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Earth summit, another useless talk shop

The World Summit on Sustainable Development was going to be another useless talk shop as people like President Robert Mugabe were going to talk about eradicating poverty and disease and empowering their nations and protecting the country’s national resources yet back home he would be all out to crush opponents and all voices of democracy.

This was said by the Financial Gazette in an editorial before the summit.

The paper said the summit was going to be a circus because too many similar talk shops had been staged before and the result had almost always been the same: no tangible improvement in the basic quality of life.

“The world’s poor have now become used to helplessly watching their leaders gather for such lofty meetings at a great cost to formulate right-sounding policies and pledges which are quickly forgotten,” the paper said.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 02HARARE1994, EDITORIAL ON WSSD

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

02HARARE1994

2002-08-29 14:01

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS HARARE 001994

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF/PD, AF/S, AF/RA

NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR NEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PREL KPAO KMDR ZI

SUBJECT: EDITORIAL ON WSSD

 

1.   Under headline “Too many words, too little

action,” the independent weekly “The Financial Gazette”

dedicated its August 29, 2002 editorial to the World

Summit on Sustainable Development. Excerpts:

 

2.   “Zimbabweans, as indeed many other Africans, will

be forgiven if they dismiss as a circus the World

Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) now under way

in South Africa. . . They and millions of others in

the developing world are only acutely aware that too

many similar talk shops have been staged before and the

result has almost always been the same: no tangible

improvement in the basic quality of their wretched

lives. . . The world’s poor have now become used to

helplessly watching their leaders gather for such lofty

meetings at a great cost to formulate right-sounding

policies and pledges which are quickly forgotten.

 

“The timing of the staging of the WSSD could

not have been more ironic, or perhaps an eye-

opener, for Zimbabwe. . . Dubbed the Third

Revolution, President Robert Mugabe’s ruthless

campaign to stay in power at whatever cost has

been truly sobering to the nation. A wasteland

is all that remains of a country that was only

rivaled in Africa at independence by economic

powerhouses South Africa and Nigeria. But

Zimbabweans can be certain that Mugabe, when he

joins other leaders at the WSSD, will make the

usual positive declarations of eradicating

poverty and disease and of empowering his

nation and protecting its natural resources –

the key goals of the summit. And yet back

home, the actions of his government will indeed

highlight why such summits, at least for

Africa, are useless talk shops that are better

forgotten.

 

“Indeed Mugabe’s weekend appointment of the

so-called war Cabinet – a Cabinet whose mandate

is to crush opponents and all voices of

democracy – once again makes the point that he

is determined to take Zimbabwe down with him at

his suicidal path. . .”

 

SULLIVAN

 

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