Gaborone-Botswana Minister of International Relations Lemogang Kwape has called for global cooperation post covid 19 pandemic as a solution to reviving the southern African country’s economy.
Speaking at an engagement of non-aligned movement members Kwape said Botswana stands ready to accrue benefits of economic cooperation with other countries in the world in the areas of trade and bilateral relations.
“As a country with abiding faith in values of democracy and good governance, Botswana continues to show commitment to the principles of the Movement since joining in 1960. As a small country surrounded by the then colonial and apartheid regimes, we played our genuine part to support the efforts of the NAM and those of the liberation movements in our region, in the best way we could,” he said.
He said the non aligned movement has become a stronger grouping of countries with a quest to grow together.
“ It is also without a doubt that the NAM has over the years also played a significant role to address many other contemporary and emerging global challenges. Working together, our Movement has immensely contributed to the maintenance of international peace and security and to end intolerance, racism and racial discrimination.
“ It is however regrettable that the decolonization agenda has not yet been completed. We must collectively continue to make the clarion call that the remaining territories still under foreign occupation and colonial or alien domination be granted their right to self-determination,” he said.
Kwape also reiterated that Botswana yearns for the day when Palestine and Western Sahara will attain their right to self-determination, freedom and independence.
“The Questions of Palestine and Western Sahara have remained unresolved for far too long, despite our concerted efforts including the NAM and UN.Similarly, we must not relent in our resolve to eliminate any form of intolerance, discrimination and hatred on the basis of colour, religion, gender or otherwise. Let us all unite to fully implement the recent outcomes of the Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action,” he said.
Kwape said the non aligned movement has toalso continue to adapt to new and emerging challenges.
“As the NAM, we can remain the voice through which our peoples can realise development and social justice– and we must continue to speak with one voice in different fora, especially at the United Nations — on issues affecting our countries, with the view to fast track realisation of the SDGs.
“In the recent past, our Movement has shown dynamism and responsiveness in addressing global challenges posed by the COVID-19 Pandemic. We commend the able leadership of our Chair, H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, for convening a virtual Summit of the NAM Contact Group in response to COVID-19 on 4 May 2020,” he said.
He called on all countries to cooperate in the quest of distributing vaccine and normalise their economies after the pandemic.
“As we all know, the fight against the pandemic endures in many of our developing countries. Our collective efforts to effectively eliminate the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic will remain incomplete, if we do not compel the international community to accede to our demand for equity in access to the life-saving vaccines.
“Vaccines equity — and their being declared a “global public good” — is not only a moral imperative. It is also an important matter that lies at the heart of demonstration of the true spirit of multilateralism, global solidarity and international cooperation — which others often preach, but do not practice,” he said.