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Why are world leaders not attending UNGA this year? – NewsDay

The annual UNGAs serve as forums for evaluating the state of the world and identifying and resolving issues that demand attention on a global scale.

THE 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 78) takes place from September 9 to 23 this year. It will feature high-level general debate under the theme: Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity: Accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all.

The annual UNGAs serve as forums for evaluating the state of the world and identifying and resolving issues that demand attention on a global scale. This year’s UNGA — which is the 78th session — represents a crucial milestone in the journey towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), since it marks the halfway point to the global goals’ deadline.

At the SDG summit, leaders will review the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 SDGs, providing high-level political guidance on transformative and accelerated actions. The outcome will be a negotiated political declaration.

The world is currently dealing with several difficulties, including the conflict in Ukraine and its consequences on the global economy, as well as the global warming phenomenon’s escalating effects. These are significant problems whose repercussions are being felt throughout the world, making the upcoming UNGA a crucial forum to confront these problems head-on.

While each member State is given time and opportunity to address the UNGA, largely in terms of their progress on the SDGs and future plans to sustain and deliver on achievements, the decision-making to steer these global agendas forward lies with the United Nations Security Council.

The council’s primary responsibility is for the maintenance of international peace and security across the world. The war in Ukraine, the state of the global economy, and climate change are definitely major threats to global peace and security today. The council is a 15-member group with each member having one vote. Under the Charter of the United Nations, all member States are obligated to comply with council decisions. That is how powerful the council is to the world and global decisions.

However, this year, as heads of State and government converge in New York for the traditional UNGA event, there is one glaring development that is raising questions about the importance of this global annual event. Four of the five permanent members of the Security Council will not be at this year’s UNGA. These include France, Russia, China and the United Kingdom. This will leave the United States (US) as the only member of the five permanent members of the council to address the UNGA.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also miss this year’s UNGA next week. This also means that five of the top 10 world’s largest economies will not be present at the UNGA having chosen to delegate their juniors to represent them at this crucial global event which serves as one of the six principal organs of the United Nations, serving as its main deliberative, policymaking, and representative organ. September is always known as the busiest diplomatic season because of UNGA.

While the absence of Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping is not breaking news as they often prefer not to attend, it is the absence of France and the United Kingdom’s prime ministers which is raising questions.

For France’s Emmanuel Macron, on the surface, there seem to be credible reasons for skipping this year’s UNGA because he is reportedly scheduled to host King Charles III and Pope Francis, both of whom are supposed to be among the world leaders at UNGA. Could it be that these leaders no longer view UNGA as an important global platform to address issues of global concern?

The United Kingdom’s absence is even more conspicuous as no credible reasons have been provided and also that this was supposed to be Rishi Sunak’s inaugural UNGA since he took over power last year in October. That will make him the first UK Prime Minister to miss UNGA in a decade. This was supposed to be his chance to address the world as a global leader, outline his agenda and also that he oversees the Commonwealth of Nations, an international association of 56 member States — that is more than half of the UN member States.

What is more conspicuous is that UNGA comes just two weeks after the Group of 20 summit in India and a month after the 2023 Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) plus summit held in Johannesburg in August. Other than Russia’s Putin, the rest of the Security Council permanent members attended the G20 summit so did members of the Brics plus. This raises the question on whether the absence of the superpowers at the UNGA is a snub or there are more important issues on their hands to handle. Or maybe they are just not seeing value in being at UNGA.

Whatever the case may be, our African leaders never miss a chance to fly to New York to decorate the auditorium, while their spouses and friends shop in the United States. It is their chance to show the world that they can do expensive shopping for their families, while their people back home expect development.

  • Tapiwa Gomo is a development consultant based in Pretoria, South Africa. He writes here in his personal capacity.

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Bulawayo colleges open companies as Education 5.0 bears fruit – The Herald

Bulawayo Bureau

BULAWAYO’S Hillside Teachers’ College and the United College of Education have ventured into full-time industrialisation through establishing and registering new companies in line with the Heritage-Based Education 5.0 model.

The development adds impetus to the on-going efforts by the Government to re-industrialise Bulawayo and anchor the country’s economy on increased high-value production with a focus on substituting imports and stimulating export earnings.

UCE, which specialises in primary school teacher training has set up a company called Collinvest (Pvt) Ltd and registered it with the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ). 

The new company deals with musical instruments and production of protective clothing as well as uniforms.

UCE principal, Dr Adam Luthuli, has said the college, in line with Education 5.0 philosophy on innovation and industrialisation, is now producing goods and services.

“The college’s company, Collinvest (Pvt) Ltd, which is registered with the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ), is overwhelmed with requests for musical instruments, protective clothing and uniforms. Our company has received orders from Gwanda State University, Manicaland State University. Kusile Rural District Council, Hwange Rural District Council, United Bulawayo Hospitals and Harare Central Hospital,” he said on Friday during the institution’s graduation ceremony. 

Dr Luthuli said the company is into production and repair of marimba, mbira and was also running chicken and piggery projects.

He said the company intends to produce assistive devices such as hearing aids, wheelchairs and prostheses or artificial body parts.

Hillside Teachers’ College, which was established in 1956 to train secondary school teachers, has already set up a secondary school as part of efforts to bridge the shortage of schools in the country while pursuing other commercial ventures.

A total of 56 Form One learners are now attending classes from the main campus awaiting the construction of new school premises in Matobo District after the local authority gave the institution a 24-hectare piece of land.

The college is also producing nutritious ‘Madhumbe Crisps’, a product that has been approved by the Government analyst laboratory and is expected to hit the market soon.

