The Sunday Mail
THAT Jamaican orator for Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, was indeed a great teacher. In one of his famous statements, he said: “Intelligence rules the world, ignorance carries the burden.”
It’s that time of the year again when opposition political parties, NGO activists and gullible colleagues in the private media show that indeed, ignorance carries the burden.
Over the past few days, the opposition political parties, the activists and the private media were in overdrive trying to attack President Mugabe for taking what they think is a bloated delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
This yearly naivety is mind-boggling and confirms what Emma Goldman has always asserted that “the most violent element in society is ignorance”. It’s sad, but there is really no harm in educating these rented imperialists. Isn’t it we all agree that the media is there to inform, entertain and to educate? Just like many Heads of State and Government from around the world, President Mugabe will be attending the UN General Assembly in New York for the coming few days. The theme for this year’s meeting is, “Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet”.
From the beginning, it has to be stated that foreign policy is never cheap because of the intricacies involved. According to Hugh Gibson, foreign policy is “a well-rounded, comprehensive plan, based on knowledge and experience, for conducting the business of government with the rest of the world. It is aimed at promoting and protecting the interests of the nation.
“This calls for a clear understanding of what, whose interests are and how far we can help to go with the means at our disposal. Anything less than this falls short of being a national foreign policy”.
This well-rounded and comprehensive plan is not cheap like a crate of eggs. The promotion and protection of a country’s national interests can never be calculated like simple mathematics. One cannot quantify the cost of foreign policy.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zimbabwe’s foreign policy “objectives are grounded in safeguarding the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity; the protection of its prestige and image; the pursuit of policies that improve the standard of living of all Zimbabweans wherever they are; and the creation and maintenance of an international environment conducive for the attainment of these goals.
“In the creation and pursuit of these objectives, Zimbabwe is guided by its belief in self-determination and support for liberation movements; adherence to the principle of national sovereignty; respect for territorial integrity of all countries; promotion of the principle of equality among nations; belief in non-discrimination, whether based on colour, creed, religion or other forms; and the promotion of peaceful settlement of disputes and non-interference in the internal affairs of other states.
“In simple terms, Zimbabwe’s foreign policy, as with that of any other country, is an extension of its domestic policy since it is the supreme national interest that drives the conception of a country’s foreign policy. The fundamental principles of national security, national economic well-being and the image of the country that transcends the image of the Government of the day therefore form the foundation of Zimbabwe’s foreign policy.”
Having stated Zimbabwe’s foreign policy, it is important to quote what President Mugabe said during the UN General Assembly last year so that we put things into perspective. After telling the Assembly that Zimbabwe’s biggest impediment to achieving the 2030 Agenda was the burden of sanctions, imposed by the United States and other Western countries, President Mugabe added:
“. . . we are being punished for doing what all other nations do . . . responding to and looking after the basic interests of our people.” He concluded saying as long as the economic and financial sanctions remained, Zimbabwe’s capacity to implement the 2030 Agenda would be curtailed.
Now if Zimbabwe is being punished for “responding and looking after the basic interests of our people” at a time when the UN has chosen a theme “focusing on people”, how much exactly should this foreign policy endeavour cost?
In addition, Zimbabwe has taken a very clear policy on the UN itself. “In its contribution to the ongoing debate on UN reform, Zimbabwe maintains that the UN should be more representative, democratic, and accountable and development-oriented. It should be the main advocate and custodian of multilateralism in the face of growing unilateralism. Africa must be fully represented in the Security Council.
“Zimbabwe fully identifies with the African position or the Ezulwini Consensus on UN reform whose main elements include the allocation to Africa in the Security Council of two permanent seats and three more non-permanent seats; and either scrapping of the veto for all permanent members or extension of the same to all members. It should be noted here that Africa is the only continent without the veto in the present set-up,” says the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Who doesn’t know that President Mugabe has now become the “Voice of Africa and the Voice of Reason?” How much should it cost to bring such important continental issues to the “chief deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations”?
These agents of imperialism should stop their obsession with cooked-up figures. While complaining about President Mugabe’s delegation to the UN, according to researcher Wendy Willems, the “Pajero brigade” (NGO employees) has failed to connect with the ordinary people and continue “spreading the liberal discourse of human rights while being paid plush salaries in foreign currency”.
Just watch the “Pajero brigade” in New York this week. It’s payday and it’s a shame.