REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA

Permanent Mission of Zambia to the United Nations

STATEMENT BY HON. DR. KALOMBO T. MWANSA, MP,

MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA

TO THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE 58TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY

NEW YORK 2nd October 2003


Your Excellency, Mr. Julian Hunte,
President of the 58th Session of the United Nations General Assembly;
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan;
Your Excellencies;
Ladies and Gentlemen.

Mr. President,

Let me begin by congratulating you on your assumption of the presidency of the 58th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. My delegation pledges its support and cooperation to you. I wish you a very successful tenure of office. I also wish to pay tribute to your predecessor, Mr. Jan Kavan of the Czech Republic for the efficient manner in which he presided over the proceedings of the 57th Session. I also wish to take this opportunity to commend Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, for his relentless efforts and selfless dedication to the cause of international peace, security, and economic development.

Mr. President,

My delegation wishes to convey our deepest sympathies to the families of the United Nations staff who died in the terrorist bombing at the United Nations Headquarters in Baghdad on 19th August 2003. The tragic deaths are an incalculable loss to the United Nations. These violent acts should not be allowed to continue. My Government joins other Member States of the United Nations in condemning these inhuman acts.

Mr. President,

I would like to state that Zambia condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, which is occurring in various parts of the world. We pledge to cooperate with the international community in the fight against international terrorism. It is in this vein that the Zambian delegation welcomes the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1502 (2003), on Protection of United Nations personnel, associated and humanitarian personnel in conflict zones, adopted on 26th August, 2003, which, inter alia, expresses strong condemnation of all forms of violence.

Mr. President,

The Tragedy in Baghdad underscores the need for concerted efforts to strengthen multilateral approaches to international peace and security. The United Nations should be allowed to lead efforts to achieve comprehensive disarmament in nuclear, chemical and conventional weapons. Terrorists should be denied access to all weapons of mass destruction.

Mr. President,

Nuclear, chemical and conventional weapons, including small arms and light weapons pose a serious threat to international peace and security. In Africa, small arms and light weapons as well as anti-personnel landmines, have destabilized States and have exerted a great toll on the life and property. My Government is hopeful that the 58th Sessions will advance the horizon of the international disarmament agenda.

Zambia mourns the untimely death of Ms. Anna Lindh, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden who dedicated her life to the pursuit of peace, social progress and development. My country and will miss her friendship, dynamism and broad understanding of developmental issues.

Mr. President,

As a peace loving Member State, Zambia will continue to cooperate and support the efforts of the Counter Terrorism Committee (CTC), established by the Security Council to fight terrorism. The CTC should be encouraged to work in raising the capacities of member states to fight international terrorism. Emphasis should be pressed on addressing linkages between terrorism, money laundering and organized crime, which are among the most serious challenges to stability and peace in our era.

Mr. President,

The strength of the United Nations lies in its legitimacy founded on the bedrock of principles of international law accepted by all Member States. It is essential that the conduct of international affairs must be in conformity with these principles. The common security. in conformity with these principles. The common security agenda should reflect a global consensus on all major threats to peace and security. The spirit of cooperation based on the shared values of equality and sovereignty which are enshrined in our Charter, are a source of our strength.

Mr. President,

Poverty is the greatest impediment to development. Poverty reduction therefore remains the foremost priority of developing countries and should continue to feature highly on the agenda of the United Nations. It is regrettable that since the Millennium Declaration three years ago, indications are that most developing countries risk falling short of achieving the MDGs by 2015. This is largely due to lack of resources, capacity and the weaknesses in national and global economies. Zambia continues to strive to implement these goals.

Mr. President,

Globalization has brought about both opportunities and challenges. But the current world economic conditions are unfavorable to developing countries in general, and to the Least -Developed Countries in particular. Unless there is an increase in the flow of the Official Development Assistance (ODA), Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and other forms of assistance, it will be difficult for these countries to come out of the vicious circle of poverty and lack of development. This situation is exacerbated by the huge external debts, which the least developed countries are struggling to pay off.

