A democratic Zimbabwe should pursue common security arrangements in SADC in order to implement a co-ordinated approach to issues like foreign military insurgency
By Andrew Nyathi
Security and disbarment as the twin sister of peaceful co-existence of nations are issues that fall within the realm of foreign policy where they affect, or are affected by, both relations between states and international law.
New approaches to security and defense should be developed in the context of wider policies on regional and international relations.
Security is not only limited to military matters; it has important political, economic, social and environmental dimensions.
Additionally, the security of the state is dependent on meeting the social, cultural, political, and economic as well as human rights needs of its people.
Enduring and enjoying security can be achieved through national and regional efforts in promoting democracy, respect for human rights, sustainable development, social justice and environmental protection.
We share the perspective of the Palme Commission on Disarmament and Security Issues with respect to common security.
The Commission argued that countries have become increasingly interdependent and common problems transcend national borders as never before.
States can no longer protect their citizens through unilateral military means. They share an interest in joint survival and should begin to organize their security policies in co-operation with each other.
Regional security in Southern Africa should be pursued through adherence to international law, the peaceful settlement of disputes, common security arrangements and region-wide disarmament.
We believe that the threat or use of force by one state against its citizens or another is an unacceptable instrument of foreign policy.
It follows that resorting to armed hostilities between states represents a failure of foreign policy.
A democratic Zimbabwe should more than endorse international resolutions concerning Article 2 (4) of the United Nations Charter.
These are the Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes; the Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States; and the admissibility of Intervention in Domestic Tyrannical States.
There are only two exceptions to the prohibition on the use of force by states; international peacekeeping operations and the right of self-defense against armed attack, as laid out in the United Nations Charter and interpreted by the International Court of Justice.
A democratic Zimbabwe will, as signatory to the Geneva Convention and Protocols, and will in all respects abide by international law with respect to the conduct of warfare.
A democratic Zimbabwe will be committed to resolving disputes with other states through peaceful means.
In partnership with its neighbors, Zimbabwe will promote the establishment of regional fora and systems for crisis prevention and management, and the facilitation, mediation and arbitration of conflicts.
A democratic Zimbabwe should actively pursue the establishment of common security arrangements in Southern Africa in order to build mutual trust, share information and develop a coordinated approach to such issues as disarmament, cross-border trafficking in small arms, foreign military involvement in the region and refugees.
Zimbabwe will further promote the adoption of confidence and security-building measures and the formal ratification of a non-aggression treaty in Southern Africa.
Natural resources found in any of the SADC countries shouldn’t be allowed to become the cause for war anymore.
We will be open to proposals for the establishment of institutions to promote regional security co-operation.
We strongly support efforts to promote increased military co-operation between the states of the region. And we favor the creation of an interstate Committee for Defense and Security which could be incorporated into the existing structures of the SADC.
This will help to create a climate of peace and security in the region which is based on a co-operative and non-militaristic approach. This should complement the troika arrangement which seem to be less effective.
We share the commitment of the United Nations to “general and complete disarmament under effective international control”, as resolved by the General Assembly at the Special Session on Disarmament in 1978. We endorse the recognition by the SADC of the positive relationship that exists between security, development and disarmament.
A reduction in force levels, armaments and defense spending will free funds required for the social needs of Zimbabwe. It will also facilitate disarmament on the sub-continent, easing external debt and releasing resources for development. This will promote both internal stability and regional security as part of the peace process.
We will work to strengthen arms control regimes world-wide. This will begin from our membership of the United Nations. We should also join other like-minded institutions including the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament.
We have taken particular note of the importance of the Kampala Declaration of 1991 on arms control in Africa. This is the way to salience guns in Africa.
Our concern for arms control will also extend to the chemical field. We will actively assist the Geneva Conference on Disarmament in their efforts to develop a comprehensive Chemical Weapons Convention.
Such a treaty, we believe, should ban absolutely and for all time the manufacture, possession and use of these weapons.
