Ban Ki moonFrom : Allafrica.com
21 February 2012

The United Nations Secretary — General will visit Zambia, where he will meet with His Excellency President Michael Sata and other senior officials. Mr. Ban Ki-Moon will also address the National Assembly in a special session and hold an interactive dialogue with its leadership and representatives from selected parliamentary bodies.

He will visit a UN-supported initiative that uses life skills and sports to reach and inspire vulnerable children, including children who live and work on the street. Together with Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Secretary-General will visit the Olympic Youth Development Centre, a pilot project of the IOC Committee within its ‘Sports for Hope’ Programme.

While in Zambia, the Secretary-General will also dialogue with human rights clubs hosted by schools in Livingstone, and take part in a tourism for development event, before visiting the Victoria Falls Park. Zambia is to be a co-host of the World Tourism General Assembly to be held in 2013.

Announcing the visit, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Zambia, Kanni Wignaraja, stated, “Zambia is taking meaningful steps towards improving the lives of its people, including maintaining high economic growth, holding peaceful elections and making significant progress on achieving some of the MDGs. This visit is an opportunity for Zambia to take pride in these achievements and showcase them at a global level. These high level dialogues will also focus on the country’s efforts at accelerating efforts at poverty reduction, addressing gender inequalities and Zambia’s response to climate change and its preparations for Rio+20”.

This would be the first state visit of a UN Secretary General to the country. “The Secretary-General is looking forward to his first visit to Zambia and his first visit to Africa since he began his second term. Africa is central to the Secretary-General’s top priority of sustainable development,” stated the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, Martin Nesirky, from New York.

The United Nations in Zambia is committed to supporting the Government of the Republic of Zambia and its people in their efforts to realise the goals of the national development plan and ‘Vision 2030’. As a ‘Delivering as One’ country, the UN disbursed over $110 million in grant assistance to Zambia in 2011. The UN system in Zambia works together in five key areas to promote Zambia’s development trajectory: HIV and AIDS; sustainable livelihoods; human development; climate change, environment and disaster risk reduction; and governance and gender equality.