PM asks for aid in anti-graft fight
PRIME Minister Thomas Thabane has called on the country’s development partners to join forces with the Lesotho government in its crusade to root-out corruption at all levels.
Dr Thabane made the call in his Friday address to the 72nd United Nations General Assembly in New York in the United States of America.
The assembly was convened under the theme “Focusing on people – striving for peace and a decent life for all in a sustainable planet”.
Dr Thabane said the 72nd session took place at a critical juncture when the world was slowly regressing towards the horrors of World War II (1939 to 1945) which preceded the formation of the UNO in October 1945.
Dr Thabane said the ongoing inter and intrastate conflicts characterised by the global refugee crisis and the spread of terrorism threatened to erode strides the UN had made in effectively resolving conflicts.
“As if this is not enough, the respect for human rights and the rule of law, which are the principles that speak to the fibre of the United Nations continue to be flouted with impunity,” Dr Thabane said, adding, “Women and children in particular face the worst brutal forms of abuses, especially in conflict-ridden countries”.
He said poverty also continued to be a dreadful affliction on developing countries, undermining their efforts to grow their economies.
“The complexities that characterise humanity’s existence on this planet and the inequalities that prevail between the developed and under-developed countries would be a thing of a past if we were to remain true to our mission and focus on people in our development path.
“Whereas SDGs (sustainable development goals) embrace the concept of universal prosperity for all societies, we are also aware in essence that this ideal is still far from being realised.
“We need to cooperatively move forward to achieve peace and a decent life for all. It is incumbent upon the entire international community to act in unison as we strive to restore peace and deploy a universal response to our set ideals,” Dr Thabane said.
He said his government was cognisant that Lesotho’s destiny was “in our hands” and that the chief responsibility for sustainable and equal development “resides with us.”
Dr Thabane said Lesotho’s new administration had therefore set lofty goals to restructure all the important institutions of government.
He said were committed to the full implementation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) decisions which called for inclusive constitutional, parliamentary, electoral, public sector and security reforms.
“Our resolve and commitment to implement SADC decisions as the new government of Lesotho signifies our commitment to work together with our regional body in pursuit of lasting peace and security in our country and indeed in the whole SADC region.
“We have made good progress in the implementation of the SADC decisions following the recommendations of Inquiry carried out in Lesotho after the brutal assassination of our then army commander Lieutenant-General Maaparankoe Mahao in June 2015.
“I stand before this house with sadness and great humiliation to report once again the assassination of army commander, Lt-Gen Khoantle Motšomotšo, less than three weeks ago by two senior officers who were then shot by the general’s bodyguards.
“Despite these daunting challenges of security and political instabilities that seem to be rocking our small Mountain Kingdom, SADC is standing firmly behind us to restore peace, political stability, security and the rule of law.
“On the development front, I am happy to report that the government of Lesotho is committed to maintaining fiscal discipline in order to stabilise the national economy, stimulate growth and business activities while preserving the environment. At the same time we are relentlessly committed to combating crime and corruption at all levels of our society in accordance with SDG 16.”
“We are aware that on our own and without the support of our cooperating partners, our efforts to root out corruption cannot yield desired results hence our clarion call for them to join forces with us in this crusade,” Dr Thabane said.
He also said it was important for the youth to participate in decision making at all levels, as well as create jobs for them.