US showers Govt, Zim with praises • Harare meets international commitments • . . . offers safe haven for refugees

AT a time when sponsored activists are trying to present
Zimbabwe as an international pariah in the United States, the
US has come out gushing about Zimbabwe, hailing the
Government for honouring its international commitments and
offering a safe haven for thousands of refugees from the
world’s hotspots. This is despite the fact that US sanctions are estimated to
have cost Zimbabwe over $42 billion in revenue since the turn
of the millennium in addition to contracting the economy by a
factor of over 40 percent. In a video posted on the US Embassy in Harare Facebook page
on Monday, US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Harry K. Thomas Jr
said: “To date, Zimbabwe has welcomed more than 9 000
refugees and we thank the Government of Zimbabwe for
honouring its international commitments by providing a safe
place for refugees.” Play the video below: He made the remarks while announcing that US President
Barack Obama was expected to host a summit on the refugee
crisis on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly
meeting yesterday. President Mugabe attended the United Nations Summit for
Refugees and Migrants on Monday where leaders adopted a
New York declaration that calls on countries to protect the
human rights of the world’s more than 65 million refugees,
increase humanitarian aid, help with resettlement,
standardise responses and provide better education and employment opportunities for displaced people. Ambassador Thomas Jr said the goal of the summit was to
expand a humanitarian safety net and create more long-term
opportunities for refugees. “Displaced from their homes, families and communities, these
are people who have experienced terrible loss, face uncertain
futures and look to the rest of the world, to us for support and
hope,” he said. Addressing world leaders at the UN meeting on Monday,
President Mugabe said the selfish interests of a few nations
were the root cause of the large-scale displacement of people
the world over. He said the adoption of the New York Declaration on
Refugees and Migrants was a step in the right direction in
ensuring dignity for all. President Mugabe said, “Over the past year, we have
witnessed harrowing images of refugees risking their lives to
flee the dire realities in their countries of origin. We have
been equally shocked at the hostile reception refugees have
often been subjected to. “Against this background, we are pleased at the convening of
this important meeting that allows us to explore a collective
blueprint for dealing with large movements of refugees and
migrants. We are also pleased that the New York Declaration
for Refugees and Migrants, highlights the importance of
addressing the root cause of the large movements. “We have noted that a large portion of refugees that have
landed on European shores originated from countries in
armed conflict such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. “We therefore are convinced that a return to the UN Charter
ideals of saving succeeding generations from the scourge of
war and refraining from using armed force is critical in
addressing the root cause of large movements of refugees.”

Watch Video of ambassador

He said the predilection to military force by some countries
had needlessly created a refugee crisis. “More often than not, Member States have been too keen to
resort to force without exhausting peaceful means. This hegemonic military doctrine
and adventurism, fuelled by a desire to achieve the narrow
national interests of a powerful few, is the root of the
proliferation of armed conflicts which have spawned so many
refugees today.” “We have a collective responsibility to change the narrative on
migrants and migration in our countries. Many countries owe
their success in business and scientific prowess to the
invaluable contributions of migrants and refugees. “We commend those states that have, despite their own
limitations, opened their borders to migrant communities. We
in Zimbabwe have hosted many refugees from conflict-
affected countries. We call for a balanced focus on the
humanitarian plight of migrants and refugees world over,”
said President Mugabe who is in New York for the 71st UN General Assembly. He is accompanied by First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe, Foreign
Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and, Tourism and
Hospitality Industry Minister Dr Walter Mzembi and other
senior Government officials.

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