This week, world leaders will descend on New York to witness three historic events; the adoption of a post 2015 development agenda, the celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the United Nations (UN) (in San Francisco in 1945) and to take part in the 70th UN General Assembly Session.
Once again, Botswana will not be represented by its leader, President Ian Khama. In view of the above, the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) parliamentary caucus wishes to register its concern on President Khama’s continued absence at such crucial events. This continued absence denies our country the opportunity to actively take part in shaping the new world order. The post 2015 development agenda, which will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will be anchored on three pillars: economic, social and environmental. It will speak to five key areas: People; Planet, Prosperity, Partnerships and Peace. As the UDC MPs, we find it incomprehensible how President Khama would not find it necessary to take part in such a historic event; an event that will ushers in the post 2016 development agenda or the Sustainable Development Agenda.
Having signed up to the MDGs, Botswana committed itself to fighting extreme poverty, promoting universal primary education, promoting gender equality, and forging enduring partnerships. Former president, F.G Mogae, joined his counterparts to pledge his government’s commitment to this agenda. Regrettably, President Khama, as usual, will be absent when global leaders meet to share experiences, lessons and views on how to tackle global challenges. These leaders will also map the way forward. As this event coincides with the 70th anniversary celebrations of the formation of the UN, it is an opportune moment for leaders to reflect on its achievements, challenges and milestones reached thus far. The 70th Anniversary of the UN provides an opportunity for the UN member states to exchange notes on the challenges and successes as well as possible solutions to developmental challenges at national and international levels. Botswana could benefit from the experiences of more developed economies. The 67th UN General Assembly noted that
The UDC MPs would like to take this opportunity to appeal to president Khama to reconsider his position and join other leaders at this historic event to ensure that the vision and aspirations of our people form part of the world journey into the future. He should go there and present Botswana’s views on the current and daunting global challenges.
*Phenyo Butale (PHD)
UDC parliamentary Caucus Spokesperson