(Put the President's word in context of what is going on in the world African community. Roy)
Text of President Robert Mugabe's speech
at 62nd Session of UN General Assembly
Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe President
Statement by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe,
Comrade R. G. Mugabe, on the occasion of the 62nd Session of the United
Nations General Assembly, New York, 26 September, 2007
Last updated: 09/27/2007 02:30:13
Your Excellency, President of the 62ndSession of the United Nations General
Mr. Srgjan Kerim,
Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government,
Your Excellency the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Allow me to congratulate you on your election to preside over this august
assembly. We are confident that through your stewardship, issues on this
62nd Session agenda be dealt with in a balanced manner and to the
satisfaction of all.
Let me also pay tribute to your predecessor, Madame Sheikha Haya Rashed Al
Khalifa, who steered the work of the 61st Session in a very competent and
Her ability to identify the crucial issues facing the world today will be
remembered as the hallmark of her presidency.
We extend our hearty welcome to the new Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon,
who has taken up this challenging job requiting dynamism in confronting the
global challenges of the 21st Century. Balancing global interests and
steering the United Nations in a direction that gives hope to the multitudes
of the poor, the sick, the hungry and the marginalized, is indeed a mammoth
task. We would like to assure him that Zimbabwe will continue to support an
open, transparent and all-inclusive multilateral approach in dealing with
these global challenges.
Climate change is one of the most pressing global issues of our time. Its
negative impact is greatest in developing countries, particularly those on
the African continent. We believe that if the international community is
going to seriously address the challenges of climate change, then we need to
get our priorities right. In Zimbabwe, the effects of climate change have
become more evident in the past decade as we have witnessed increased and
recurrent droughts as well as occasional floods, leading to enormous
We are for a United Nations that recognises the equality of sovereign
nations and peoples whether big or small. We are averse to a body in which
the economically and militarily powerful behave like bullies, trampling on
the rights of weak and smaller states as sadly happened in Iraq. In the
light of these inauspicious developments, this Organisation must surely
examine the essence of its authority and the extent of its power when
challenged in this manner.
Such challenges to the authority of the UN and its Charter underpin our
repeated call for the revitalisation of the United Nations General Assembly,
itself the most representative organ of the UN. The General Assembly should
be more active in all areas including those of peace and security. The
encroachment of some U.N. organs upon the work of the General Assembly is of
great concern to us. Thus any process of revitalizing or strengthening of
the General Assembly should necessarily avoid eroding the principle of the
accountability of all principal and subsidiary organs to the General
Once again we reiterate our position that the Security Council as presently
constituted is not democratic. In its present configuration, the Council has
shown that it is not in a position to protect the weaker states who find
themselves at loggerheads with a marauding super-power. Most importantly,
justice demands that any Security Council reform redresses the fact that
Africa is the only continent without a permanent seat and veto power in the
Security Council. Africa's demands are known and enunciated in the Ezulwini
We further call for the U.N. system to refrain from interfering in matters
that are clearly the domain of member states and are not a threat to
international peace and security. Development at country level should
continue to be country-led, and not subject to the whims of powerful donor
Zimbabwe won its independence on 18th April, 1980, after a protracted war
against British colonial imperialism which denied us human rights and
democracy. That colonial system which suppressed and oppressed us enjoyed
the support of many countries of the West who were signatories to the UN
Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Even after 1945, it would appear that the Berlin Conference of 1884, through
which Africa was parcelled to colonial European powers, remained stronger
than the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is therefore clear that
for the West, vested economic interests, racial and ethnocentric
considerations proved stronger than their adherence to principles of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The West still negates our sovereignties by way of control of our resources,
in the process making us mere chattels in out own lands, mere minders of its
trans-national interests. In my own country and other sister states in
Southern Africa, the most visible form of this control has been over land
despoiled from us at the onset of British colonialism.
That control largely persists, although it stands firmly challenged in
Zimbabwe, thereby triggering the current stand-off between us and Britain,
supported by her cousin states, most notably the United States and
Australia. Mr Bush, Mr. Blair and now Mr Brown's sense of human rights
precludes our people's right to their God-given resources, which in their
view must be controlled by their kith and kin. I am termed dictator because
I have rejected this supremacist view and frustrated the neo-colonialists.
Clearly the history of the struggle for out own national and people's rights
is unknown to the president of the United States of America. He thinks the
Declaration of Human Rights starts with his last term in office! He thinks
she can introduce to us, who bore the brunt of fighting for the freedoms of
our peoples, the virtues of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. What
I lost eleven precious years of my life in the jail of a white man whose
freedom and well- being I have assured from the first day of Zimbabwe's
Independence. I lost a further fifteen years fighting white injustice in my
Ian Smith is responsible for the death of well over 50 000 of my people. I
bear scars of his tyranny which Britain and America condoned. I meet his
victims everyday. Yet he walks free. He farms free. He talks freely,
associates freely under a black Government. We taught him democracy. We gave
him back his humanity.
He would have faced a different fate here and in Europe if the 50 000 he
killed were Europeans. Africa has not called for a Nuremberg trial against
the white world which committed heinous crimes against its own humanity. It
has not hunted perpetrators of this genocide, many of whom live to this day,
nor has it got reparations from those who offended against it. Instead it is
Africa which is in the dock, facing trial from the same world that
persecuted it for centuries.
Let Mr. Bush read history correctly. Let him realise that both personally
and in his representative capacity as the current President of the United
States, he stands for this "civilisation" which occupied, which colonised,
which incarcerated, which killed. He has much to atone for and very little
to lecture us on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. His hands drip
with innocent blood of many nationalities.
He still kills.
He kills in Iraq. He kills in Afghanistan. And this is supposed to be out
master on human rights?
He imprisons and tortures at Guantanamo. He imprisoned and tortured at Abu
Ghraib. He has secret torture chambers in Europe. Yes, he imprisons even
here in the United States, with his jails carrying more blacks than his
universities can ever enroll. He even suspends the provisions of the
Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Take Guantanamo for example; at that
concentration camp international law does not apply. The national laws of
the people there do not apply. Laws of the United States of America do not
apply. Only Bush's law applies. Can the international community accept being
lectured by this man on the provisions of the universal declaration of human
rights? Definitely not!
Mr President, We are alarmed that under his leadership, basic rights of his
own people and those of the rest of the world have summarily been rolled
back. America is primarily responsible for rewriting core tenets of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We seem all guilty for 9/11. Mr. Bush
thinks he stands above all structures of governance, whether national or
At home, he apparently does not need the Congress. Abroad, he does not need
the UN, international law and opinion. This forum did not sanction Blair and
Bush's misadventures in Iraq. The two rode roughshod over the UN and
international opinion. Almighty Bush is now corning back to the UN for a
rescue package because his nose is bloodied! Yet he dares lecture us on
tyranny. Indeed, he wants us to pray him! We say No to him and encourage him
to get out of Iraq. Indeed he should mend his ways before he clambers up the
pulpit to deliver pieties of democracy.
The British and the Americans have gone on a relentless campaign of
destabilising and vilifying my country. They have sponsored surrogate forces
to challenge lawful authority in my country. They seek regime change,
placing themselves in the role of the Zimbabwean people in whose collective
will democracy places the right to define and change regimes.
Let these sinister governments be told here and now that Zimbabwe will not
allow a regime change authored by outsiders. We do not interfere with their
own systems in America and Britain. Mr Bush and Mr Brown have no role to
play in our national affairs. They are outsiders and mischievous outsiders
and should therefore keep out! The colonial sun set a long time ago; in
1980in the case of Zimbabwe, and hence Zimbabwe will never be a colony
We do not deserve sanctions. We are Zimbabweans and we know how to deal with
our problems. We have done so in the past, well before Bush and Brown were
known politically. We have our own regional and continental organizations
In that vein, I wish to express my country's gratitude to President Thabo
Mbeki of South Africa who, on behalf of SADC, successfully facilitated the
dialogue between the Ruling Party and the Opposition Parties, which yielded
the agreement that has now resulted in the constitutional provisions being
finally adopted. Consequently, we will be holding multiple democratic
elections in March 2008. Indeed we have always had timeous general and
presidential elections since our independence.
In conclusion, let me stress once more that the strength of the United
Nations lies in its universality and impartiality as it implements its
mandate to promote peace and security, economic and social development,
human rights and international law as outlined in the Charter. Zimbabwe
stands ready to play its part in all efforts and programmes aimed at
achieving these noble goals.
I thank you.