Friday, 30 January 2015

President Lungu Delivers Maiden Speech At African Union Summit

President Lungu during his inauguration on Sunday
Zambia's President Edgar Lungu today delivered his maiden speech at the African Union Summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

Below is the verbatim of his address:

 Your Excellency, Chairperson
In the interest of time, May I simply say “All Protocols Observed”

I wish, from the outset, Chairperson, to express through you, the deepest gratitude of the Zambian people for the overwhelming support that we received during the trying period following the death of our late dear President, His Excellency Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata.

Mr Chairperson,
You, our fraternal African Brothers and Sisters further supported us during the transition period as the democratic credentials and governance institutions were put to test. I am pleased to inform this august House that the just ended presidential by-election in my country, in what was a hotly contested race, has once again demonstrated the collective resolve of the Zambian people to ensure that Democracy and Good Governance are firmly entrenched in our governance system.

In this regard, I would like to take this opportunity, Mr. Chairperson, to thank SADC, COMESA and indeed the African Union for sending Election Monitoring and Observation Missions to Zambia. The elections were declared as transparent, peaceful, free, fair and credible. Zambia continues, therefore, to be privileged to have demonstrated that it is possible to have peaceful changes of Government, even for that matter, from one political party to another.

Mr Chairperson,
Allow me, at this juncture, to reaffirm Zambia’s commitment to the ideals of the African Union and also my Government’s readiness to continue to be fully engaged in the activities of our continental body. I wish to further state that Zambia will seek to enhance her presence at the continental level and beyond, by making her voice heard and actively participating in the programmes of the Union.
On the subject of Agenda 2063, Mr Chairperson, my Government firmly believes that this is an important blueprint for the future of our continent and should be fully supported, as a vehicle for Africa’s development. We need to ensure that the spirit and resolve contained in this carefully crafted document is fully incorporated into the Post 2015 Development Agenda process and other global developmental efforts.
It is in the same vein that as a continent, Africa should prioritise her strategic economic partnerships in order to ensure that they speak to the African Agenda and that our interests are safeguarded.

Mr Chairperson,
My Government also intends to be more actively engaged in peace-building and conflict-resolution initiatives on the continent, and particularly within SADC and the Great Lakes region.
Furthermore, the Ebola virus has clearly demonstrated the need for our close collaboration in addressing such emerging threats to our social and economic security. While the pandemic may now be showing signs of decline, the continent should continue to remain alert and my Government will render support to the various commendable efforts already being made.
I also wish to express Zambia’s concern with the increasing occurrences of ruthless attacks and violent tendencies of terrorist groups as well as the militarisation of extreme faith-based organisations, which is manifesting itself on the continent of Africa. This matter requires our urgent and concerted efforts.

Mr Chairperson,
Regarding the reform of the United Nations, I wish to reassure this Assembly that Zambia will, through her membership of the Committee of Ten, continue to play her part in ensuring that the process is accelerated. To this effect, I wish to inform this august house that Zambia will be hosting the next meeting of the C10.

Mr Chairperson,
In ending my remarks, it would be remiss of me if I did not mention that my government wholly welcomes our theme for 2015. As measure of our long-standing commitment to the importance of women to development and their role in leadership, I wish to confirm to this august House that, in accordance with the Beijing Platform, immediately following my assumption of office, I appointed a female Vice-President, Her Honour Mrs. Inonge Mutukwa Wina, M.P., the first in the history of my country!
Lastly I wish to reassure you, my Colleagues that Zambia can be counted on to support the activities and programmes of our continental body in fulfilment of Agenda 2063.

May God Truly Bless Africa.
Merci Beaucoup!                  
Muito Obrigado!          
I Thank You!     

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