Guebuza speaks on role of mediation

Mozambican President Armando Guebuza on Wednesday argued that mediation in conflicts should be undertaken in an objective, impartial and neutral manner, ensuring the involvement of the parties concerned at all stages and their ownership of the process.

 Armando Guebuza
Armando Guebuza

Guebuza was speaking in New York at the United Nations General Assembly in a debate around the theme “The role of mediation in the peaceful solution of disputes”.

Guebuza warned that no-one should set out to mediate imagining that he has all the answers. That was why the parties to the conflict had to be involved at every step, and why mediators must be objective and neutral.

For Guebuza, “these are the fundamental principles that guarantee the continuity and solidity of national reconciliation and reconstruction and, even more important, the construction of mutual trust”.

He added that Mozambique, aware of these principles, feels pride that it has taken part in some positive mediation experiences in Africa, thus helping other countries get back on the rails of social and economic development.

This year’s General Assembly session, Guebuza said, is taking place at a critical time in history, characterized by a continuing global economic and financial crisis, rises in food and fuel prices, foci of political tension and instability, notably in north Africa and the Middle East, the spread of pandemics including HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, and a growth in the occurrence of natural disasters.

These challenges, he stressed, require a multilateral approach in search of consensual, effective and sustainable responses.

“The negative impact of these complex phenomena, particularly in developing countries”, Guebuza continued, “is a potential factor for political and social instability. It is thus necessary to prioritise democratic principles, grounded on dialogue, inclusive governance, accountability and transparency, and respect for human rights”.

Everyone longs for a better world, where peace and security, harmony and concord prevail – a world where it is everyone’s concern to fight against poverty and epidemic diseases, and to promote the welfare and prosperity of humanity, said the Mozambican leader. But the proliferation of crises, and the perpetuation of dissonant positions, at the expense of the search for solutions for the multiple problems affecting humanity, make it ever more difficult to achieve this dream.

Like most speakers in this debate, Guebuza argued that these considerations demand the strengthening of multilateralism and of the global governance of the United Nations. The UN remained the appropriate forum for dealing with the current challenges, including the peaceful resolution of conflicts.

But if the UN is to play its role effectively, the current reforms to the world body must be concluded successfully. “Only a strong General Assembly, endowed with the necessary authority and power, and adequate resources, would be able to rise to today’s responsibilities and challenges”, Guebuza insisted.

The Security Council also needed reform, in order to accompany, in a transparent, inclusive and democratic way, the evolution and dynamic of contemporary global challenges, and play its vital role in building the credibility of the UN as a universal body.

As for the recent upheavals in North Africa and the Middle East, Guebuza said these posed challenges for the countries and regions in question, but were also an opportunity to promote peace, expand freedoms, and promote development and improved living conditions.

“We note, with concern, the lack of progress in the Arab-Israeli peace process”, he continued. “We appeal to the parties to commit themselves to re-launching negotiations, in order to achieve a lasting, inclusive and just solution to the conflict”.

He restated Mozambique’s support to the cause of the Palestinian people, who had been denied their inalienable right to self-determination. “We reaffirm our support for the principle of the creation of two states, Palestine and Israel, coexisting within the 1967 borders”, he stressed.

Post published in: Africa News

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