Namibian President Hage Geingob and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (file photo).
By Sakeus Iikela
Namibia yesterday voted against the inclusion on the UN agenda of a motion meant to compel countries to uphold the principles and norms that safeguard humanity.
President Hage Geingob and some cabinet ministers are attending the 72nd UN general assembly that started last week and will run until the Friday this week.
Among the ministers accompanying the president, includes international relations and cooperation minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwa, environment minister Pohamba Shifeta, mines minister Obeth Kandjoze, Tom Alweendo and Sophia Shaningwa.
Australia and Ghana had moved that the motion – Responsibility to Protect and the Prevention of Genocide, War Crimes, Ethnic Cleansing, and Crimes Against Humanity – should be included on the 72nd UN General Assembly’s agenda.
Namibia’s stance comes at a time when the country is demanding that the German government should pay about N$400 billion in reparations for the 1904-1908 genocide.
The United Nations website says the motion seeks to draw up measures on how to strengthen adherence to international humanitarian and human rights law, and end impunity for mass atrocities.
The statistics on the UN website also show that about 65 million people were displaced internationally by conflict, persecution and atrocities.
Twenty-one countries voted against the inclusion of the motion; 112 voted for its inclusion; and 17 abstained.
Some of the 21 countries, apart from Namibia, were Zimbabwe, China, Myanmar, North Korea, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, Sudan and Syria. Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the United States of America, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Denmark, Israel, Japan and Malaysia were among those who supported the motion.
Efforts to get comment from the international relations ministry were not successful.