Tag Archives: Zambia

“Zambia has the potential to become a disability champion in the African region” – UN expert

GENEVA / LUSAKA (28 April 2016) – “There are good opportunities to achieve the realisation of rights of persons with disabilities in Zambia,” today said United Nations Special Rapporteur Catalina Devandas, while urging the Government to fully implement a number of well-formulated and well-intended policies and strategies.

Ms. Catalina Devandas-Aguilar (Costa Rica) was designated as the first Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities

Ms. Catalina Devandas-Aguilar Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities during a press briefing at Southern Sun Hotel, Lusaka. Photo credit UNIC Lusaka April 28, 2016.

“Zambia has the potential to become a disability champion in the African region, provided that the Government makes it a priority to implement the policy and legal framework on disability,” Ms. Devandas said at the end of her first official visit* to the country to assess the level of enjoyment of the rights of persons with disabilities.  

The UN expert highlighted numerous initiatives by the Zambian authorities to improve the protection framework for persons with disabilities, including the strengthening of the Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the production of a National Disability Survey, and the significant efforts undertaken to make its social protection framework inclusive of persons with disabilities.

In that regard, she encouraged the Government to continue advancing in the areas of accessibility, education, health, and employment, through the adoption of the necessary measures required to ensure the implementation and enforcement of the Persons with Disabilities Act and other relevant policies.
 
On the other hand, the Special Rapporteur also identified urgent challenges to be addressed, such as the stark disparities between rural and urban areas in relation to accessibility and availability of services. In addition, Ms. Devandas highlighted the situation of persons with albinism, who live in constant fear of being attacked and killed for their body parts, and urged the authorities to protect women and girls with disabilities, who are at heightened risk of sexual and gender-based violence.
 
The human rights expert also drew attention that the situation of persons with psychosocial or intellectual disabilities is of particular concern: “Deprivation of liberty on the basis of disability remains an accepted practice in Zambia,” she said pointing at the widespread assumption that persons with psychosocial or intellectual impairments have no legal capacity due to the lack of ‘mental capacities’.
 
During her stay, the Special Rapporteur visited the Chainama Hills Hospital in Lusaka and the psychiatric unit of the General Hospital in Ndola. “I was particularly appalled by the conditions of the psychiatric unit in Ndola, where persons with psychosocial disabilities are deprived of their liberty without their informed consent, are subjected to seclusion and forced treatment, including forced sterilization of women with disabilities,” she explained.

While she welcomed the efforts undertaken to draft a new Mental Health Bill, she urged the Government “to close the mental health settlements where persons with psychosocial disabilities are confined in remote areas of the country, and to invest instead in adequate and comprehensive community-based supports services.”

Other major challenges encountered by the independent expert are in the area of access to justice. “Complaints of abuse and discrimination by women and girls are mostly overlooked, and the majority of court buildings are inaccessible,” Ms. Devandas said. “Deaf persons are denied access to justice on equal basis with others, as sign language interpretation is not provided in courts.”

The UN Special Rapporteur visited the cities of Lusaka and Ndola, where she met with a variety of senior Government officials, and held discussions with persons with disabilities and their representative organizations, other civil society actors, the UN system, and international cooperation actors.

The UN Special Rapporteur will present a report to the Human Rights Council in 2017 on the main findings of her visit.

Check the Special Rapporteur’s full end-of-mission statement: https://iconnect.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/,DanaInfo=www.ohchr.org+DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=19890&LangID=E


Ms. Catalina Devandas-Aguilar (Costa Rica) was designated as the first Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities in June 2014 by the UN Human Rights Council. Ms. Devandas Aguilar has worked extensively on disability issues at the national, regional and international level with the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund, the UN unit responsible for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the World Bank. Her work has focused on the rights of women with disabilities and the rights of indigenous peoples with disabilities. Learn more, log on to:http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Disability/SRDisabilities/Pages/SRDisabilitiesIndex.aspx

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, country page – Zambia: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/ZMIndex.aspx

UNDP Administrator Ms. Helen Clark, visits Zambia

UNDP Administrator Ms. Helen Clark was in Zambia from July 16 to July 19 2015. During this visit she held a number of meetings with Republican President Mr. Edger Lungu, The National Assembly, Minister of Foreign Affairs and corporating partners of the United Nations in Zambia.

