ZAMBIA
 

 Statement

by
His Excellency Mr. Levy Patrick Mwanawasa,
President of the Republic of Zambia

on the occasion of the Special Session of the General Assembly on Children

New York,
9 May 2002



THE PRESIDENT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY MR HAN SENNG-SOO
THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS MR KOFFI ANNAN
YOUR EXCELLENCIES INVITED GUESTS
OUR BELOVED CHILDREN LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

MR PRESIDENT MAY I ON BEHALF OF MY DELEGATION CONGRATULATE YOU ON YOUR ELECTION AS PRESIDENT OF THIS SPECIAL SESSION.

MY DELEGATION IS PLEASED TO BE PART OF THIS VERY IMPORTANT UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL SESSION FOR CHILDREN.

MAY I ON BEHALF OF THE PEOPLE OF ZAMBIA, MY GOVERNMENT AND THE CHILDREN OF AFRICA, EXTEND BEST WISHES TO ALL OF YOU.

AS WE ASSEMBLE TO DELIBERATE ON THE FUTURE OF THE WORLD'S CHILDREN IN THIS GREAT CITY OF NEW YORK, LET US REMEMBER THE IRONY THAT MAKES THIS MEETING PARTICULARLY CHALLENGING.

WE NOW KNOW TOO WELL AFTER THE DREADFUL EVENTS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, THAT TOMORROW CAN ONLY BE GUARANTEED FOR THE WORLD'S CHILDREN IF WE FIGHT EMERGING THREATS TO PEACE AND PERSONAL SECURITY FOR ALL TODAY. ONE; TERRORIST ACT IN ONE COUNTRY IS A TERRORIST CRIME AGAINST ALL.

PEOPLE OF NEW YORK. AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, MAY YOUR WOUNDS HEAL FAST AND MAY GROUND ZERO REMAIN, FOR ALL HUMANITY, A SYMBOL, NOT OF OUR VULNERABILITY BUTS OUR UNSHAKEABLE FOUNDATION OF MOTHER EARTH. COLLECTIVELY, AND; ON BEHALF OF ALL THE WORLD' S CHILDREN, WE MUST PLEDGE: WE SHALL MAKE THE WORLD SAFE FROM ALL FORMS OF TERRORISM: PHYSICAL, SOCIAL, CULTURAL, ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC.

MR. CHAIRMAN, TURBULENCE, IS A CHARACTERISTIC OF TODAY'S WORLD AND YET THE COMMITMENTS WE MADE TO OUR CHILDREN IN 1990 WHEN ZAMBIA JOINED THE REST OF THE UN MEMBER STATES' AT THE WORLD SUMMIT FOR CHILDREN REMAIN A MORAL CALL FOR ACTION. IT IS IN OUR, BEST INTEREST THAT WE COME BACK TO NEW YORK AND ACCOUNT, TAKE STOCK OF THE EXTENT TO WHICH THE DECLARATION FOR CHILDREN AND PLAN OF ACTION INSPIRED US T0 TAKE CONCRETE STEPS IN THE INTEREST OF OUR CHILDREN.

LIKE MANY OTHER COUNTRIES, ZAMBIA HAS A NATIONAL PROGRAMME OF ACTION FOR CHILDREN, THANKS TO UNICEF' S TECHNICAL SUPPORT; CREATING ALLIANCES FOR CHILDREN AND EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES AND FAMILIES.

MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH, BASIC EDUCATION, FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION, WATER AND SANITATION AND FAMILY WELFARE PROGRAMMES OF ACTION HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED. I WISH TO REPORT ON SOME OF THESE.

IN SEEKING FOR THE OBJECTIVE OF EDUCATIONFOR-ALL:
. WE HAVE INTRO FREE EDUCATION FOR ALL CHILDRIEN IN GRADES 1 TO 7.
. WE ARE PROMOTING GIRL CHILD EDUCATION INCLUDING A RE -ENTRY PROGRAMME FOR YOUNG MOTHERS.
. BURSARY SCHEMES HAVE BEEN INTRODUCED FOR ORPHANS AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN THROUGHOUT ZAMBIA.

THROUGH SECTOR-WIDE APPROACHES TO CHILD HEALTH, WE HAVE SOUGHT CREATIVE WAYS TO GUARANTEE THE WELFARE OF CHILDREN. VITAMIN A SUPPLEMENTATION IN FOOD HAS BEEN SUCCESSFULLY  IMPLEMENTED IN ADDITION TO BROAD-BASED ERADICATION AGAINST IMMUNIZABLE DISEASES.

THE RECORD OF POSITIVE ACHIEVEMENTS IN ADDRESSING THE PROBLEM OF SERVICE PROVISION TO VULNERABLE CHILDREN HAS HOWEVER BEEN TEMPERED BY THE GRIM REALITIES OF THE OVERBURDENING SHACKLES OF POVERTY THAT ZAMBIA., LIKE MANY OTHER AFRICAN COUNTRIES, FACE.

THE HIV\AIDS PANDEMIC HAS CONTINUED TO ROB US NOT ONLY OF THE HOPEFUL SMILES OF OUR CHILDREN, BUT THE NURTURING PRESENCE OF THEIR PARENTS. CURRENT ESTIMATES ARE THAT 44% OF HOUSEHOLDS IN ZAMBIA ACCOMMODATE ORPHANS, WHILE 13% OF CHILDREN BELOW 18 YEARS ARE ORPHANS

THE GHASTLY SHADOWS OF POVERTY AND HIV\AIDS ARE DARKENED EVEN FURTHER FOR AFRICA' S CHILDREN WHEN THE CONTINENT IS MIRED IN CIVIL CONFLICTS AND WARS RESULTING IN AN OCEAN OF REFUGEES, THE GREATER NUMBER OF WHOM ARE CHILDREN AND WOMEN.

ZAMBIA IS A PLATEAU OF PEACE AND CONSEQUENTLY A HOME TO THE MANY REFUGEES FLEEING FROM WAR AND BASIC WANT. WE APPEAL TO THE UN AND OTHER HUMANITARIAN ORGANIZATIONS THE WORLD OVER TO HELP US SHARE THIS BURDEN. HELP US LOOK AFTER REFUGEES: CHILDREN AND THEIR PARENTS.

THE RISING HOPES OF, THE NEW MILLENNIUM, THE RENAISSANCE OF THE AFRICAN CIVILIZATION, HAS REKINDLED HOPE FOR OUR COUNTRIES AND OUR CHILDREN. THE AFRICAN UNION, AND THE NEPAD INITIATIVE IS OUR STATEMENT THAT AFRICA'S CHILDREN MUST BE GIVEN A FUTURE. HUMANITY HAS A COMMON FATE. STAND BY US.

WE HAVE COMMITTED TO BEQUEATH TO OUR CHILDREN THE OPPORTUNITY TO GROW UP WITH CONFIDENCE AND DIGNITY, WITH A PROMISE OF A FUTURE OF PROSPERITY AND ABUNDANCE.

I THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU.