President Robert Mugabe has likened United States President Donald Trump to the biblical Goliath who threatens the extinction of other countries.
Zimbabwe’s long-time leader was referring to President Trump’s remarks that his country would destroy North Korea if forced to defend itself or its allies during an address to the same body earlier in the week.
He urged the US leader to embrace the values of the United Nations Charter in the promotion of peace, unity and greater dialogue.
It was a precarious approach to the lectern.
The 93-year-old leader, unsteady on his feet but not in word, reminded the assembly that his government was a strong advocate for the sovereignty of nations.
“We therefore strongly defend and respect the right of each country to take decisions in exercising its sovereign rights, we cannot however remain silent when those decision impact or have the potential to negatively affect our own welfare. And on this, may I say some of us were embarrassed if not frightened by what appeared to be the return of the biblical giant called Goliath. Are we having a return of a Goliath to our midst who threatens the extinction of other countries?”
President Mugabe urged his US counterpart to recognise the values of unity, peace, cooperation and togetherness and not the promise of damnation.
“Damnation we shall always resist, no matter where it comes. We have resisted it when it was in the form of imperialism as we fought for our own independence, our own culture, our own sovereignty to be masters of our own destiny. That’s why we can free ourselves today, it’s because the monster of imperialism was defeated by us. Bring us another monster by whatever name, he will suffer the same consequences.”
While referring to the 2030 agenda as a new wine, President Mugabe called on the Security Council to enforce its resolutions particularly in relation to the situations of the peoples of Western Sahara and Palestine.
He expressed his country’s unflinching support for Security Council reform.
“The overwhelming majority of us have accepted that we need to reform the current system in order to improve, but not destroy it. Nonetheless, the negotiations and process intended to yield the accepted reforms are painstakingly slow. We are left to wonder, justifiably so, whether those who enjoy, and sometimes abuse the power and privileges of the current set up, are sincere interlocutors in these discussions.”
This was the first time in many years of speeches at the General Assembly that President Mugabe did not directly call for the lifting of targeted sanctions against members of his government and inner circle.
Although he clearly struggles to walk, the world’s oldest head of state was still able to deliver some punches and in the process had many in the room smiling and applauding, if only at the punch lines.
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