UNDP Administrator, Helen Clark on arrival in Chief Nyampande's area, Petauke, Eastern province, Zambia. Photo credit/UNIC Lusaka

UNDP Administrator, Helen Clark on arrival in Chief Nyampande’s area, Petauke, Eastern province, Zambia. Photo credit/UNIC Lusaka

She also took part in the official launch of the “HeforShe” Campaign which took place in Chief Nyampande area and Misolo Village in Petauke, of the Eastern Province Zambia some 500kms from the capital city Lusaka on July 18, 2015 she was accompanied by the UN Zambia Resident Coordinator Ms. Janet Rogan and UNDP staff. The launch was graced by the Head of State, various traditional Chiefs, the Ministers of Gender; Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, Women for Change and other corporating partners.

In Lusaka, she saw the President; the Vice President who hosted a lunch on environment and climate change resilience, attended by the Ministers of Mines, Energy and Water Development, Agriculture and Tourism as well as the French Ambassador and the Director of the Disaster Mitigation and Management Unit; the Speaker of the National Assembly and Chairs of main Committees and Caucuses, including the new SDG Caucus; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who also hosted a reception for her; the Ministers of Commerce, Trade and Industry and Transport, Works and Supply and Communications, who co-hosted a meeting with the private sector; the Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, who hosted a meeting with youth representatives. The Chief Justice hosted lunch with senior members of the judiciary. She also met the diplomatic community in Lusaka and the UN Country Team.

Students wearing branded attire for the "HeforShe" campaign.

Students wearing branded attire for the “HeforShe” campaign. Photo Credit/UNIC Lusaka

Her field trip to Eastern Province was a great success. The President agreed to launch the Zambia HeForShe campaign and spent the whole day with the UN Team at Chief Nyamphande’s village and then at Misolo village visiting the Anti-GBV One-Stop Shop there. We could not have a better platform for pushing forward this campaign. Driving around Eastern Province, Helen was struck by the persisting levels of rural poverty, which she had also seen in other countries, such as Malawi and Tanzania, which have not experienced conflict since independence. She found the persistent rural poverty and inequalities in such circumstances shocking and she hopes that, among other work, the UN (UNDP) extractives project, once launched, can become part of a solution for dealing with persistent rural poverty and inequalities.

About the global HeforShe Campaign, HeForShe is a solidarity campaign for gender equality initiated by UN Women. Its goal is to engage men and boys as agents of change for the achievement of gender equality and women’s rights, by encouraging them to take action against inequalities faced by women and girls. Grounded in the idea that gender equality is an issue that affects all people — socially, economically and politically — it seeks to actively involve men and boys in a movement that was originally conceived as “a struggle for women by women”. Some noticed the contradiction of a campaign for gender equality which only takes action against inequalities faced by women and girls, ignoring problems affecting men and boys.

Branded HeforShe Minibus at Chief Nyampandes Palace. Petauke, Eastern Province, Zambia.

Branded HeforShe Minibus at Chief Nyampandes Palace. Petauke, Eastern Province, Zambia. Photo Credit/UNIC Lusaka

On the HeForShe website, a map which uses a geo-locator to record global engagement in the campaign counts the number of men and boys around the world who have taken the HeForShe pledge, as UN Women works towards its goal of engaging 1 million men and boys by July 2015. The campaign website also includes implementation plans for UN agencies, individuals and civil society, as well as those on university and college campuses, both through online and sustained engagement.

“Initially we were asking the question, ‘Do men care about gender equality?’ and we found out that they do care,” said Elizabeth Nyamayaro, senior adviser to the executive director of UN Women. “Then we started to get a lot of emails from men who signed up, who now want to do more.”

World Environment Day 2015 Sustainable Consumption and Production “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet Consume with Care”

June 4: Zambia joined the rest of the world in commemorating World Environment Day, a number of activities took place between June 4th and June 5th 2015., The United Nations in Zambia, Ministry of Environment and Tourism and Natural Resources, Standard Chartered Bank and Youth United Nations Association (YUNA), organized a tree planting exercise as one of the activities during the Environment Week, this event took place at the National Heroes Stadium.

