upper middle income status has come at a perilous cost to her as donor agencies mainly from the West have withdrawn aid to the southern African nation since the mid 1990s to refocus on the least developed countries.
“In view of the development challenges facing my country, I wish to reiterate our appeal for continued support in human capital, infrastructure and capacity development for the private sector and technology transfer,” he said.