H.E. Mr. Kabinga Jacus Pande, Minister for Foreign Affairs
27 September 2008
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KABINGA J. PANDE, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Zambia, said that a global strategy to ensure achievement of the Millennium Development Goals for all would only be meaningful if it was “all-inclusive” and empowered women, girls and other vulnerable groups. Indeed, women’s empowerment and gender equality were key drivers for reducing poverty, building food security and reducing maternal mortality. To that end, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member States had signed a Gender and Development Protocol last month, the first of its kind in Africa.
While he went on to express appreciation to the international community and many development partners, including China and the European Union, for their programme assistance, he also urged those partners to meet their commitments so Zambia could meet all the Millennium targets. Such action was crucial because relevant reports of the Secretary General had noted that many developing countries, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa, were in danger of falling short.
To that end, he said specifically that Zambia and most of sub-Saharan Africa were impacted adversely by lingering drought, higher temperatures and more erratic rainfall -- all of which could be linked to climate change. Moreover, global warming had deepened the current food crisis by pressuring water and agricultural systems. Warning that all this could cause millions more to face malnutrition, and disrupt clean water and sanitation efforts, he called for urgent action from the international community to assist in the development of climate adaptation and mitigation measures.
He also called for stepped-up efforts to reform the United Nations, specifically through the designation of two permanent and two non-permanent seats on the Security Council for African nations. Such a move would be fitting because Africa constituted the second largest block of United Nations Members. It would also redress “the historical injustice against Africa”.
In closing, he advocated the right of the people of Western Sahara to self-determination in accordance with the Charter, and welcomed Zimbabwe’s signing of an inter-party agreement last month, which had formed a “good basis” for addressing socio-economic problems in the country.