The 2015 global theme was “Sustainable Consumption and Production “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet Consume with Care”, Zambia localized the theme to “13 Million Dreams Consume with Care”. A number of activities were conducted around the country and there was participation from various partners including government ministries.

Tree planting exercise at Heroes Stadium, Lusaka. Photo credit/UNIC Lusaka

Tree planting exercise at Heroes Stadium, Lusaka. Photo credit/UNIC Lusaka

At the tree planting exercise, Mathews Kalabo the representative of the United Nations Youth Association said the issue of the environment knows no boundary and affects the world at large, he also shared the efforts, that the three Organizations are implementing to combat climate change, citing the 5000 trees has been planted so far, in 6 provinces out of 10 in Zambia. He said that YUNA has been leading the cause in combating climate change with the support from Standard Chartered bank, the UN and Government in the country. He appealed to the ministry to consider the creation of green projects for the youth as well as green jobs to sustain the Environment and future generation, He further recommended Government for the strong partnership with ILO on Youth Empowerment through green jobs.

The UN representative Mr. Jonathan Wesley Roberts, the Chief Technical Advisor in Integrated Land Use Assessment of FAO highlighted some projects that the UN is doing in partnership with the government in promoting sustainable land use while protecting the environment, he also commended the efforts of other government partners in their efforts to help serve the environment.
The Honorable Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports Hon. Ronald Chitotela was the guest of Honor, in his remarks he thanked the three organizations on what they are doing to respond to climate change effects. He further said the Government of the Republic of Zambia is very willing to work with the International Community, Civil Society Organizations and the private sector in creating awareness on issues relating to climate change and the environment. He also urged citizens to consume with care in all areas of the production for sustainable development.

Standard Chartered Bank Zambia Chief information Officer Mrs. Musonda reiterated that as a bank they are committed to supporting activities related to the environment in Zambia and to continue with developmental partnerships for noble causes like tree planting with the United Nations and Government.

Other activities included an exhibition were various organizations showcased what activities and programs that they are doing in relating to the theme and the issue of climate change and match past to create awareness for world environment day.

Zambia celebrates the United Nations International Peace Keepers’ Day “Together for Peace”

Every year on May 29 member states of the United Nations gather to pay tribute to heroes and heroines who have served and continue to serve in the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations for their level of professionalism, dedication and courage as they put the lives of others before theirs. It is also a time to remember and reflect on those who have lost their in the course of peace.

Showcasing Zambia's participation in peacekeeping operations.

Showcasing Zambia’s participation in peacekeeping operations. Photo credit/UNIC Lusaka

The UN International Day of Peace Keepers was celebrated in Lusaka at The Cathedral of the Holy Cross where the United Nations in Zambia, Defense Forces namely The Zambia Army, Zambia Air force, Zambia Police Service and The Zambia National Service personnel held a joint church service under the theme “Together for Peace”

The Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Mr. Davis Mwango who was also the Guest of Honour in his speech urged all the defense personnel to remain focused and committed in maintaining the country’s peace. He emphasized that peace is valuable and can only be achieved at a cost which unfortunately includes human life. He reiterated that Zambia is a member of the international community and will remain committed to peacekeeping operations.

Representing the UN was Ms. Raki Sahi, the UN Zambia Security Advisor read the UN Secretary Generals Speech on his behalf and was quoted as follows “This year’s International Day of UN Peacekeepers falls during the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, offering a chance to honor the invaluable contribution of the Blue Helmets to the proud history of the Organization. United Nations peacekeeping has given life to the UN Charter’s aim “to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security”. Through years of struggle and sacrifice, the iconic Blue Helmet has earned its place as a symbol of hope to millions of people living in war-ravaged lands”.

Furthermore she stated that Zambia has played an exemplary role in promoting and protecting peace. Zambia has accepted many thousands of men, women and children fleeing their own countries in fear of their lives. Thus, giving them a safe haven and protection within the country. Zambians have also generously gone far beyond its own borders in the service of peace Zambian military, police and civilian experts have served, and are serving this very day, in many peacekeeping missions around the world.

