Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
PRESIDENT Mugabe left Harare last night to attend the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly that started on Tuesday in New York.
The summit comes at a time world peace is under threat from western overtures on Syria, where western sponsored rebels are engaged in a civil war against the government.

The 68th Session of the UNGA also comes on the backdrop of serious abuse of host status of the UN headquarters by the United States government which continues to violate provisions of the UN charter by denying visas to some Heads of State and/or Government and access to its airspace.

The US embassy in Sudan denied Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir a visa to travel to the UNGA while an aircraft carrying Venezuelan president Nicholas Maduro to the UNGA was denied passage over Puerto Rico airspace.

President Maduro’s predecessor the late president Hugo Chavez once suffered similar embarrassment when part of his entourage was ordered to remain in the plane at JF Kennedy International Airport while he attended the summit.

President Mugabe is accompanied by the First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe and senior Government officials. In his remarks while opening the 68th Session at the UN headquarters on Tuesday, UNGA incoming president Dr John William Ashe from Antigua and Barbuda said: “The upcoming year will be pivotal for this assembly as we seek to identify the parameters of the post-2015 development agenda.”

The 68th session of the UNGA is being held under the theme: “‘Millennium Development Goals and Other Internationally Agreed Development Goals for Persons With Disabilities.”

With just two years before the target date for the realisation of the MDGs, most African countries are still struggling to achieve the desired targets.
Illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe proved to be a major obstacle for the country to meet the MDGs.

President Mugabe is expected to join other world leaders on September 24 for a high level political forum on sustainable development.
This crucial forum would be preceded by a discussion on disability and development that would be held on September 23 under the theme: “The way forward: a disability inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond.”

Although the main programme would focus on sustainable development, MDGs and nuclear disarmament, the Syrian issue is expected to overshadow most of the crucial discussions.

The Syrian civil war pitting the incumbent President Bashar al Assad and Western-sponsored rebels has stretched for more than two years and has so far claimed more than 100 000 lives according to the UN statistics.

President Assad heroically defied illegal attempts to unseat him and the US which is backing the rebels is at sixes and sevens on how to deal with the Syrian issue.

US President Barrack Obama recently tried to invade Syria on spurious and unsubstantiated claims that President Assad used chemical weapons against civilians. This move was blocked by Russia which flexed its muscles as one of the world super powers.

Russia challenged the US to provide evidence backing its claims urging Washington to refrain from its war mongering tendencies. In Geneva last week, Russia and the US agreed that all Syrian chemical weapons should be placed under the UN for subsequent destruction.

Moscow says it would present evidence to the UN Security Council next week showing that the rebels were responsible for last month’s chemical attacks.

The International Court of Justice had however, urged the US government to arrest President Bashir if he travelled to New York. This is despite that the US had not ratified the Rome statute that gave birth to the ICC.

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