H.E. Gabriel P. Sinimbo
High Commissioner of Namibia to India
Namibia’s spectacles, ‘a better future for our Planet and Humanity’
The health of our planet and humanity’s future are inseparable. Both are in serious danger. In reality, though, there is only one threat: humanity. We are our own worst enemy.I share sentiments of Fritz Steiner, dean of the School of Architecture and Inger Andersen, the Executive Director, UN Environment Programme who in both their writings have agreed that Climate change is eating into our well-being, economic development, peace and stability, and unfortunately unless we take action, it will only get worse. In converting land for agriculture, infrastructure and urban expansion, we have destroyed ecosystems, biodiversity and the services they provide. We are polluting the land, air and sea, causing millions of deaths each year, burdening healthcare systems and, again, destroying nature’s foundations. Our reliance on fossil fuels, our pursuit of unrestrained growth, our prioritization of the short-term over the long has caused these challenges. The current levels of pollution, armed conflict, chronic diseases, lack of quality education for all, climate change, hunger and malnutrition, natural disasters and cybercrimes to mention but just a few, have reached aggravated levels.
We need to rethink how we exploit resources, how we build our cities and infrastructure, how we grow our food, and how we manage our waste. Our production and consumption is unsustainable. We need to value nature, and account for it in every decision at every level.
Without drastic action today, adapting to the impacts of these issues in the future will be more difficult and costly.
One however, cannot speak of a better future without a mention of the youth. Young people are 25% of our population, but they will constitute 100% of our future, therefore their aspirations are what the world needs to focus on for a better world and future. The United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU) through their Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2063, respectively have the youth at heart of all the goals and aspirations. No one country can solve these issues and fears, as the world has become a global village, thus the need for a global joint approach.
With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, that has exposed the weaknesses and amplified the fragility of the whole world, and particularly the African continent due to the externally-oriented state of African economies, the need for a global joint approach has not been any more evident. The lesson learnt here is that for the world to move forward, no one country or continent can be left behind, as services are so interlinked, a barrier in one area for one reason or another will bring the whole system to a halt. The same approach is to be taken when it comes to marrying generational approaches especially when the world is changing so fast and at a time when we are living in the fourth industrial revolution. Young people are interested in future skills for future work, as well as digital technology and green technology, it is up to the leaders of today to make that transition possible and as inclusive as possible for every young person.
By all means possible, a better future for the planet and humanity will be one that is all encompassing and inclusive. This refers to ‘a better future where humanity leads a dignified life in a safe planet.’ Humanity as it is today being faced with countless issues that need urgent solutions.
Namibia as a country gives much importance to universalism and multilateralism, as a child of international solidarity and a product of Ubuntu, which is a culture of unison and tranquillity amongst human species. Namibia is inclusive in all its National Development Plans, which includes the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP), Agenda 2030 and the National Development Plans. The task of building an inclusive and caring Namibian House, free from all kinds of divisions is one that Namibia pursues and defends obstinately. This is the reason why on the international arena, Namibia continues to support the reform of the United Nations Security Council to be more representational of its member countries. Namibia also continues to encourage the UN in seeking an end to the impasse and to work together in good faith with countries where peace is long desired or is under threat.
- Namibia continues to expresses her “unequivocal support” for the people of Western Sahara and their right to self-determination. Namibia calls for the implementation of Security Council and General Assembly resolutions and for holding the referendum in that territory.
- Namibia as well, continues to stand with the international consensus that Israel’s occupation of Palestine must end, reiterating the position that statehood and independence were “the national, inalienable and legal rights” of the Palestinian people is instated.
- With regards to the economic embargo put on Cuba, Namibia’s position has always been to call on the USA to respect the UN General Assembly resolution titled “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba” (document A/74/L.6). The resolution has been overwhelmingly voted for by the General Assembly (GA) every year with only USA and Israel who normally vote against it.
- Namibia believes that sovereign nations should live in peace with one another as good neighbors and embrace the principle of open trade without any threat or use of coercive measures.
- During the 39th SADC Summit held in Tanzania 2019, SADC member countries declared October 25 as solidarity day against illegal economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe and resolved to conduct various activities in their respective countries on that day, to resoundingly call for the immediate removal of the sanctions. The lifting of sanctions on Zimbabwe will translate into economic improvements, trade exchanges, and employment for the country resulting in a peaceful nation.
Therefore, rather than isolation, let us stand together to promote a stronger culture of cooperation for the advancement and wellbeing of all citizens of the world, for the planet and humanity depends on it.