Showcasing Zambia's participation in peacekeeping operations.

Part of the Defense Forces who attended the Church Service. Photo credit/UNIC Lusaka

She also reminded the gathering that The United Nations in June 2014 honoured two fallen Zambian peacekeepers with the Dag Hammarskjöld medal for their gallantly. Major Alfred Richard Banda and Chief Inspector Ebert Sianyona died last year while serving with the United Nations-African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). Furthermore, in July 2014 another Zambian working under the International Organization for Migration Mr. Felix Ngoma, was abducted by suspected Janjaweed militia in Sudan and was later released after 21 days in detention describing it as the most horrible time of his life.

In the sermon given by the Army Chaplain, Lt. Col. Reverend H.B. Moma on the theme for 2015, said peacemakers must rekindle their zeal for peaceful societies through creativity, ingenuity and entrepreneurship. Praying for the country’s leadership because their decisions have great impact on citizens as well as setting an example as a community for peace.

After the service the invited guests were taken on a tour showcasing the different places were Zambia has served and is still serving in Peacekeeping Operations.

World Press Freedom Day 2015: Celebrated in Zambia

Zambia joined the rest of the world in commemorating the World Press Freedom Day that falls on the 3rd May each year. This important day gives the media and various stakeholders time to reflect on what the men and women who give us information go through in order to get information to our” table”. This is the time when we look at the contribution that information plays in the development of the nation and the world at large.

World Press Freedom Day Parade.

World Press Freedom Day Parade.

The global theme was “Towards Better Reporting, Gender Equality, and Media Safety in the Digital Age and the Media in Zambia adopted “Women in the Media Digital Age”, the theme challenges the Media and Government to reflect on the use of new media and the responsibilities it comes with as well as the role women in the media are playing. It is important that as the media becomes involved in transforming societies through the new found media freedom, they should also be very responsible in the information that they put across.

The United Nations recognizes that information is the most powerful tool that can transform the nation, hence the need as to recognize that in order for a developing country like Zambia to move forward, it needs to work hand in hand with the media.

A number of activities were planned to mark the occasion as follows; a social media training for community radio stations and some main stream media houses was facilitated by BBC Media Action on April 28, 2015. The was a digital media exhibition held at Arcades Shopping mall in Lusaka were organizations such as UNESCO, Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS), Zambia Institute of Mass Communication (ZAMCOM), Media Institute Southern Africa, Zambia Chapter (MISA-Zambia), Q FM Radio and others showcased various products in line with the theme for 2015, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Service Mr. Malama toured the exhibition and encouraged the media in Zambia to embrace good media ethics and technology in the execution of their duties.

Over the weekend on April 30, the scribes took time out from their notepads and pencils and engaged in social sports at Zamsure Sports Complex with games such as tug-of-war, football and netball that saw them battle it out in mixed teams for honors and later on had a social braai.

On May 4th, print and electronic media houses gathered for the official commemoration at the Freedom statue, beforehand, held a match past through the city centre after being flagged off by the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Hon. Chishimba Kambwili MP. Speaking at the venue were Mr. Enoch Ngoma the chairperson of the 2015 organizing committee, the UN Resident Coordinator Ms. Janet Rogan and the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services. The chairperson of the organizing committee urged government to support the media, by enacting the access to information bill (ATI) and guaranteeing the safety of journalists from being harassed by political cadres. This sentiment was also affirmed by the Minister who said government will not protect anyone who harasses media personnel in the discharge of their duties.

The UN Resident Coordinator in her speech stated it is about living the aspirations of the young generation, providing them access to information and preparing them to make the right choices in life.  It is also about building new partnerships and working better together with media professionals for sustainable development across societies and countries. And, it is about unleashing our true commitment to leave no one behind and to create a more equal world. Quoting the UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon, “women remain underrepresented throughout the media, at decision-making level but also in the coverage of issues. We cannot let this stand. Men and women must participate equally in making and sharing the news.”

