Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and Enviroment minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri defended Zimbabwe’s attendance at the Oceans Conference in New York despite the fact that Zimbabwe is a landlocked country.
Mumbengegwi said that seas and oceans belong to everyone and those that had coastlines only own 200km of the water while the rest belongs to the whole world even landlocked countries like Zimbabwe. He also said that Zimbabwe had every right to attend because that is where our rain and half our oxygen comes from. Said Mumbengegwi:
All the oceans belong to all countries of the world. The ones which have got shorelines, their territorial waters only go for 200km. After that we have as much right, as much stake as anyone else on this globe as to what happens on the high seas. They can’t just go there and dump waste, and dump all sorts of toxic materials and so on because we have a stake even though we are landlocked. That is where our rain comes from, that is where half of our oxygen comes from. It affects the whole world, so we have an interest, we have a stake that is why 193 countries were there.
Muchinguri-Kashiri said that Zimbabwe had to attend the conference because the oceans provide the country with fish, tourism and trade. She said Zimbabwe survives from the oceans. Said Muchinguri-Kashiri:
I really think it’s crazy. As I have already alluded to, 70 percent of all the Earth’s land is covered by oceans, and whatever is collected on land ends up in the oceans …The seas are very critical to us because of the blue economy that they serve. We get our fish protein from the oceans, also tourism, also trade. For us it’s very critical that we keep the seas clean and away from acidification because we survive from the oceans.