Harare – The United Nations "has nothing to do with sanctions" imposed against Zimbabwe by the West and therefore, "cannot do anything" to have them removed, the country's UN resident co-ordinator Bishow Parajuli has reportedly said.According to NewsDay, Parajuli said this while responding to questions by parliamentarians at a capacity building workshop on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Harare. Parajuli said the issue of sanctions was between Harare and individual Western countries."The issue of sanctions has nothing to do with the UN because these are not UN sanctions, and this is an issue between Zimbabwe and the specific country which has imposed restrictive measures. Zimbabwe and those countries that imposed restrictive measures must work it out, and this is an issue between member states to discuss," Parajuli was quoted as saying.The European Union and the United States imposed sanctions against Zimbabwe in 2000, after they accused President Robert Mugabe of trampling on human rights, rigging elections and repression of press freedom - accusations that the veteran leader denied. Economic challenges The sanctions have led to devastating economic challenges, with the country reportedly now sitting with about 85% unemployment.Parajuli promised that the UN would assist the southern African country in reaching its development goals but emphasised that it was the government's duty with the support of its citizens to ensure the development goals were achieved, reported New Zimbabwe.com. Last year, Mugabe told delegates at a high level debate on achieving SDGs at the UN that the sanctions had had a huge impact on his government and Zimbabweans.The nonagenarian, at the time, slammed the West's "illegal" sanctions, which, according to reports, had cost his country over $42bn in revenue. This, Mugabe said had made it difficult for Zimbabwe to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).Mugabe added that, in order for his country to achieve the SDGs set by UN in its agenda 2030 blue-print, the West had to extend a hand of "friendship and co-operation, rather than that of destruction".