President set for global affairs front row seat

by | Jul 8, 2024 | Business, COVID 19, Health, International, Local News, Politics | 0 comments

President set for global affairs front row seat

Staff Reporter

Zimbabwe’s assumption of the SADC chairmanship next month will thrust the country into the front row seat of global affairs as a key contributor to international affairs.


Speaking to The Herald, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Ambassador Albert Chimbindi explained how the hosting of the 44th SADC Summit will position Zimbabwe in the comity of nations.


Ambassador Chimbindi, who is the former Head of Zimbabwe’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations (UN) in New York, said the position that President Mnangagwa will assume next month means he has an extra role to play both at the Africa Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) levels.


This could also give fresh impetus to Zimbabwe’s bid to be a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the period 2027 to 2028.


“You have to look at this in the context of our general foreign policy, not only that we are focusing on economic diplomacy but we also have to make sure that Zimbabwe is part of the family of nations in all facets of international relations,” said Ambassador Chimbindi.


“It also shows you that Zimbabwe can take a leading role, not only in the region, when you are the chair of SADC there are other meetings that are organised at the level of the AU, what they call the mid-year summit of the AU. It’s only those Presidents who are heading regional economic organisations who will be participating.


“So, that also gives the President the leeway to actually meet several other Heads of States and Government and, as SADC chair also, you get consulted by several other organisations including the UN,” said Ambassador Chimbindi.


He added that when the President assumes the leadership of SADC, he will be looking at all the issues that fall under SADC.


“As you know the agenda of SADC goes through social, economic, political, security issues so he will be superintending all these,” he said.


The President will be at the heart of the regional bloc firstly this year as the incoming chair, then chair and ultimately outgoing chair the year after.


He also reminisced on the time Zimbabwe last held the SADC Summit in Victoria Falls 10 years ago, where the theme on industrialisation was introduced.


Industrialisation is a key part of Zimbabwe’s external engagements as the country’s foreign policy is configured towards economic diplomacy.


“So, you also have to understand in the context that Zimbabwe hosted and last led SADC in 2014, when we hosted the summit in Victoria Falls and at that summit, Zimbabwe introduced the theme that is still running now, which was something to do with industrialisation,” said Ambassador Chimbindi.


“We were talking about value addition and beneficiation, this is a theme that has been running since 2014, it’s a theme that is building on a theme that we started in 2014.”