Chief Government Spokesperson Joseph Katema has said government has with joy and humility received Zambia’s election at the United Nations as chair of the 32 member grouping of Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) for a two year term.
Dr. Katema, who is also Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, said the country’s election to chair the high level grouping was a sign of its growing stature and influence in international affairs.
He said this in a statement released to ZANIS in Lusaka today.
He said the overwhelming support Zambia received from LLDCs member states worldwide to chair the grouping, also underscores the confidence the international community has in the country’s political and governance system under the leadership of President Michael Sata.
“On behalf of Government and the people of Zambia, I convey deep-felt appreciation to member states of the LLDCs for the honour and privilege bestowed on Zambia through this election,” Dr. Katema said.
The Minister also commended and congratulated Zambia’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dr. Mwaba Kasese-Bota and her staff on the achievement.
Dr. Katema pledged Zambia’s commitment to use the position to work with all member states in making the Land Locked Developing Countries to improve their citizens’ lives.
Zambia’s election to chair this high level grouping under the auspices of the United Nations comes barely 12 months after the country was again elected to the United Nations General Assembly Committee on Information to represent the African Group, for a two year period.
Of the 32 member countries in the LLDC, 16 are in Africa, 12 in Asia, two in Latin America and another two in Central and Eastern Europe.
LLDCs member states from Africa include Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, the Central Africa Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, Swaziland, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
From Asia the member countries include Afghanistan, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia, Nepal, Tajikistan, Turmenistan and Uzbekstan.
In Europe, the member states include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Republic of Moldova and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia while South America has Bolivia and Paraguay as member countries of LLDCs.
Zambia took over the chairmanship of the LLDC ten days ago from the Lao People’s Democratic Republic at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
The LLDCs countries lack territorial access to the sea. They therefore face the double challenge of development and access to international markets in their efforts to profit from trade opportunities and harness global markets for economic development and growth.
The group’s priorities in reversing this scenario include infrastructure development such as roads, railway, inland water ways, pipelines, air transport, internal trade as well as international trade facilitation among member states.