Nam Not an Upper Middle Income Country – Pohamba

PRESIDENT Hifikepunye Pohamba yesterday told the visiting United Nations Secretary General that efforts to improve the living conditions of the poor are being frustrated by Namibia’s classification as an upper middle- income country.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon arrived in the country yesterday and held a meeting at State House, where Pohamba told him that, like any other developing country, Namibia is grappling with poverty, high levels of unemployment and under-development.

The President said Namibia’s upper middle- income status is on the basis of the per capita income, which, he said, is not a true reflection of the socio-economic reality in the country. He also said the per capita income measurement does not take into account the skewed income distribution the country inherited from the past dispensation.

He used the opportunity to inform Ban Ki-Moon that Namibia expects the upcoming (69th) UN General Assembly to make progress on negotiations towards the reform of the UN, especially the composition of the Security Council.

Pohamba further said he is one of 10 African presidents who formed an African Union committee tasked to promote the African Common Position on UN reforms, and that the process has been long and cumbersome.

He urged Ban Ki-Moon to use his office to influence the process of making the Security Council more representative and democratic.

Ban Ki-Moon said he admired President Pohamba’s leadership for making sure that democratic systems are maintained that the country respects human rights treaties promotes reconciliation and guarantees the freedom of the media and expression.

Saying Pohamba’s leadership should be emulated by many countries in the world, Ban Ki-Moon praised Namibia’s efforts in empowering women and its work with UN Women.

The Secretary General said he was impressed by the ruling Swapo party’s adoption of the 5050 gender representation, saying such efforts should also be emulated internationally.

Pohamba and Ban Ki-Moon also presided over the commissioning and handing over of the United Nations House in Windhoek yesterday.

Source : The Namibian