One of the female students at the college has also come up with a unique garment design concept to assist breastfeeding mothers and T-shirt, which allows a mother to breastfeed in public without exposing any part of her body.

Hillside Teachers’ College acting principal, Dr Sifelani Jabangwe, said the national agenda of attaining an upper middle-income economy by 2030 was premised on innovation and industrialisation, which puts colleges and universities in the spotlight to lead from the front.

“As we celebrate our ceremony under the theme: ‘Transformative Teacher Education for Accelerated Innovation and Industrialisation’, I would like to underscore the fact that it is imperative for us as a college to have our teacher education bringing innovation and industrialisation into the foreground,” he said. 

“Against this backdrop, we have embraced these two concepts as part of our core mandate in line with  Education 5.0 and have since embarked on a number of projects, which are reflective of this stance.”

Following the Government’s call for colleges to assist former students to form consortiums and establish schools, Dr Jabangwe said 10 former students approached the college expressing an interest in establishing a high school. 

“We were offered 24ha of land in Matobo district about 30 km from Bulawayo. We are ready to start phase one of the construction of the school.”

“I am pleased to inform you that January 2023 saw the college’s commencement of two form-one classes with an enrolment of 56 learners at our newly established practicing school,” he said. 

“We have had to create space for those classes within the infrastructure that we have for now. However, as we look to enrol classes in future, our plan is to build the school at our Hillside Teachers’ College 4ha extension stand. 

“The college is working closely with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to regularise operations of the school.”

 Dr Jabangwe said three college students and a lecturer have initiated a project to produce Madhumbe crisps.

“The project uses the local resource, madhumbe tuber. The product has been tried and tested and has also undergone assessment by Government analyst laboratory,” he said. 

“I am actually happy to say that the same product is actually available and is on sale right here on our campus and has been packaged as Hill Madhumbe Crisps advertised as ‘Traditional crispy taste just for you!”.

Dr Jabangwe said the college had also established a recording studio that is set to benefit the institution through recording fees to be paid by local artists although lecturers and students are the immediate beneficiaries.

He said the college was hoping to step up production of breastfeeding dress which was designed by one of the students which allows the mother to breastfeed in public without exposing any part of her body. 

The Education 5.0 blue-print prioritises the development of five-main faculties in learners, which include teaching, research, community service, innovation and industrialisation as key pillars driving an innovation-led and knowledge-driven economy.

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Lithium firms form association – The Herald

Michael Tome Business Reporter

LOCAL lithium companies have officially launched an association aimed at promoting the development of the industry.

The Association of Chinese New Energy Miners (ACNEM) is critical to enhance communication between the lithium miners and local stakeholders including the Government while safeguarding the rights and interests of its members.

Entities involved in the initiative include Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe, Sabi Star Mine, Gwanda Lithium, Sinomine Bikita Minerals Spodumene Project, Kamativi Lithium Project, and Global Platinum Resources.

Addressing delegates at the official launch ceremony, Mines and Mining Development Minister Zhemu Soda said: “It is pleasing to note that as Zimbabwe we host various battery minerals that include lithium, graphite, nickel, and cobalt. The development of these resources will contribute significantly to the country’s vision of becoming a prosperous Upper Middle-Income Economy by 2030.

“Chinese companies are at the forefront of new energy technology, and they have a wealth of experience in developing and operating new energy projects. This Association will bring together Chinese and Zimbabwean companies to work together to develop Zimbabwe’s new energy sector. The Association of Chinese New Energy Miners in Zimbabwe is a welcome addition to the Zimbabwean business community,” said Minister Soda.

Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Zhou Ding said the establishment of the association would boost Zimbabwe’s new energy sector.

“I believe that the association will also serve as a bridge to facilitate China-Zimbabwe cooperation in the new energy mining sector, encourage its members to better practice corporate social responsibility, protect their legitimate rights and interests, and push for the healthy, sustainable and high-quality development of Chinese mining companies in Zimbabwe,” Ambassador Ding said.

Ambassador Ding said the mining industry output has increased to US$9,8 billion in 2022 from US$2, 9 billion in 2017. ACNEM president Mr Wang Zhenhua said Zimbabwe was poised to become an important player in the global new energy industry supply chain.

“Currently, Chinese-funded lithium mining companies are the main ones. In the following stage, we will do our best to recruit various types of lithium mining companies in Zimbabwe, such as locally-owned lithium mines, other capital-funded lithium mining companies, and upstream and downstream companies. We will work together to seek common development.

“Encourage member companies to expand and strengthen business and dig into the downstream chain, support value addition, and extend industrial chain when and where conditions allow. Create more jobs and social wealth for Zimbabwe and promote greater development of the mining industry,” said Mr Zhenhua.

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Zambian President fires Information Minister amid rising tensions … – The Zimbabwe Mail

Chushi Kasanda

THE embattled Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema has terminated Chushi Kasanda’s appointment as Information and Media Minister, replacing her with UPND spokesperson and Southern Province Minister Cornelius Mweetwa.

The President has also removed Dr Anna Songolo from the office of Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries and has further appointed Thabo Kawana as Ministry of Information and Media Permanent Secretary.

Meanwhile, President Hichilema has appointed Dr Ron Mwambwa as Auditor General, subject to ratification by the National Assembly.

According to a statement issued by State House Chief Communications Specialist Clayson Hamasaka, Monday, the President has appointed Princess Kasune as Central Province Minister after transferring Credo Nanjuwa to be Minister for Southern Province

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