HH UN speech impresses VJ



HAVING served as ambassador to the United Nations in New York as well as Minister of Foreign Affairs twice, Vernon Mwaanga has seen first-hand Zambian Presidents delivering key-note speeches to the world body. While he has not gone as far as judging which one was the best, Dr Mwaanga was left waxing lyrical after listening and analysing President Hichilema’s inaugural speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. He said the President’s speech was impressive, measured, rich in content and well-articulated. Dr Mwaanga, a former chief Government spokesperson, said the speech covered a wide range of global and regional issues such as the environment, international peace and security, observance of human rights and rule of law, creating a free press and vibrant civil society, unfair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, sustainable economic growth, youth unemployment and women’s participation in decision-making. “The UN General Assembly provided President Hichilema a rare opportunity in his early presidency to meet and interact with other world leaders on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly,” he said. Ahead of his speech to the General Assembly, President Hichilema met with the President of Austria (Alexander Van der Bellen), Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (Dr Vincent Biruta), George Soros’ Open Foundation Society in New York, US Permanent Representative to the UN (Linda Thomas-Greenfield), and US-Zambia Private Public Collaborative Health and Education. “These meetings may not provide any immediate benefits, but they sow seeds for possible long term future cooperation in many areas,” the former Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services said. He said US President Joe Biden’s recognition of the role youths played in bringing about democratic change in Zambia last month is significant. “This was an important recognition by the President of the most powerful country in the world,” Dr Mwaanga, who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs under first President Kenneth Kaunda and his successor Frederick Chiluba, said. However, he said winning elections by a resounding majority was probably the easier part with the difficult task now lying ahead. “The task ahead for the new dawn government is gigantic and unenviable,” he said. “It will require hard work and seriousness by the leaders and citizens alike.” Dr Mwaanga identified the difficult part as CLICK TO READ MORE


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