Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Situation in Zim "intolorable" says Annan


Durban, Jul 23 (PTI) Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan has urged African leaders to practice good governance and observe human rights to lift the continent out of poverty, saying peace and security was necessary to achieve sustainable progress.
Annan, speaking in Johannesburg where he delivered the 5th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, strongly criticised the human rights abuses and lack of peace and security in many countries, and said the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe was "intolerable." "Only when government is grounded in the rule of law, and it is fairly and consistently applied, can society rest on a solid foundation," Annan said.

"The rule of law, like peace and security, is a prerequisite to strong and sustained development. And without prosperity and opportunity that are widely shared, peace cannot last long and democratic institutions cannot truly flourish." He, however, pointed out that Africa had seen real and measurable progress over the past decade. "Many bloody civil wars have ended and there are fewer inter-state conflicts than there used to be. I am proud that the UN has been an important actor in resolving conflicts," Annan said.

The former UN head praised the African Union for its role in resolving conflicts, and said South Africa, under President Thabo Mbeki's leadership, has played a "major role." "Through the African Union we are learning to better manage and resolve conflicts and, most importantly, to prevent new ones from breaking out," he said. PTI

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