WINDHOEK- President Hage Geingob on Wednesday re-affirmed socio-economic gains made in Namibia.
This is despite the country fighting to overcome a persistent recession and prevailing drought that has devastated the agricultural sector, which is one of the biggest employers in the country.
Speaking at the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly debate in New York, he said despite these realities, Namibia is making inroads in eradicating poverty and reducing inequalities in income and wealth.
“Our government allocates a high percentage of resources to the social sectors, including universal access to education and a highly subsidised healthcare system, with the aim to reverse the effects of the skewed economy,” he said, adding that these investments have attained a measure of success.
Within a period of 22 years, Geingob said poverty in Namibia has declined from a 70 percent baseline, down to 18 percent by 2016, lifting more than 400,000 members of the country population out of poverty since independence.
He said according to the June 2017 World Bank Report, Namibia’s gradual decline in poverty is attributable to a targeted policy framework that includes “a well-developed programme of cash transfers to vulnerable segments of the population”.
“The administration of social safety nets has been a cornerstone in our multi-pronged fight against poverty. Namibia remains among the most unequal societies in the world, attesting to the deeply embedded structural nature of our problem. The status quo is not sustainable and Namibia is taking steps to build a more inclusive society,” he said.
Geingob also briefed the UN on the severe, widespread and prolonged period of drought, which he said has adverse effect on the livelihoods of the region inhabitants.
“This vulnerability poses a major obstacle in achieving Agenda 2063. With this in mind, Namibia reiterates her commitment to the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change,” he said.
He said the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR), should guide commitment to tackling the global environmental challenges.
In the quest for global peace, Geingob said the African Union and the United Nations are solid partners in conflict resolution and this cooperation has helped to silence the guns in many parts of Africa.
“These efforts are informed by our understanding that without peace, our ability to realise Agenda 2063 and the recently launched African Continental Free Trade Area will be undermined,” he said.
“We cannot talk of leaving no one behind when we live in a world in which the people of Western Sahara and Palestine have been left behind,” Geingob said.
“Informed by the anticolonial struggle in our region and the international solidarity extended to us, Sadc convened a Solidarity Conference for Polisario and the people of Western Sahara, in March 2019 in South Africa, where we reiterated our unwavering commitment to the right to self-determination and freedom of the people of Western Sahara,” added the Head of State.
Similarly, he said the people of Palestine have the fundamental right to self-determination and independence.
“We must achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, with the establishment of two States, co-existing in an atmosphere of peace and security,” he said.
With regard to Cuba, Geingob expressed disappointment that they have regressed from the thawing of relations that they witnessed a few years ago.
“We renew our call for the lifting of the outdated economic and financial embargo on Cuba. We further call on the lifting of the sanctions on Zimbabwe, in support of their pursuit for economic development, unity and prosperity,” Geingob said.
“We also extend our solidarity to the government and people of Venezuela and commend the mediation efforts by the Kingdom of Norway.”
2019-09-27 09:30:09 | 2 months ago