NEW YORK, Sept. 21 – President Hage Geingob reasoned yesterday, that development that is not driven by people and fails to translate into improved living conditions for all people is a meaningless development. Speaking at the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in the United States of America (USA), New York, Geingob said: “Development that does not reach all people in an equitable manner will only undermine the peace and stability necessary for sustainable development.”
He highlighted that growing income disparities between nations and within nations posed the greatest threat for peace within countries, and that such disparities could inevitably have global consequences.
He added: “In Namibia, we overcame the inhumane scourge of colonial oppression and racial segregation. Through a deliberate policy of reconciliation, we succeeded in entrenching peace, security and stability as the pillars of our democracy. We also made significant progress in reducing absolute and relative poverty during the past 27 years.”
Poverty in Namibia has declined from a high of 70 percent in 1993 to 18 percent in 2015, due to the introduction of a wide range of social safety nets that cover close to 16 percent of the entire population.
Moreover, Geingob revealed that income inequality had also declined during the same period, though not by the same magnitude as poverty.
“We have come to realize that as long as we continue to have poverty in Namibia, even if just one percent, we can never have lasting peace and social justice. Similarly, as long as the wealth of the country is disproportionately in the hands of a few, we cannot have lasting peace and stability. It is for this reason that we have declared full-scale war against poverty and income inequality. Similarly, we have declared full-scale war against corruption, because corruption is one of the root causes of poverty and inequality,” he said.
Furthermore, he outlined that people must be at the centre of development hence the phrase, “no Namibian should feel left out.”
“The logic is simple, for inclusivity spells harmony and peace, whereas exclusivity spells disaster, conflict and potential war. We, therefore, commend you, Mr. President, for the choice of theme for this Session “Focusing on people: striving for peace and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet.” – NDN Staffer