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Mugabe Arrives in New York for UN General Assembly

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace have arrived in New York
President Robert Mugabe has arrived in New York for the 68th session of the United Nations general assembly which starts Tuesday.

The president is accompanied by his wife, Grace, and several senior government officials.

Insiders say he is expected to tell the U.N general assembly on Thursday that targeted sanctions imposed by the West on him and his inner circle are hurting ordinary people and efforts to reach Millennium Development Goals.

But Trevor Maisiri of the International Crisis Group said sanctions alone cannot be blamed for Zimbabwe’s failure to meet Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations.

Maisiri said one of the critical issues about MDGs is about the commitment of governments to be able to drive towards those goals.

“One of the questionable issues in Zimbabwe is how committed the government has been in term of meetings Millenium Development Goals. I think that is a critical issue at this moment.

“The second issue is you realize that Millennium Development Goals are supported by economies that are growing because they have something to do with taking in from the economy of a country and developing those particular sectors but Zimbabwe has been stagnant for quite some period and therefore that has affected the Millennium Development Goals,” he said.

Maisiri further noted that it unfair for President Mugabe to link sanctions with MDGs.

“We don’t need to get political mileage out of such a critical issue. I think what the president should do it to analyze all critical sectors and also take responsibility for what Zimbabwe has failed to do rather than throw everything to outside forces.”

The eight Millennium Development Goals – which range from halving extreme poverty rates to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015 – form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and all the world’s leading development institutions. They have galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest.

Governments, foundations, businesses and civil society groups rallied around the call to action to slash poverty, hunger and disease by 2015, by announcing new commitments to meet the MDGs, at a high-level event at UN Headquarters on September 25, 2008.