She said the stereotyped portrayal of women and girls in the media is not only unfair but it also harms them.  It contributes to harmful traditional practices, including child marriage.  It can encourage violence against women and girls and violation of their rights. In Zambia, hardly a day goes by without reading or hearing of a case of a woman beaten or raped; or a girl child who has been defiled.  I say to journalists: it is not enough to report these cases.  It is necessary to look beyond the incidents and plain numbers and investigate and report on the root causes of discrimination and violence against women and girls in this country. For the media have the power not only to influence government decisions and the direction of national policy, but also to raise a voice against discrimination, oppression and violence in society itself. Harnessing this unique power is key to promoting human rights and achieving equality.

At the event, MacPherson Mukuka, a journalist and a community radio station called Chikuni

Part of the participants who took part in the mentorship program at UNIC Lusaka.

Part of the participants who took part in the mentorship program at UNIC Lusaka.

radio received recognition awards, a Climate Change and UNESCO award sponsored by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, under the Climate Change Secretariat and UNESCO respectively. Both awards were presented by the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Mr. Chishimba Kambwili.

May 5th was the climax of the press freedom day activities as veteran scribes got to mentor their juniors, the mentorship program was primarily focused on women in the media. The mentorship was held at the UN Information Centre and facilitated by Ms. Felistus Chipako, Chairperson of the Zambia Media Women Association (ZAMWA). Other notable speakers included Mr. Victor Mbumwae from the Ministry of Gender and Mr. Enock Ngoma a veteran journalist.

World Toilet Day November 19 End Open Defecation (EOD) a call to action

Chipata Compound, November 19, Lusaka-Every year on World Toilet Day and beyond, countries worldwide participate in the EOD and bring attention to other sanitary issues in places where there are no toilets or sanitary infrastructure  to use and people end up using the surrounding environment as an alternative. All these can be prevented if the practice of open defecation is stopped through the availability of toilets and other sanitary amenities.

Therefore this observance is a call to action for each and every one of us to break the silence

World Toilet Day November 19 End Open Defecation (EOD) a call to action

Some children reading on the mural signed by others.

with the target of ending the practice by 2025. Zambia is one of many countries in the developing world still grappling with the practice of open defecation in both rural and in high density areas in the cities. Preventable diseases like cholera among others have become perennial due to unhealthy sanitary practices.

However, hope is not lost as the practice of open defecation in communities is slowly being conquered through the support of UNICEF in collaboration with various water utility companies, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing in building toilets in various communities meant to improve the quality of life and reversing the mentioned impacts of open defecation. Some areas that have moved in a positive direction to end open defecation include Choma, Mkushi, Namwala, Monze and other areas in the country.

In Lusaka in some high density areas, the water utility company Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company is rehabilitating the water reticulation system and UNICEF is supporting the building of toilets and water collection points in the community.

On November 19 in Chipata Compound an awareness campaign took place. Drama was the mode of outreach used, the community was taught on the importance and benefits of having a toilet as opposed to using the surroundings sending a clear message that open defecation was a detrimental practice to the general well-being of the people and community.

In random interviews conducted in the community, the people stated that a toilet was a must in any household and brought dignity to its users and encouraged healthy life styles. It also ensured that the environment was kept clean. One area of Chipata compound was a beneficiary to the sanitary facilities built for them and have confirmed that even outbreaks of  water borne  diseases has drastically reduced.

UN in Zambia celebrates 69 years and 50 years of Zambia’s Independence Theme “50 years of Zambia in the United Nations”

The United Nations in Zambia used this year’s UN Day to mark Zambia’s 50 years in the United Nations.  UN Day is normally on 24 October but since it coincided with the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the country; it was agreed with the Secretariat for the 50th Anniversary to celebrate Saturday 11 October as UN Day, specifically designated in the official 50th Anniversary Celebration calendar for the country since it is a special year to celebrate Zambia’s relations with the UN. The day was marked with a series of events from 11th October to 23rd October 2014, which included a TV talk programme on ‘Zambia’s 50 Years in the United Nations’, a mini concert and a series of outreach programs in various localities.

UN Day celebrations- Dr. Charlotte Scot, Acting President Dr. Guy Scot and UN Resident Coordinator Ms. Janet Rogan

Right to Left- Dr. Charlotte Scott, Acting President Dr. Guy Scott and UN Resident Coordinator Ms. Janet Rogan during the UN Day reception at Taj Pamodzi Lusaka. October 11, 2014.

