UN empty auditorium: Time to rethink global south

IMAGES coming out from the United Nations’ 74th General Assembly of African presidents, including Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa cutting lone figures while addressing delegates on this global stage, make sad viewing.

With this in mind, Zimbabwe woke up to massive propaganda churning as ruling party supporters tried to explain the lack of audience in the auditorium, while their opposition counterparts went on a smear campaign drive to show how the President could not get an audience.

American President Donald Trump addressing UN delegates

We, at Zim Morning post, believe this is not only a Zimbabwean problem, but an African issue which calls for unity of purpose aimed at pushing for proper reforms at the United Nations.

This also comes as a lesson to the powers that be of the need to implement such reforms even at a local stage.

The impression conveyed by the empty chairs – except for a few delegates who chose to stay put and listen – is nothing short of an expression by the powerhouses of their distaste of views from Africa.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa addressing UN delegates

This year’s UN General Assembly is a podium for climate change, with countries also granted time to talk about any other pressing issues in their countries which they believe require intervention at global level.

Some of the issues that may require intervention by other countries and immediately come to mind are of punitive sanctions imposed by powerful and rich nations on weak and vulnerable countries, problems faced while conducting international business or trade, as well as problems associated with the proliferation of nuclear weapons, among others.

Such gatherings at the UN General Assembly are resource-consuming, with countries from as far afield as Africa of necessity having to fork out millions of dollars for travel and upkeep while in the United States, the venue of such annual jamborees.

It is, however, a pity that having travelled that much to go and be heard, many African leaders and their Asian colleagues have to contend with being treated like third-class global citizens, with their concerns not even worthy of listening to.

The scenario is quite different from say, when presidents from such global powerhouses like the US, France, Germany and others come on the stage, where a full house is “naturally” expected.

Rwanda president Paul Kagame addresses UN delegates

This is the kind of attitude we, at Zim Morning Post, find baffling, especially coming as it does from “champions of democracy” and equal rights!