Thursday 17 August 2017

Land a sensitive issue – Nandi-Ndaitwah

Land a sensitive issue – Nandi-Ndaitwah
(The Namibian 08/01/17)
Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, International relations minister

Government will welcome discussions on ancestral land at the second land conference scheduled for September this year, international relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah announced yesterday.
The deputy premier said this during the diplomatic corps' bi-annual briefing, which was aimed at informing foreign diplomats in Namibia about the country's position on different global issues.

At the event, diplomats discussed the country's developmental agenda, which is aligned to the African Union's Agenda 2063, and the United Nations' Agenda 2030.

Nandi-Ndaitwah said Namibia could make use of the diplomatic representation in the country in order to benefit from different thematic clusters “that were recently agreed upon at the United Nations”.

She stressed that ancestral land remained one of the sensitive issues around the land question, and that Namibians could make use of the land conference, scheduled for next month, to come up with solutions to the land problem.

“Government would welcome discussions regarding ancestral land, with the understanding that the debate will be made for the purpose of nation-building, and for us to find solutions to the problem,” she said. She added that the issue of land did not only concern ownership, but also the livelihoods of Namibian citizens. Therefore, government was committed to addressing all issues related to land.

“You would have realised that the issue of land in Namibia is a very sensitive one. Government has always been sensitive to the overall social and economic needs of our people, including ownership and access to land,” said Nandi-Ndaitwah.

She also made reference to the regional consultations being held now before the land conference as part of government's efforts to address the land issue in the country.

“The second land conference will critically review the implementation of the resolutions of the first land conference, and make recommendations on the way forward for peace, equity, efficiency and the promotion of productive and sustainable livelihoods,” said Nandi-Ndaitwah.

She then announced that the policy on international relations and cooperation had been adopted by Cabinet, and has been referred to parliament for deliberation.

The country has likewise approved visa exemptions for diplomatic and official passport holders from all African countries.

The minister furthermore welcomed the admission of Morocco as a member of the AU, adding that the UN Security Council needed to be reformed so that Africans could also be given a chance and opportunities to live free from violence and oppression.

“Namibia calls for a comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council, in line with the demands of the common African position,” she added.

Namibians also expected continued cooperation between the AU and the UN through the AU's Peace and Security Council on the question of Western Sahara, and “on issues of common concern”.

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