Prior to the evening Cocktail at the Taj Pamodzi, there was a mini concert at the Levy Junction Mall in Lusaka it was a concert full of entertainment by some of Zambia’s top musicians while members of staff interacted with the public and answered questions about the work of the United Nations, there was a cocktail with the partners of the UN in Zambia held at Taj Pamodzi Hotel, representing government, Civil Society Groups, media houses and various educational institutions. The Guest of Honor was the Republican Vice President Dr. Guy Scott, speaking at the reception the Resident Coordinator said the UN Day was an opportunity to acknowledge the role and support of member states, as it was them who develop, agree upon and implement the frameworks of international law and human rights that make the world safer and fairer. The role of the UN system is to support the member states in their endeavors.

She further thanked Zambia’s continued support in peacekeeping missions around the world and its continued humanitarian assistance in providing refuge to those running away from conflicts in the region. The Republican Vice-president also thanked the United Nations with its continued support of various developmental programs aimed at bettering the lives of the Zambian people.

Field Outreach was also conducted in Siavonga and in Solwezi between October 20 and 23, 2014. In Siavonga there was a meeting of Librarians and information managers from different schools, quasi-government and private institution where there was a discussion on the work of the UN, the Post 2015 agenda/Sustainable development Goals and its significance to the development agenda in Zambia and what role that Libraries, Archives and other information repositories can play in capacity building in the nation the Duty Minister of Education Professor Neverlyn Wilombe was guest of honor. UNHCR coordinated the UN day celebrations at the Maheba Refugee camp in Solwezi.

On October 19, 2014 there was a live TV discussion program on National television called National Watch which was also utilized as a mode of outreach, The Resident Coordinator Ms. Janet Rogan with Eminent politicians Dr. Vernon Mwaanga, who is also a former diplomat to the UN, Gen Malimba Masheke former Prime Minister in the first republic and Dr. Inonge Lewanika a former diplomat discussed the 50 years of Zambia a member state of the UN and the contributions it made has made towards world peace and security. They also called on the youth in the country to learn from the older generation as they are the future leaders of the country.

World Environment Day 2014: Tree Planting at National Heros Staduim

On 5th June Zambia joined the rest of the world in commemorating the world environment day whose theme is “Raise your Voice not Greenhouse Gases and Protect Environment”. A number of activities were planned and the main event was a tree planting exercise in various locations which saw the participation of various government ministries, including senior government officers such as the Secretary to Cabinet Dr. Roland Msiska at Levy Mwanawasa Hospital which marked the official event World Environment Day and launch of Zambia’s Golden Jubilee Celebrations. The United Nations in Zambia, Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) and the United Nations Youth Association of Zambia (YUNA-Zambia) joined the Ministry Transport Works and Supply and Communications, at the newly built National Heroes Stadium.

Blessings Sinkala who is the YUNA Child Ambassador in her remarks, she stated the presence of Ministry and all the stakeholders bears a testimony to the importance of good relations between the Zambian Government, the youths and the stakeholders such as the United Nations and Standard Chartered Bank to share the responsibility to unite and Combat Climate Change.

She further raised a concern on the increment of Electricity Tariffs by the national utility company ZESCO at 24% for households, stating that it would cause the increase of charcoal production that will lead to massive deforestation in the country, furthermore, she encouraged everyone to stay focused in line with our visions such as vision 2030 which aims Zambia to become a middle income country and by attaining the MDGs by 2015.

Mr. Excellent Hachileka who was representing the United Nations, highlighted issues on the climate change policy, he said Zambia is losing its forest due to human activities such as unsustainable agricultural practices and deforestation, he said currently the country is losing 250 000 to 300 000 hectares’ of forest per year which will result in others parts of Zambia turning into deserts.

Standard Chartered Bank Zambia Director Mrs. Musonda reiterated that as a private entity was committed to issues of the environment hence its participation and partnership in noble causes like that of planting trees with the United Nations and Government. She further said that they would continue to support national tree planting exercises when called upon.

