4 September 2008
Secretary-General
SG/SM/11775
GA/10736

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

MWANAWASA’S PRESENCE WILL BE MISSED, SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY


TRIBUTE TO LATE PRESIDENT OF ZAMBIA

 


Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the General Assembly tribute to the late President of Zambia, Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, in New York, today, 4 September:


It is with great sadness that I add my voice to all of yours in paying tribute to the late President of Zambia, Levy Patrick Mwanawasa.


Like all of us, I was saddened by his sudden passing.


As Vice-President and later President, Mr. Mwanawasa was at the forefront of Zambian politics at a time of exceptional challenge and change in his country, and in the Southern African region as a whole.


He was also a good friend of this Organization.  Four years ago, speaking to the fifty-ninth session of the General Assembly, he expressed strong support for an effective United Nations and stressed the need to take advantage of what he called the “immense problem-solving potential of multilateralism”.  For that sentiment and much else, his voice resonated in these halls, and I know we will all miss his presence in the world arena.


I profoundly admired his contribution as Chair of SADC [South African Development Community], in particular in leading the efforts of the international community to restore democracy in Zimbabwe.  My own personal interactions with him over numerous telephone calls and meetings were always instructive and valuable.


I extend again my profound condolences to President Mwanawasa’s family and to the Zambian people and Government at this difficult time.  And I wish the people of Zambia and the region courage and fortitude in the time ahead.


* *** *


For information media • not an official record