The Miss Namibia organisation has brushed aside calls to boycott Miss Universe 2021 set to take place in Israel next month due to appalling war crimes in that country.
Citing the occupation of Palestine by Israel and the brutal treatment of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, the decision to hold the contest in Israel has sparked an outcry globally, with some calling for a boycott of the beauty pageant.
South Africa has recently announced it’swithdrawal of support for Miss South Africa to attend the international pageant. Miss Malaysia and Miss Indonesia have also taken the decision to boycott the event.
Locally, the Miss Namibia organisation remains committed to send Chelsi Shikongo to Israel, come December.
“The relationship between the Miss Namibia and Miss Universe organisations, which extends over many decades, is not of a political nature but set by the terms of the licence agreements we have with one another,” commented Miss Namibia national director, Conny Maritz.
“In as much as Miss Namibia will represent Namibia in pageants abroad, her international participation will also be informed by the country’s foreign policies and international relationships.”
Maritz was referring to the international relations ministry statement in August this year that Namibia’s policy towards the people of Palestine and the State of Israel is one of “being friends to all and an enemy of none”.
The statement reiterated that Namibia is committed to the Middle East peace process for a lasting settlement of the Palestinian issue, and that the focus should be on a peaceful negotiation within the framework of resolutions of the United Nations Organisation to bring about an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, existing side-by-side with Israel.
“This, we shall always respect because our government is democratically elected, and formulated those policies in terms of a mandate given to them by the majority of Namibians,” said Maritz.
She stated that the Miss Namibia organisation intends to honour its contractual obligation to participate in the Miss Universe pageant this year and will seek to do so within the framework of the country’s foreign policy principles towards - and relationships with - the people of Palestine and the State of Israel.