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Report of The Thematic Committee on Peace and Security on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs role in promoting and safeguarding peace and security of Zimbabwe
Parliament of Zimbabwe
March 09, 2011

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Introduction

The Committee resolved to gather oral evidence from the acting secretary of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Sengwe as part of its mandate, on the role of the Ministry in promoting and safeguarding peace and security in the region and international community.

It is therefore in this regard, this Committee recognizes the importance of peace, security and political stability as prerequisites for socio-economic development in a nation. These prerequisite determine the nature of a nation's well being in the region and globally. This is evidenced by the Ministry's activities in Southern African Development Community (SADC), COMESA, African Union, Non Alignment Movement, G77 and United Nations to ensure regional and international peace andsecurity as well as development. Thus this Committee agrees that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' role in promoting, protecting and safeguarding Zimbabwe's peace, security and development aspirations is of greater necessity.

Committee's findings - Foreign Affairs contributions to peace and security.

The Committee received oral evidence from the Ministry's acting secretary Ambassador Sengwe who outlined the primary policy of Foreign Affairs as follows:-

  • To achieve a stable, peaceful and secure environment that is conducive to economic and human development.
  • To cultivate and maintain cordial relations with other nations, organizations and institutions.
  • To advice the Head of State and Government the President on issues related to Foreign Policy and International relations.
  • To ensure that Zimbabwe upholds its obligations with respect to international treaties, conventions, protocols and agreements.

The acting secretary stated that the Ministry plays a central role in the resolution of bilateral disputes. This is exemplified by the role it played in the dispute with Botswana over stray rangers.

The Committee noted with appreciation that through SADC the Ministry played an influential role which culminated in the SADC, Dar Salaam resolution of 2007. That resolution paved a way to the block's facilitative role in resolving the political crisis in the country. This is evidenced in the conclusion of the Global Political Agreement between Zanu PF, MDC-T and MDC-M which has resulted in peace as well as economic stability in Zimbabwe.

The Committee also received evidence to the fact that in 2010, Zimbabwe was elected into the African Union organ for peace and security for 3 years representing Southern African Region. This election into this important organ is a great advantage to Zimbabwe as she is in a better position to advance the interests of her foreign policy and that of SADC. In this vein Zimbabwe plays a vital role in the promotion and safe guarding of peace in the region and Africa as a whole because this council looks at threats to peace and security in the continent, therefore Zimbabwe makes her contribution to ensure that there is peace.

The Committee gathered that at the international level, Zimbabwe is an active member of such bodies as
the United Nations and Non Aligned Movement. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through its diplomatic
missions in New York, Geneva and Vienna collaborates with representatives of other member states, to
develop measures to prevent the following;

  • Threats to peace
  • Breaches of peace
  • Peaceful settlement of international disputes

This Committee hereby informs this Honorable House that Zimbabwe has actively participated in the drafting and adoption of conventions, treaties, resolutions and other outcomes of International conferences that promote peace keeping operations to the extent that on two occassions Zimbabwe Republic Police officers were engaged in peace keeping operations in Kosovo, Angola, Somalia and Rwanda where they excelled with distinctions to the extent that on two occasions Zimbabweans were chosen to head the United Nations forces in Angola.

The Committee was informed that, the issue of xenophobia in South Africa was addressed in conjunction with South African government. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized a committee which looked at how the xenophobia attack victims could be helped. That committee resolved to mobilize ten buses which went to South Africa to collect Zimbabweans victims. Unfortunately the buses came back with a few people and groceries as well as furniture belonging to Zimbabweans who opted to remain behind.
However the Ministry is still monitoring the situation to ensure security for Zimbabweans in South Africa.

The Acting Secretary, Ambassador Sengwe highlighted that economic and social development are key elements in creating a peaceful and secure environment. This Committee was informed that the Ministry has taken a keen interest in fostering international co-operation in the Economic and Social Council, United Nation Conference on Trade and Development as well as in the Food and Agricultural Organization. This entails refocusing the work of Zimbabwean embassies towards attracting investments, facilitating trade, tourism promotion and bidding for conferences to be held in Zimbabwe.

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