The Hon. Minister Mr. Yamfwa Mukanga MP in his remarks gave a brief background on the world environment day from its beginning, he shared with the gathering that the tree planting was also the part of Golden Jubilee as Zambia celebrates its 50 years of independence. The Minister agreed that the Ministry under his charge Transport, Works and Supply Communications has contributed to deforestation in the country as the government is pushing infrastructure development through activities such as new roads and new buildings across the country, he said despite this the ministry is very committed to replanting trees that are cut down during the development activities.

The Minister urged every Zambian to involve themselves in tree planting exercises, and he thanked the United Nations, Standard Chartered Bank Zambia, YUNA-Zambia and schools that participated in the exercise, about 100 plus trees were planted.

The United Nations in Zambia receive a new UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Janet Rogan

UN Resident Coordinator submitting credentials to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Zambia, Ms Janet Rogan, yesterday presented her credentials to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon Mr Harry Kalaba MP.

During a brief ceremony held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms Rogan commended Zambia for its exemplary role in the family of nations, fully in the spirit of the words of the UN Charter, promoting unity among all Zambians and living in peace over the fifty years since the country joined the United Nations as an independent state. “You (Zambia) have long been, and continue to be, a generous haven for those fleeing violent conflict.  You are now taking an innovative and people-centred approach to the sustainable integration of former refugees in Zambia, which may serve as a shining example to others,” said Ms Rogan.

Ms. Rogan congratulated Zambia on assuming Chairmanship of the United Nations Land Locked Developing Countries group.  She applauded the key role Zambia has played to date in the Post-2015 Dialogue, leading debate on the future direction of Sustainable Development and pressing globally for a bold and inspiring Post-2015 Development Agenda aimed at achieving fair socio-economic development, promoting democracy and protecting and preserving the rights of all people.  She reaffirmed the UN’s commitment to support Zambia’s own sustainable development priorities, including reducing poverty, equitable access to health and other services, and respect for the rule of law and human rights according to the Universal Declaration.  She expressed her personal commitment to supporting Zambia’s aims for women and youth, particularly the girl child and adolescents.

 

UN ZAMBIA JOINT STATEMENT INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY, 2014

This year’s United Nations theme for International Women’s Day stresses that “Equality for women is progress for all.” Achieving equality for women and girls is important not simply because it is a matter of fairness and fundamental human rights, but because progress in so many other areas depends on it.

An investment in the improved health and education of women, leads directly to a healthier and

International Women's Day march past

Women in uniform marching

more prosperous household, village and larger community. Giving women the power to make choices over their lives is one of the first steps towards a world with zero hunger. In every country where UN works, including in Zambia, women are front and centre in programmes to tackle many development challenges, including food insecurity and nutrition.

“It is evident that equality for women and girls means progress for all. This simple fact must be central as we work to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 deadline, and design an ambitious agenda for the Post-2015,” said Martin Clemensson, the UN Resident Coordinator a.i in Zambia. “We are seeing some progress on gender equality indicators in the area of health and education; continued commitment and intentional policies and programmes however, are essential to accelerating the progress made so far.”

Over 50 per cent of Zambia’s population is female. The chance to go up the education chain, without having to drop out, be beaten or become a child labourer, and having the same access to skills and resources required to participate fully in the country’s economic development will more than double Zambia’s GDP, and halve the levels of child malnutrition and ill-health.

The UN in Zambia commends the efforts that have been taken by government to address Gender Based Violence in Zambia, through the enactment of the Anti-Gender Based Violence Act. The UN acknowledges the political commitment attached to this issue, and takes special note of the fact that work to establish ‘fast track courts” is being undertaken. The UN System is actively collaborating with Government, the Police and the Judiciary on these initiatives. “I have a message for every girl born today, and to every woman and girl on the planet: Realizing human rights and equality is not a dream, it is a duty of governments, the United Nations and every human being,” said the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon in his message on International Women’s Day.

The Secretary General also appealed men and boys to play their part. “All of us benefit when women and girls – your mothers, sisters, friends and colleagues — can reach their full potential.

Together, let us work for women’s rights, empowerment and gender equality as we strive to eliminate poverty and promote sustainable development. Equality for women is progress for all.”