PRESIDENT Hage Geingob concluded Namibia’s High-Level participation in the 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York with a call for effective multilateralism and ambitious global leadership to deal with the challenges of climate change, inequality and poverty.
In his UNGA statement President Geingob said: “I have a deeply held conviction that inclusivity spells harmony, while exclusivity spells conflict. We therefore cannot afford to leave out the majority of the world’s population, in our pursuit of prosperity. Without the full involvement of women and youth, we miss an opportunity to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.”
On climate action Dr. Geingob said: “Namibia reiterates her commitment to the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR), should guide our commitment in tackling global environmental challenges.”
On the margins of the assembly President Geingob held meetings with the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, during which the two leaders agreed to strengthen economic relations between the two countries by opening new avenues for trade and investment.
As a member of the African Union Heads of State Committee of Ten on the Reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), President Geingob met with President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone to discuss the work of the Committee.
In addition to meetings with Heads of State and Leaders of multilateral organizations, President Geingob as part of a national investment drive implored business leaders at an Invest in Namibia event to invest in the country in light of ambitious reforms and a favourable investment climate.
“Namibia is a competitive economy and a gateway into Southern Africa with linkages providing the rest of the region via the world-class port of Walvis Bay access to international markets. Namibia is part of economic corridors and through the provision of dry-port facilities, previously landlocked countries,like Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe have been turned into sea-linked countries, bolstering their capacities to participate in international trade.”
As a member of the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, President Geingob reiterated Namibia’s commitment to a responsible and sustainable ocean economy. During the meeting Namibia made the following commitments:
1) Ensuring that at least 10 percent of our Exclusive Economic Zone is gazetted as a marine protected area by 2020. Currently, Namibia’s entire coastal belt is gazetted as national parks and includes three coastal Ramsar sites; namely the Walvis Bay Lagoon, Sandwich Harbour and the Orange River mouth, which are protected. Namibia’s marine waters, less than 200 meters deep, are protected from most commercial fishing activities, as they are breeding grounds for fish.
2) Namibia is one of the countries with potential for wind power generation globally, especially around the coastal town of Lüderitz. In this regard, Namibia is committed to generating approximately 144MW additional wind power, by 2022.
3) Namibia is in the final stages of the ratification of Annex 6 of the MARPOL Convention (Convention on the Prevention of Pollution from Ships), which includes 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gasses emissions from ships by 2050, in line with the International Maritime Organisation’s [IMO] Agreement.
4) Namibia is committed to increasing national per capita fish consumption to the global average of 20.4 kg by 2020. The country was successful by increasing per capita national fish consumption from 4kg in 2014 to current 15.4 kg in 2018. All regions in Namibia have access to affordable fish.
5) Namibia has committed an additional US$5 million towards ocean research and protection during 2019/2020 financial year. This includes US$2.3 million to facilitate research on oceans, especially on fisheries stocks and marine ecosystem, and a further US$2.7 million to intensify the fight against illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing and improve ocean governance.
6) In addition, Namibia, Angola and South Africa, together with development partners, have committed US$3.8 million for maritime research activities under the Benguela Current Convention (BCC) for 2019/2020 financial year.
On the margins of UNGA, and with Namibia having made much lauded progress in fighting inequality, President Geingob, including the Prime Minister of Sweden joined world leaders to take a stand against inequality.
The 74th UNGA convened under the theme: “Galvanizing multilateral efforts for poverty eradication, quality education, climate action and inclusion”.
President Geingob arrived in Windhoek on Monday evening.