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Monday, 2 September, 2002, 19:58 GMT 20:58 UK
Excerpts from Mugabe's address
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe used the occasion of the World Summit in Johannesburg to launch a blistering attack on Western nations and institutions, and to defend his controversial policy of land reform.
What follows is excerpts of his speech, as broadcast live on South African Television.
Ten years ago we gathered in Rio de Janeiro, in the same numbers, and we were moved by the same developmental anxieties that many of us have today.
We worried about our troubled earth and its dangerously diminishing flora and fauna. We worried about the variegated poor of our societies in their swelling numbers and ever deepening distressful social conditions.
We complained about their unequal economic power that existed, that still exists between the north and the south and had historically reposed itself in our international institutions, including the United Nations.
Indeed we denounced the debt burden by which the rich north continue to take away from the impoverished south, even that little which they still had.
Your Excellencies, we must examine why 10 years after Rio, the poor remain very much with us, poorer and far more exposed and vulnerable than ever before.
Our children suffer from malnutrition, hunger and diseases, compounded now by the deadly HIV-Aids pandemic.
The betrayal of the collective agenda we set ourselves at Rio is a compelling manifestation of bad global governance, lack of real political will by the north and a total absence of a just rule of law in international affairs.
We join our brothers and sisters in the Third World in rejecting completely manipulative and intimidatory attempts by some countries and regional blocs that are bent on subordinating our sovereignty to their hegemonic ambitions and imperialist interests, falsely presented as matters of rule of law, democracy and good governance.
The real objective is interference in our domestic affairs. The rule of law, democracy and governance are indeed values that we cherish because we fought for them against the very same people who today seek to preach them to us.
The poor should be able to use their sovereignty to fight poverty and preserve their heritage in their corner of the earth without interference.
That is why we in Zimbabwe understand only too well, that sustainable development is not possible without agrarian reforms that acknowledge in our case that land comes first, before all else and that all else grows from and off the land.
This is the one asset that not only defines the Zimbabwean personality and demarcates sovereignty, but also an asset that has a direct bearing on the fortunes of the poor and prospects for their immediate empowerment and sustainable development.
So those operations which are underway of how to uplift those who are threatened in Zimbabwe by the regime of Mugabe as it is said, really are undeserved.
We are threatening no one and therefore the operations by Mr Blair are artificial, completely uncalled for and an interference in our domestic affairs.
But we say this as Zimbabweans. We have fought for our land. We have fought for our sovereignty, small as we are. We have won our independence and we are prepared to shed our blood in sustenance and maintenance and protection of that independence.
Having said that may I say we wish no harm to anyone. We are Zimbabweans. We are Africans. We are not English. We are not Europeans. We love Africa.
We love Zimbabwe. We love our independence. We are working together in our region to improve the lot of our people. Let no one interfere with our processes. Let no one who is negative want to spoil what we are doing for ourselves in order to unite Africa.
We belong to this continent. We don't mind having and bearing sanctions banning us from Europe. We are not Europeans. We have not asked for any inch of Europe or any square inch of that territory.
So, Blair, keep your England and let me keep my Zimbabwe.
Mr Chairman, having said that, may I say we are happy that in our region, through SADC, through Comesa and through Ecowas, we are doing our best to sustain our environment in every way possible.
We keep our forests, we keep our animals, we keep even our reptiles plus insects. We look after our elephants and ivory. We look after our lions as they roar everywhere.
We sustain our environment, are committed to doing that, not just now but in the future because we want a heritage.
But we will need support. We want to interact with other regions. We want to be friends and not enemies of other regions.
We want to work together and that is why the theme of this conference is very important to us. Not only has it brought us together, but we hope at the end of it, it will have cemented our relations, our oneness to work for this globe which is ours together.
BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.
02 Sep 02 | Politics
12 Aug 02 | Africa
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