In a press statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Stanley K. Kakubo, Member of Parliament and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, delivered a speech during the General Debate of the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 26, 2023.
This year’s General Debate focused on the theme: “Rebuilding Trust and Reigniting Global Solidarity: Accelerating Action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals Towards Peace, Prosperity, Progress, and Sustainability For All.”
During his address, Minister Kakubo highlighted Zambia’s economic progress under President Hakainde Hichilema’s leadership and the efforts being made to advance and improve livelihoods in the country. He also addressed global challenges such as conflict, food insecurity, climate change, and economic uncertainty, emphasizing the need for international collaboration to address these pressing issues.
Minister Kakubo underscored President Hichilema’s active involvement in the Africa Peace Initiative and their mission to Kiev and St. Petersburg, where African leaders engaged with leaders of Ukraine and Russia in an effort to contribute to global conflict resolution.
The Minister stressed the importance of strengthening global partnerships and good governance to uphold human dignity and human rights while accelerating progress toward achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
He expressed concern about the high cost of capital affecting the Global South and called on the international community to address this issue urgently, ensuring equitable access to affordable capital for all nations. Minister Kakubo recognized development partners and the Official Creditor Committee of the G20 for their efforts in restructuring Zambia’s significant debt burden.
Furthermore, he welcomed the UN Secretary General’s proposal for a Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Stimulus Package and emphasized the need for an effective implementation mechanism for the Loss and Damage Fund, as agreed upon during COP27.
Minister Kakubo also discussed Zambia’s aspirations in digital technology, leveraging technology such as Artificial Intelligence in various sectors, and highlighted President Hichilema’s role as the African Union’s Champion on Ending Child Marriage.
As Chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence, and Security Cooperation, he stressed the importance of peace, security, and stability for sustainable development and Zambia’s commitment to using its democratic credentials to support regional peace efforts.
On the reform of the UN Security Council, Minister Kakubo reiterated the call for inclusive reforms and Permanent Representation in line with the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration to enhance the Council’s legitimacy.
He expressed hope that the General Assembly would provide a platform for all voices to be heard and consolidate global solidarity.