We should also work to assure the banning of biological weapons. Zimbabwe war of liberation know very well the dangers of the chemical weapons like napalm and anthrax which was used against guerillas. ZPRA and ZANLA were victims of such chemical and biological weapons.
International efforts to control conventional weapons will also occupy our attention. Through our renewed membership of the United Nations, we shall interest ourselves in the United Nations Expert Group on Conventional Arms Transfers.
Without fellow Africans, particularly our neighbors, we shall explore the modalities of suitable arms control regimes for the continent. Reforming the UN for the peace for our people is a must. Zimbabwe does not need any war now and forever.
Our political past means that Zimbabwe people were unable to take full advantage of the opportunities for membership of international fora which reflect our rich heritage of links with many parts of the world.
A democratic government should fortify international ties for the benefit of all our people. We know the under performance by the incumbent in the many issues raised this far, but TPF is ready to change all this.
We recognize the Commonwealth as a complete web of links in various areas of human relations and consequently we will welcome the country’s association at social-cultural meetings and other consultative bodies to enhance our socio-economic development.
Investor story should have to be told loudly here due to many historical connections and linkages that exist which were threatened by the incumbent.
Non-aligned Movement and the Group of 77
Zimbabwe has had a special link with the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). In many respects our struggle for peace, freedom and justice parallels the epic quest of the non-aligned countries which went through a similar experience and which stems from the consolidation of their own independence, freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Over the years, the NAM has become a central institution of the South where it continues to set the agenda for the coming decades. In the changing world situation, the Non-Aligned Movement’s relevance and importance cannot be over -emphasized. A strong and militant NAM can only benefit our nascent democracy.
The liberation movements had representation in a wider group of countries, including several western countries in which there was no official Rhodesian representation.
This tradition and experience thus needs to be built on in constructing a new foreign service for the people and no longer for the liberation agenda.
The ending of colonization and the emergence of a one man one vote in Zimbabwe enabled the country to establish legitimate links with countries across the face of the globe.
However, the incumbent failed dismally after gaining our freedom, in this regard couldn’t tell whether they are coming or going, yet not only restricted by economic and individual non policy considerations which they didn’t have.
Zimbabwe under TPF shall be in a position to establish a representation with every country that has gainful trade arrangements as well as other human endeavors with us.
The foreign policy of Zimbabwe shall be primarily being shaped by the nature of its domestic policies and objectives directed at serving the needs and interests of its people.
Essentially, therefore, decisions about levels and forms of representation will be informed by our basic quest to advance our socio-economic and political interests.
In service of the people abroad
This shall stand at the center of Zimbabwe’s foreign policy. We believe that the country needs professional diplomatic services which will be independent from the narrow confines of party politics. We believe, too, that as far as possible, the activities of the foreign-service should be open to public scrutiny and public accountability.
We will encourage an open, questioning culture within the Department of International Relations.
Only this can engender a robust exchange of ideas which, ultimately, will produce sustainable policy positions and benefit the people of Zimbabwe.
We have taken careful note of the recent experiences which have shaped diplomatic services in other parts of the world.
In particular, we are concerned that our professional diplomats should not live a privileged life but also not a sorry state of affairs.
They must master a range of managerial skills; without these, we believe, the modern diplomat, and Zimbabwe, will be handicapped.
We also believe – as this document attests – that trade and other economic issues are central to the modern diplomat.
Accordingly, we will take steps to ensure that Zimbabwe representatives abroad are well-versed in economic and trade matters which, inter alia, will help drive Zimbabwe’s international relations.
We shall immediately take steps to ensure that, within a reasonable period, the diplomatic corps fully understands representative views of the people.
Modern diplomacy has become an exacting and demanding vocation. It demands, in our opinion, knowledge, skilled communication, strong commitment and complete integrity.
We shall foster the required professional ethos for our corps anticipating that it will take its place amongst the great services of the world.
As responsible global citizens, TPF will encourage Zimbabweans who are willing and able, to pursue careers in international civil service.
Call it shadow embassies! Your country needs you! Ngiyibamba kanjalo lempela viki. Till next week.
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