Mr. President,

Given their economic problems, the Least Developed Countries, of which 34 out of 49 are in Africa, there is need, for support from the international community within the framework of the 2001 Brussels Plan of Action. In this vein I wish also to urge developed countries to honour their pledges to meet the target of 0.7 percent of their GNP offered as ODA to developing countries.

Mr. President,

While we welcome the HIPIC Initiative in addressing the external debt, there is a need to broaden and ease the process in accessing the funds. Equally important, developing countries need easy access to the markets of the developed countries. This is important to stimulate economic growth. To level the playing fields, my delegation calls for the removal of agricultural subsidies in developed countries, which have contributed to the adverse and poor terms of trade for the developing countries.

Mr. President,

Zambia regrets the failure to arrive at a consensus at the WTO Ministerial Conference at Cancun. There is an urgent need to overcome the impasse that emerged. Developed countries should demonstrate a spirit of give and take in these negotiations.

Mr. President,

In the effort to address the social and economic problems and promote development, the African Heads of State and Government, at their Summit held in Lusaka, Zambia in July 2001, adopted the New Economic Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), to place the continent on a path to sustainable growth.

Mr. President,

Although the ownership and implementation of NEPAD programme is the responsibility of the Africans themselves, to succeed, they need the cooperation and assistance of the international community. My delegation would like to appeal to the donor community, including the United Nations agencies, to assist in the implementation of NEPAD.

Mr. President,

My delegation is mindful that Africa's development is hampered by conflicts. Wherever these occur, there is no development but more destruction and loss of life and property. Zambia commends the leadership, in Africa for taking up the challenge to resolve conflicts in the African way. We thank them for their time and resources directed at this effort. We are happy to note the positive developments that have taken place in the recent past in various parts of Africa where the peace processes have led to a cessation of conflict and a return of peace.

In this regard my Government reaffirms its readiness to contribute to the international conference in the Great Lakes region initiated by the United Nations in collaboration with the African Union.

The international community should exert its efforts on conflict prevention and resolution. Conflicts should be avoided by creating a conducive political environment and allow political pluralism, democracy, good governance and transparency to flourish. My country's commitment to the peaceful resolution of conflicts, is unwavering and we will continue to participate in peacekeeping operations.

Mr. President,

The HIV/AIDS pandemic is indeed a global crisis. It is no longer just a health concern, but an impediment to human development, political stability and threatens international peace and security. The startling figures of 42 million people who live with HIV/AIDS globally, the majority of whom are in Sub Saharan Africa, and 31 million people who have died from the pandemic should compel the international community to take concrete measures to combat the scourge.

The scourge has ravaged Zambia. My government is devoting considerable attention and resources to combat the spread and to limit its impact in our communities. We are also tackling the problems created by the pandemic such as the plight of AIDS orphans, street kids and the vulnerable households. In this task, government, the civil societies, the relevant UN agencies and the private sector, are all working together. Zambia is also cooperating with other governments as well in tackling the impact of this pandemic.

Mr. President,

The Global Fund on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria, which is a welcome initiative, has provided renewed impetus to Programmes and interventions of Member States designed to combat these deadly diseases. There is a need to contribute more generously to the Fund for it to be solvent and viable. My delegation wishes to appeal for an easier access to these funds to enable affected countries to procure cheaper and affordable generic drugs, which are urgently needed.

Mr. President,

My delegation calls for radical reform and strengthening of the world body to make it more efficient and effective instrument to meet the challenges of the 21St Century. Zambia supports the Secretary-General's proposals of the reform of the United Nations aimed at the strengthening of this world body.

In conclusion, I wish to state that my delegation recognizes the numerous challenges that the United Nations faces. I have every hope that through our collective effort, we will succeed in attaining peace, development and prosperity for all humanity. Zambia pledges her support in these efforts.

Mr. President,

I thank you.