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‘Global peace at stake’… Geingob rails against inequality at UN

2021-09-24  Staff Reporter

‘Global peace at stake’… Geingob rails against inequality at UN
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President Geingob has taken aim at prevailing inequality among United Nations member states laid bare and exacerbated by the devastating Covid-19 pandemic. 

“Covid-19 has impacted poorer countries more acutely and unevenly. Faced with high levels of debt and no access to finance, developing countries are struggling to mitigate the severe effects of the crisis,” the President told a global audience of world leaders during his address to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly yesterday afternoon. 

“We face the most critical period in human history. 

Global peace is at stake, human dignity is at stake and the future of our global village is at stake. 

As we meet in this global parliament of humanity, we are called upon by the citizens of this world to craft a collective way forward that will ensure that we recover from the devastation of Covid-19 and chart a way forward towards a brighter future.”

The pandemic has wreaked economic havoc across the world and has particularly restricted the movement of people. The pandemic has also claimed over 4.7 million deaths globally, with over 230 million infections.

Amid the serious challenges posed by the Covid-19, Geingob was adamant that UN members will prevail and overcome the global threat. 



“Although the task may seem daunting, through unity of purpose, we will prevail. For where there is unity, there is hope to overcome Covid-19, where there is unity, people can return to rebuilding sustainably, where there is unity, we can respond to the needs of the planet and respect the rights of all people. Indeed, through unity, we will revitalise the United Nations, transforming it into a bastion of global democracy that will save the world from the scourge of war and reaffirm faith in the fundamental human rights, dignity and worth of each and every human being on this planet,” he said. 



Scientific victory

Namibia, with a population of just 2.5 million, lost 3 478 people to Covid-19. In a statement on 19 September, the UN said inequitable vaccine distribution is not only leaving millions or billions of people vulnerable to the deadly virus, but it is also allowing even more deadly variants to emerge and spread across the globe. “Moreover, an unequal distribution of vaccines will deepen inequality and exaggerate the gap between the rich and poor and will reverse decades of hard-won progress on human development. Vaccine inequity will have a lasting impact on socio-economic recovery in low and lower-middle-income countries and set back progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” read the statement. According to the UNDP, eight out of 10 people pushed into poverty directly by the pandemic are projected to live in the world’s poorest countries in 2030. Estimates also suggest that the economic impacts of Covid-19 may last until 2024 in low-income countries, while high-income countries could reach pre-Covid-19 per capita GDP growth rates by the end of this year. Geingob, during the UNGA speech, complimented global efforts to develop vaccines and called it a “scientific victory and a testament to human ingenuity”, although he lamented the hoarding of vaccines by the wealthy nations. “Vaccine apartheid has resulted in significant disparities in terms of vaccine rollout and availability, with many people in developing countries left out. It is a pity that we have a situation where in some countries, citizens are at the stage of receiving booster shots while in other countries, many are still waiting to receive their first doses of vaccines. Let us bear in mind that, ‘no one is safe unless we are all safe’.”

Gender equality

Geingob also pleaded with global leaders to strengthen gender equality efforts. “Namibia believes that women’s participation and representation is central to equitable and sustainable development. Thus, Namibia continues to advocate for increased gender equality around the world, and we set ourselves the challenge of leading by example in our policies, programmes and actions,” he said. “Similarly, we take cognisance of the fact that our youth are the backbones of the global village and the custodians of the keys to humanity’s future. Therefore, Namibia remains committed to supporting the development of our young people and promoting greater youth participation in all areas of society, since they have a critical role to play in promoting global peace and development. To illustrate our commitment to youth empowerment, I have in my delegation, two youthful female ministers aged 21 and 22 respectively. They, together with their peers, are the future.”





2021-09-24  Staff Reporter

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